The last couple of weeks I have been giving a lot of thought, reflecting over the last year. I think it is mainly because I am thinking about a lot of my friends graduating this year and what it was like for me when I walked those same steps last year.

Over the last year I have learned that if I want to know my past and to that extent what has caused me to be who I am, I have to look at the present, because it is the effect of the past that caused me to become who I am. If I want to know the future, then I need to look at myself in the present, for that will be why the future unfolds the way it will.

So much has changed for me to the point that I could say I have had a major transformation in my life. It is interesting, I have been doing a lot of research for the book lately on life transitions and it has led me to apply it to my own life (once again) and look at what transitions I have gone through. Certainly, with last year being one of the hardest years of my life and then going through a massive transition out of university into the working (really traveling) life, so many changes took place.

The thing is though, it wasnít just a transition that happened, it was a transformation. It wasnít about just moving from one place in life to another, which happens in a transition, it was about the change that I underwent during that process. The greatest thing about the transformation though is that I feel more in tune with being who I really am. I feel like I am more in depth to living out to be the man I always wanted to be. There is this underlying confidence and security, knowing that I am discovering more and more of myself. I think for most of my years in university there was always this battle that there was more out there Ė that we could be living our lives more for others and for the Lord. I never felt comfortable with who I had become and where I spent most of my social time.

The other night one of the guys in my guys group told me how much he has seen me change since August and really become a better person. He characterized it as a transformation, which really caught my attention. I think the more I have opened myself up to being part of a group and community that passionately is seeking after the Lord in what they do, the more it has influenced me to change. Together as a group of searching and pursuit has brought upon this transformation, which most of us can testify to.

It is so important to have strong Godly influences in our lives. For me, Ashley has been everything I needed and continues to be a strong spiritual influence in my life. Her life inspires me to be a better person and her actions and pursuits towards God always encourage me to do more in my life to glorify Him. Even in the hard times of life, she has been so strong in her faithfulness to Him. This influence of her in my life has gone great lengths to aiding me in my time of transition to transform. I am a blessed man.

The thing about transformation though is that it is not a single process of a one time event or occurrence. There is so much more to it than that. I think my transformation started way back towards the end of the school year last year, when I started to drop off and fall away. That experience, the more I reflected on it and learned from what was happening, the more I could transition and change. Then moving here, by surrounding myself with a community seeking after the Lord, that influence continued to progress the transformation. It was and is necessary to stay in a cultivating safe environment though in order to protect and incubate the process. I need to continue this and continue to let the changes solidify and to learn from them.

However, I think the part I never thought about though, was the return, back to view the wreckage, the old and reflect on the past. Going back to where you have come from is instrumental in the transformation process. Not returning to be who I used to be, but rather to fully understand where I came from. I remember when we were in Swaziland, only when we saw where the children came from did we really understand the miracle that had taken place in their lives. For me, it is interesting to see and recollect what my life was like last year; where my passions were; where I spent my time; and who I grew with and how we grew. That is the crux and final piece of transformation. Although it is probably the scariest and most vulnerable, sometimes it can be that last solidifying brick, piecing together the building of change.

Today I can easily say that I am more happy and filled with joy than I have been in longer than I can remember. There is just a feeling that I am doing what I was created to do and that in my actions I am trying to glorify God to my fullest, by using my time, talents and passions for His kingdom. It is something that I so longer for the last 4 years, but was never able to turn the corner with.

I long and wait for the following years to unfold. I have been longing to live life and I pray that I can continue to live this way.

Transformation, it is the greatest, yet hardest and longest process. I donít regret it in any way and it was only possible through His grace, because honestly, I have messed up so much, time and time again. But it has been so good being able to process this change with my friends and getting input and feedback, it has taught me so much.