My husband once wrote a song with a line that speaks to what I believe: “Life is a journey with each of us longing and searching, but we are not alone … with Jesus on the road.” The thought of life being a journey has become more profound to me over the years. It has meant that no matter what life brings, the good or the difficult, I can make it through; I can learn from it and I have a God who will guide me and use me wherever I go. There is something more to come.

I have spent the last 6 years working as the campus counselor at Goshen College. I have had the privilege of joining many of you on your journeys. I have seen the difficult times of confusion when you are struggling to understand what you are to do with your life, what your purpose is.  I have heard the difficult questions that you ask as you try and make sense of your parents divorcing or why your parent has cancer. I’ve heard your desire for belonging and to have a group of close friends or a person that understands you. I’ve hurt with you because sometimes the journey is filled with intense pain as you grieve the loss of someone you have loved or as you find the courage to give voice to the hurt of being mistreated or violated.

I have also seen your strength and am amazed by your ability to keep going no matter what the journey brings! It has been such a joy to celebrate with you as you grow in your understanding of who you are. How cool it is when you make a mistake and don’t let it get you down but choose to see it as a learning moment. It’s been amazing to see the changes that occur from your first year at Goshen to your last year as a student. But your time at Goshen College is just part of your journey. There is so much more.

I know this because GC was part of my journey a long time ago. As a student I remember praying that God would use me and guide me wherever I go. That has continued to be my prayer throughout my life, and so I trust as I leave Goshen to begin working as a clinical supervisor at Oaklawn that I will continue to be used to make a difference in this world. That is my prayer for each of you: that you embrace life and know that you can make a difference. Thank you for sharing this part of the journey with me.

-Char Hochstetler served as Campus Counselor for six years in the Student Wellness & Health Center.