This year I helped my son Zach get settled in Sutton Hall for his first year at George Fox. It has been fun to watch him adjust his plans while trying to meet his life goals. Maybe for the first time in his life he is making serious life-changing decisions on his own. He has made plans that didn’t work out. He’s gotten excited about rooming with some friends from high school. Zach has the opportunity to start his adult life, and I’ve been excited to watch and help him along that journey.
My daughter Kara is beginning her senior year at Fox. She, too, is getting to experience new things this year, like an internship with our church that is going to help her expand her global outreach view. She and a couple of her friends have rented an apartment off campus and are experiencing living on their own for the first time. Kara is also looking more seriously at life after college. Will it be grad school, a mission trip, a job?
I love new beginnings and the chance to have a fresh start. Each of our students, whether they are coming to Fox for their first year, or returning as seniors, get to experience a new beginning. A chance to change bad habits. A chance to choose to help others. A chance to make good study choices. And while there are some pains of letting go, it is good to watch them develop into young people striving after God’s leading in their own life.
I am honored to walk this journey with my kids. And I’m glad to know they are in a safe place like George Fox where they can ask questions, experiment with being self-sustaining adults, and experience success and failure – all while surrounded by staff and faculty who truly love and care for them and their spiritual and emotional growth.
As a member of the Parent Council I get to hear from university staff about new beginnings at George Fox, too. We hear reports of student involvement, we learn about growth plans, and we hear about how our kids are making a difference in the community because of their education at Fox. We also get to learn of struggles as administration grapples with changes to programs and budgets so they can continue meeting the needs of our students.
Just like my kids, the university is experiencing new beginnings. And just like for my kids, my roll is to be supportive and available when needs arise. I’m thankful for new beginnings. And I am excited to see what the new school year will bring. I am honored to be able to journey alongside the university, Kara and Zach as each of them seek for God’s direction in the new phases of life they are entering.