Finding God on Gannon’s campus: Life changes provide perfect time for gracious uncertainty


Sometimes, life goes exactly as planned. And other times, it is nothing like that at all.
This past week, I experienced something that I’d like to call “gracious uncertainty.”
As a student co-leader for the Haiti ABST, we have been planning for multiple months on developing a group dynamic and mini details of what the experience will be like.
That all took a turn on Friday when we were notified that Haiti has become a level four travel advisory by the United States government.
Due to civil unrest and violent protests, traveling to Haiti is just not an option at this time.
And for me and my co-leader, things seemed to fall apart.
Yet, after a few moments of confusion and rambling thoughts, I took a breath and thought it through. And some sense of peace came over me.
God does not lead us to the places we always expect; sometimes he leads us where we are needed. And we find him in that mystery.
As I sat on my couch processing the information, my phone began to shuffle my music and my absolute favorite hymn began to play.
“It Is Well With My Soul” was written by Horatio G. Spafford in the 1800s. He was a very successful businessman who experienced hardship after hardship.
One day, his wife and four daughters left on a ship headed for Wales, when it was struck and his four daughters died. He left to visit his wife and at the spot where the ship sunk, he began to write the lyrics.
The hymn is all about handing one’s life over to God and letting him lead you onward and that through it all, it will be well with one’s soul.
As the song played and I dealt with the information I had just heard, I realized that this sense of peace was something to be open to.
Now, we are working toward planning another trip and finding a way to keep our group’s identity strong.
And during this time, we will choose to love our Haitian neighbors from afar, letting them let their voices be heard as we work toward understanding the hardship they must be going through.
For this entire time, I am embracing a true sense of uncertainty.
An uncertainty that goes far beyond this trip, but into the rest of what this year may bring.
For graduation and a year of traveling to see patients.
An uncertainty that reaches into each new morning.
But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
We have a faith that grounds us in God and that is something to be certain of.
We can channel that inner peace through all of the trials we face.
And with each uncertain moment, we can find a sense of grace and gratitude about the beauty of not truly knowing the possibility that God will show us.
a So, wherever we end up and wherever God leads us, I will find gracious uncertainty and praise him.
And I pray that amidst it all, I find that it is well with my soul.
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