DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

The Roller Coaster of Life

Written by: on January 17, 2019

Change in today’s world is inevitable.  Yet, what is it that creates ongoing change?   Albert Einstein explained that: “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.  It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”  I love that!  Change comes about through new thoughts and new perspectives.  But it also takes “doing it” and not just thinking about it.  As Nike’s favorite quote states:  JUST DO IT!

Each change that took place in Britain was due to someone striking out to create change.  Nonconformists brought new ideas and perspectives, which in turn, helped bring about a new movement.[1]  Fundamentalism has come under scrutiny while New Wave has swung open the doors and basically thrown theology out the window!  So, the world is changing – and we are all flowing in the currents of confusion.  Or, as the author noted, “The process of change can best be seen as a pattern of diffusion.”[2]

I’ve found myself in a roller coaster of change over the past few years.  (Actually, that roller coaster has been rolling up and down hills throughout most of my life!)  Change can be both positive and negative.  But Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said, “When you are finished changing, you are finished…period!”

In the world of human trafficking, I often tell my clients that certainly their experiences have brought them to a place of extreme change.  Yet, is change such a bad thing?  Yes, the experiences of human trafficking are horrible, but change itself can be life-altering if we focus on the present.  Depression means living in the past while anxiety means living in the future.  So why not just settle into the present ~ and let God guide the way!  I tell my patients that we are the sum total of our externals…good and bad.  But it’s what we do with our experiences…good or bad…that defines who we are.  And to find peace, we must ‘release the demons’ that bind us.  I explain to trafficking victims that when secrets are kept in the dark, they gain power.  But when secrets are brought into the light, they lose their strength.[3]  So, learning to open up the secret doors within us can bring necessary healing to create change in our lives, so that healing can finally take place.

Bebbington wrote about changes in the church throughout Britain’s history.  Some of that change created the opportunity for people to live according to the beliefs and values of society around them.[4]  But what happens when society becomes skewed – and beliefs and values become distorted?  Life is messy and learning to navigate through the messiness is a difficult task.  I believe the author’s mission was certainly to provide a historical vision of Britain’s journey through the eyes of the church.  But I believe there is also a message about patterns of change, which provided some positive insight with regards to the societal influences in our lives.

The eye cannot see what the mind doesn’t know.  So, there is a need to open people’s minds to the knowledge that good trumps evil, because we have a Savior working on our behalf.  My human trafficking survivors are hurting individuals.  But the key is helping them to find their voice.  We need to become sanctuaries for broken people in our society and provide the light of Christ as a beacon for others to follow.  I often try to help hurting individuals find change.  But the truth is:  they change me!

[1] David W. Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s, (London: Routledge, 2005), 88.

[2] Ibid, 273.

[3] John Ashmen, Invisible Neighbors:  If You Don’t See Them, You’re Not Looking (San Clemente: Cross Section, 2009), 26.

[4] Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain, 136.

About the Author


Nancy VanderRoest

Nancy is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and fulfills God's calling on her life by serving as a Chaplain & Counselor with Hospice. In her spare time, Nancy works with the anti-human trafficking coalition in her local community.

6 responses to “The Roller Coaster of Life”

  1. mm Mary Mims says:

    Nancy you post reminds me of the Scripture Romans 12:1-2, Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
    This Scripture comes to mind because of the Nonconformist being agents of change. We are told to not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed, by the renewing of our minds. This is what you are doing with those who have been broken by human trafficking. In essence, you are helping them renew their minds, since this is the only way transformation can occur. Thank God for all your work with those in need. As you said, in the process of helping them, you are being transformed. What a blessing!

  2. mm Nancy VanderRoest says:

    Thanks for the comments, Mary. You are sooo sweet! I love the verse you quoted ~ it’s very inspiring. I agree that so often we become conformed to the world when it’s transformation that we should be seeking. You transform so many lives through the mission work with youth, which you do in your church. Thanks for being a LIGHT to many, my friend!

  3. mm Rev Jacob Bolton says:

    Great post Nancy. I love how you quote so many famous historical figures. Do you have a quote board or some other collection of quotes . . . because these are gems.

    • mm Nancy VanderRoest says:

      Hi Jacob! Thanks for your comments. Yes, I have various sites that I turn to for quotes and I also have a list of some of my fav quotes. I really enjoy quotations from people of wisdom, because they provide such deep meaning. Thanks again for responding!

  4. mm Tammy Dunahoo says:

    Thank you, Nancy. In the midst of critical thinking about scholarly work it was refreshing to read your reminder of what is most important. Your clients are fortunate to have you in their lives as they are walking through change.

  5. mm Nancy VanderRoest says:

    You are so sweet, Tammy, and always so positive in your responses. What a gift you have in the way you respond to others! I feel like I am the one who is truly blessed by my clients….and by YOU!

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