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Parted Ways

Working with college students means that I work in a sea of fluctuating dating relationships. This is pretty normal but the past couple of months seem to have been the season of breakups. I can immediately count on two hands the number of relationships that have ended recently among students and friends.

This, of course, means drama, but is not necessarily a bad thing. One student has recommitted herself to our ministry and her relationship with God because of a very difficult breakup she initiated. Another student is rethinking his life with God because his longtime girlfriend is becoming disinterested in him. Another girl is now in a Bible study with me because she is looking to escape her life of shallow drunken partying - a quest that came about largely by losing the longtime boyfriend that was keeping her in it. One of our newest students confided in me about the loss of a love that I'm not sure anyone else even knew existed. One of my best friends was just jarringly separated from the man she might have otherwise married and is having to reexamine the entire direction of her life.

All of these situations have involved intense pain and heartache, which I would never wish on anyone. But I know that this kind of loss largely has one of two effects, especially on students: the attempt to quickly fill the hole, or reassessment of priorities. One is an escapist approach that usually continues a cycle of failure, and the other tends toward greater self-realization. It is in these moments of loss and pain that God sometimes has the greatest opportunities to reveal his presence. Right now I am thanking God for appearing to work that way in many instances, and for knowing that is the way he is going to continue to work.

As much as it doesn't seem like it at the time, breakups are often God closing a door that needs to be closed so that you may walk through the ones that he has opened - doors that take you into worlds you would have never imagined otherwise. I know this from personal experience.


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