I started 2017 off with a brand new adventure. Usually, people talk about the new year and chat about it and say how it’s a “fresh start” and they make all these resolutions that they aren’t really sure that they’ll be able to keep, or they make excuses about when they can start them, or they start them right away but do not continue them year around.
My fresh start and my resolution started January 2nd, 2017, and there really was no turning back from it.
Right before Christmas I left my home in Abbotsford, BC and after staying with my parents over the holidays I moved to Vancouver Island on January 2nd, 2017.
Leaving Abbotsford was a big decision, and has led to many crazy adventures. So many things have changed since the beginning of the New Year…so many things have changed since September. There are so many things that are different, and if you had told me about some of these changes a year ago I would have looked shocked and pleased, but at the same time I might not have believed you.
A year ago, I had been planning on moving sometime after I graduated from Columbia Bible College. As much as I loved the people, the community, my church, and Suburban Swing I was fairly certain that Abbotsford was not where I would spend the rest of my days. During my time at Columbia I began researching and praying about where to go after my program finished.
One place stood out to me: Victoria.
I was born in Victoria and I have always felt like someday I would ‘go back to my roots’; Victoria is an absolutely gorgeous city. Personally I love the architecture, the artistic atmosphere, the buskers on street corners, the art galleries, the cute stores, and adorable coffee shops. I love that it is on an island and right near the water, as I have always loved living by the ocean. Plus, on top of all that some of my favorite people live on Vancouver Island, my birthfather and his wife, my parents, my best friend Carlee (whom I’ve known since I was 5), my Grandfather, and many others.
Though there were several other locations that I considered, and several other school programs that I thought about, slowly with time, consideration, and education on those programs and places…those other doors began to close. As excited as I was about this new revelation, and this new chapter in my life, I knew that I had to accept that it would eventually come but I was not quite there yet.
This was during my first year at Columbia.
As I went into Summer break following my first year at CBC, I was grateful for the time to rest, work, spend time with family and friends, and to think about the future. Before the summer I had talked to my program director at the school, she revealed that some of my courses were not properly aligned and could make graduating on time tricky. ‘You might have to take another semester to finish,’ she told me. This would set back any plans on moving or going to another school, but I knew that no plans were set in stone, and we agreed to discuss this further come the fall.
I love Columbia, and I am proud to have been part of that community, but last summer was when I realized just how much I was struggling. Not with my relationship with God, but rather with my development in creative content.
I was blessed to have taken part in many worship arts classes at CBC, to serve on the Chapel Worship team, and to work with the Student Art’s Committee. All of these helped me to grow and develop, and cultivate many skills within me.
At the end of my second semester I was aware of how much growth had developed in me over that year (or how much growth I was told had developed in me), but at the same time I did not know how my growth could continue. I felt confined and unsure how to keep pushing myself. My gifts didn’t seem useful in such a community, and in some ways my gifts seemed foreign to the people in the community as well. I wanted to serve and I wanted to lead, but I was told I was ‘not ready’ for the leadership positions I applied for; and I wasn’t ready.
I thought a lot about that term ‘ready’ over the summer. That was when I began to wonder: ‘will I ever be “ready” if these are not positions that are built for me?’
My strengths have always been in creating things. Whether it was composing music, writing lyrics or stories, designing the atmosphere for a chapel or art event, or taking photos or videos, it was quite evident that that was what I enjoyed and what I succeeded in most. Though I loved doing these things in Arts Committee Events, and helping design Worship Services I didn’t feel like I was truly given the chance to grow in the skills that I wanted to cultivate. This is not by fault of Columbia; the bulk of courses at Columbia was not focused in the direction of content creation. The leadership positions within music were based largely on musical skill, and performance, though they did regard artistic and creative process my place has never been as a performer. My place has always been someone who is a content creator. I do believe that I am capable of a leadership position; but I am also aware that some positions are not made for me, because my skill set is unique and different. I am not a performer, though I can be if I choose to be, but that is not where I am most naturally gifted and it is not what I am most passionate about.
I realized there were not enough courses or tools at Columbia for me to be able to grow in this form of leadership. For me to grow as a writer and composer and leader I would have to leave.
So that’s what I did…and a lot sooner then I ever thought I would.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed the first part of my story of coming into new things, new adventures, and a new way a life, and hearing about what it was like for me to leave Bible College. Part 2 Coming next week!
Prayers, and Music!