Full Circle – An Alumni Perspective
The article below has been reposted with permission from the author.
After a two month dry spell I feel like I should start this blog post off letting y’all know I am alive and well! I am so sorry for the lack of posts over the past three months, I have started this adult thing we call “working” and HOLY SNAP it takes up a lot of your life!
For those of you who don’t know, I am currently a Youth Pastor at an incredible church in the middle of nowhere and am loving it. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this fulfilled in my entire life. Getting to do what you’ve been called to is the most incredible thing on the planet, don’t ever take that for granted.
I recently went back and looked at my posts reflecting on my post-graduation life and stumbled upon a post that I wrote about visiting UVF, post graduation. I remember how broken and restless I felt on that trip, not knowing where I was headed and feeling so broken and defeated. But I also remember how key people picked me up, dusted me off, prayed for me, encouraged me and helped me stay on the path that I am today. I literally do not know if I would have made it this far without their prayers and encouragement. I remember almost giving up at points, but God always brought the encouragement and wisdom from UVF professors and staff back to mind in the hardest moments of my life and it kept me going. Their prayers, encouragement and the ability to see and support God’s calling in my life helped get me stay on path and eventually got me where I am today.
Last weekend I had the incredible privilege to bring my own students to UVF’s breakaway, which technically is a college visit weekend, but also has an incredible spiritual component that I was so excited for my students to experience. On the way I remember getting so pumped and excited and emotional, to the point where my kids were like, “Yoooo Pastor Carrie, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???” I explained to them that this was like showing them my home and that I couldn’t begin to tell them all of the amazing things that happened to me here and so I was just going to be a little bit of an emotional mess for a couple minutes, and they were cool with that.
The kids had a blast, and it was amazing for me to see them in the place that God had done so much for me, but the coolest part was running into all the staff members and professors who had prayed over and encouraged me. I kept tearing up because they all had the same look. The “you did it” look. The “we’re so proud of you” look. It was an incredible experience. I’ve never been in this type of a full circle moment before, but I can tell you I look forward to it happening again sometime. I’m so thankful that out of all the places God sent me, He sent me to Valley Forge. I’m so thankful to have these amazing, inspiring, encouraging and Godly role models in my life.
A friend on campus asked me if it was weird being back with my own students. The answer to that is a hard no, it felt natural. It felt right to show them the place that helped send me to them. It was a wonderful experience, taking my students to the place that God used to turn my whole life upside down. Telling them about all the crazy memories I have, and the friendships I made that literally changed my life, and the nights I stayed up talking to friends or adventuring around town, and showing them spots in the chapel where I sat and God moved in my life, and introducing them to the people that got me to this point all added up to one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. It’s incredible getting to show people how God got you where you are. I’m so thankful that I got to share that with my students.
And while that all is so cool to me, want to know the even cooler part about all of this? I’m not the only one with this story. As I’m writing this there are hundreds of students doing what I did for four years. They’re praying, and learning, and getting ready for whatever God has for them, and the same professors that poured into my life are pouring into theirs as well and will help send them out to whatever God has for them. What an incredible legacy to be a part of.
I’m so proud of UVF and the people there. What should you take out of this? Encourage someone today. You don’t know how far it’ll get that person.
If you’re from UVF, or one of those inspiring and Spirt filled voices in my life that God has blessed me with, thank you. Thanks for investing in a crazy social, energetic and disorganized girl who desperately just wanted to find what God had for her. I couldn’t have gotten here without you.
About the Author: Carrie Knorr ’17 graduated from the University of Valley Forge with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and is currently serving as a youth pastor in Pennsylvania. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Carrie From Camp.