Andrew Odell, a beloved Crossway young adult, just left this past Saturday in joining the Navy. Before he left, I asked him to share some thoughts with us on this big decision and move in his life. Andrew will be missed.
Those of you who know me or something about me are undoubtedly still surprised that I’m not going to be spending the first part of my life doing bookish things. I’m just as surprised as you are.
About a year and a half ago, I really started thinking about my post-college life. For years, I had set my course for law school and planned accordingly. And yet, while talking with a lawyer (ironically) for whom I worked, God put into my mind the idea of joining the Navy to fly. I didn’t expect it to go anywhere, and yet, after months and months of prayer, seeking counsel, and lots and lots of waiting, God has made it abundantly clear that this is where he wants me.
The process itself was long and, at times, frustrating, but I have a better understanding of God’s providence, and of His mercy. I found myself often doubting God—wondering if He really did want to give me the desires of my heart, if He really did want to give me good things. But just when my doubt and unbelief was the worst, all of a sudden all the pieces fell into place, and I looked absolutely foolish for doubting God.
I’ll start in the Navy’s Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, for 12 weeks, hopefully, graduating and commissioning in the first week of May. After a short break, I’ll be off to Pensacola, Florida, to begin flight school. I am so excited and grateful for this new adventure. I’m excited for the privilege of serving my country, of defending what I love, of being called upon to lead others, and for the adventure of roaming the skies.
My biggest prayer request as I enter this new phase is that my witness shines out bright. I’m thankful for Crossway, as it has provided (along with my family) a very solid foundation for my faith. I desire for that faith to continue to grow, even as it will become more and more difficult for me, and that I will not shrink back from boldness for the Gospel. Please also pray that God would give me strong Christian friends in both OCS and flight school to encourage me and hold me accountable.
Thanks for all of your love, counsel, and support, Crossway. I will miss you all.