As part of their senior gift to GOC, the Class of 2018 collected alumni-interviews to edify GOC.
What encouragement/advice would you give to your freshman self?
One thing I would tell freshman Amy: Your identity is clear! You will be tempted to find your identity in many temporal things – ministry, relationships, how you’re perceived by others, the thinking that you have control, your productivity, your grades, your major, your resume, your busyness, your extracurriculars – but this sin will steal away your joy and manifest itself in anxiety, stress, and disappointment. Regularly (daily) take time to humbly position yourself before God and let your identity rest in Christ’s saving work on the cross. https://www.desiringgod.org/topics/identity-in-christ#lies-we-believe-about-ourselves
(Especially to my fellow engineers: Don’t compare yourself to other people. Joyfully submit to the fact that you will (in wisdom) have to say “no” to more things, study more, and lack more sleep than others. You are developing the grit that comes with hard work, which is a gift from God!)
What was something that you took for granted in GOC?
What has been hard for me to find outside of GOC is the same level of collective desire to practice Hebrews 10:24-25, particularly in considering how to encourage and challenge others toward Christ-likeness.
In GOC, there were so many clear examples of humble brothers and sisters considering others more significant than themselves, striving to love and serve the body through a commitment to ministry and even through passing conversations. I’m learning more and more how rare this commitment and intentionality is, but having benefited from it, my convictions on true Biblical fellowship are formed and now drive the way I develop relationships in the Church.
Advice that I would give to people who are in college right now for thinking about switching majors/career path.
I struggled a lot with contentment in my major during my freshman year and went pretty far in almost switching (from engineering to DESMA, so a relatively extreme switch). There are so many factors that probably make your situation different from mine, but here are a few things that happened in my thinking during this time:
- I had to get out of my little UCLA bubble and gain the perspective that my major does not determine the career I will be stuck in for the rest of my life, but it does open certain doors. There are countless stories of people who majored in one thing, had a job in another, then switched a few more times after that. You are young – don’t feel like you’re trapped!
- I was convicted of my sin in fearing that God would be withholding something good or less glorifying to Him from me by choosing one path over the other. (Romans 8:28, Ephesians 2:10). Praise God that we can rest in his sovereignty!
- A lot of questions consumed my mind during this time – “What am I passionate about? Does that even really matter?” “Will I be a starving artist?” “Can I really see myself in a career in engineering?” “Why am I doing this if I’m not even that good – is that glorifying to God?” “Why did God give me these certain desires and gifts?” “Will I live my life in regret by not switching?” “Am I idolizing my career?” “Am I overthinking this?” The questions went on and on. With so many competing thoughts and feelings, how could I really discern what would be most pleasing to God? I prayed through Psalm 139 daily, earnestly asking, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” God graciously answered my prayer and revealed much sin in my thinking, which proved to be a good, sanctifying process.
When it comes to decision-making, I also recommend reading John MacArthur’s “Found: God’s Will” and going through these questions (“The Ten E’s of Decision Making”): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BkQ6MYr4JJMJNRl_eSZx4Fvh1FsfcPFh/view?usp=sharing
Long story short, I am thankful to be working as an engineer now. 🙂
-Amy Lee ’17