Leaving the Places You Love: Trusting God in the Transitions of Leading

Storm Crook October 20, 2020

As a college student at Bowling Green State University I had the privilege of leading Young Life in inner-city Toledo and burying my heart at Bowsher High School. I loved that school and hoped to never leave! 

But during my senior year, I began to feel called to Young Life staff, and feared this would mean being placed at another school or in another area. After going through the interview process, I ended up getting asked to stay in my town, but to go on staff with Young Life College at Bowling Green State, my alma mater. 

I was excited, but had a lot of questions. 

What if the God that I saw move at Bowsher didn’t move the same way at Bowling Green? 

What if I didn’t love BGSU as much as I loved the high school where I’d devoted four years of ministry? 

What if leading at this new place was harder or simply just not as good? 

How could God give me something that I would grow to love so deeply and then ask me to leave it? 

I honestly didn’t have a heart for Bowling Green. I’d gone to school here and lived here for four years, but I always saw it as a stepping stone before going to the next place. 

And to make things more complicated, transitioning from leading at Bowsher to BGSU happened smack in the middle of COVID. This complicated my last few months with my high school girls, but also gave me plenty of time to sit with the Lord. During this time, I continued to hear God asking “Will you love me with your words or will you love me with your ‘YES’? Will you trust me with your words or will you trust me by giving me your ‘YES’?” 

And in those quiet moments with the Lord, I was reminded that He is in every risk. 

He is in every move. He is in every transition and He loves to give us good gifts.

Being able to lead my high school friends at Bowsher was a very good gift. Being asked to go and do ministry somewhere new is a very good gift as well. I think in it, God is saying  “Let me give you a chance to experience me somewhere new. Give me a chance to give you a new place to love. Give me a chance to give you new good things”. 

I am two months into this and I’m falling in love with the new place I get to do ministry. God has provided far more than I could have asked for and has proven Himself to be the kindest Father. I have constantly been reminded that God is not unkind because he calls us away from things and places we love. He is just the opposite. He loves us enough to invite us into new things and new places that we can love too and ultimately love and know Him more. 

A lot of us that lead Young Life will experience some sort of transition. Whether it’s switching schools where you lead or being called to ministry outside of Young Life, transition is hard. But God is waiting for us in it all, and loving us through it, and waiting for us to give our YES to Him.

Related Post:

How to Say Goodbye: Thoughts on Young Life Leaders Leaving Well

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