Over these past few weeks and in the weeks to come, many SPO students will graduate from college and move into a new chapter of their lives. SPO Alumnus Will Carter shares his own experiences in moving from college and community life in an SPO Household to pursuing a career and living on his own. You’ll be surprised to see where God led Will in his journey!
My first nine months of post-graduation life have been very different from what I imagined they’d be. Since graduating from Ohio State in August 2011 with a business marketing degree, I’ve been to multiple job fairs, lined up interviews, and searched for that one job that would seem to validate the investment I made in college. All those early-morning classes, the late nights cramming for tests, the sometimes arduous class projects, the unending wondering (or worrying) about where it would all lead - ’just what did God want of me?’ I asked. As graduation approached and I still didn’t have a solid job lead, I began to get a little uneasy, especially as I saw others in my class take high-profile positions that would seemingly put them on the ‘fast track’ in the business world.
But, after graduation came and went and I moved out of Household, still without knowing where God was calling me to, I reverted back to the success-oriented mindset I thought I’d overcome. Fulfilling that one task expected of college graduates, to ‘put the degree to work’, became my sole focus. Without the constant reminder from the SPO community to strive for God’s will and rely on Him completely, I tried to shape the direction and outcomes of my job search on my own.
As I set out on my own, I realized I had taken for granted the structure of daily life and encouragement from others I experienced as part of Household. Away from this intentional community, I realized it was a lot more difficult to be kept accountable – in my prayer time, how I spent my free time, in finding opportunities to meet with people and invest in them, and in searching after God’s will. The discipline required to start my day with prayer and keep my focus on the Lord seemed to multiply once I left Household.
Although this was a transition that took some time, and one which I’m still working on, the Lord has continued to surround me with wonderful and holy people, in my neighborhood and elsewhere, who have called me on to put my trust in the Lord and in His perfect plan. Together, we’ve continued Household traditions such as Lord’s Day celebrations, morning prayer, and making meals for one another.
Despite no longer living in Household, God reminded me that the door to the blessings of the campus community hasn’t closed; in fact, He’s called me back to it. After briefly working as an assistant manager at a retail store, I will be serving full-time next year as an SPO Mission Leader on a college campus.
Though it’s been an uphill battle relinquishing my hold on the future and questioning where God is leading me, I can see now that His grace and His plan are part of a far greater adventure than any I could seek on my own.
-submitted by Will Carter, SPO Alumnus and future SPO Mission Leader!