How The Navigators Ruined My Life

When we received a card from Hannah, a recent graduate from the ministry here at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, we were a little surprised by the title of the journal entry included in the card: “How The Navigators Ruined My Life.” Somewhat stunned, we wondered what this college basketball player and political science major had on her mind. Here, in part, is what Hannah shared.

When I began in college, I had a pretty great life: ambitious goals, a promising future, and a pretty clear identity. I planned to become a lawyer or a lobbyist because I wanted to help people. I also wanted to make money and be secure, so I wanted a career that would give me power and a good reputation. I felt secure about who I was: a good athlete, a good daughter and sister (most of the time). I was also confident I was a good person because I went to church almost every Sunday, taught Sunday school, and tried to be nice to people.

Five years later, everything has changed, and I blame The Navigators for “ruining” my life. The main way they did that was by teaching me that it was never my life in the first place, and by pointing me to Jesus.

As I was exposed to people from The Navigator ministry in college, I realized they had something I did not. They seemed happier, more joyful—and even nicer. I wanted to be like them, so I imitated whatever they did. It didn’t work. I didn’t feel any different. I was frustrated because my “perfect” plans and identity were not materializing.

Eventually I decided that my only option was to get to know Jesus. I didn’t need to know what other people said about Jesus—I needed to know Him myself. When I did, He changed everything! My only goal and desire now is to get to know Jesus more and go wherever He takes me.

What does that look like for me? I don’t define myself by my grades or my performance or by how my friends, family, or strangers view me. It was so tiring to play several different roles in my life and keep all of them in check. Now, I let Jesus have the final say about who I am, and He says that I’m a treasured child of God and someone worth sacrificing everything for. I’m learning to be okay just being that, all of the time.

Throughout this journey with Jesus so far, I’ve tried many times to take back the reins and feel in control of my life again. I’ve wavered in my belief that giving God control was really the best choice. But my Navigator friends kept encouraging me to lay my life down, reminding me that “whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it (Matthew 16:25).

Those words wouldn’t have made any sense to me five years ago when I was so desperately clinging to my goals and my vision of a successful life. But The Navigators I’ve been around have helped me to see that Jesus’ version of life is more full and complete than I could ever have planned or dreamed it would be.

I know transitioning to the next step in life will bring challenges, but I’m trusting God to provide fellowship wherever I go because He’s promised to meet all of my needs. I came to college with what I thought was a pretty good plan for my life—and it’s been completely shattered. So far, life with God has rocked my world, and I know now that God can use my life to do amazing things.

I never would have changed my goals, motivations, or view of myself on my own. I know that it’s only possible through God’s power. Life as I once knew it has been utterly “ruined” because of Jesus. The Navigators played a huge role in that—and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Learn more about the Navigators Collegiate ministry.


  1. Great way to express the greatest miracle of all: how Jesus changed a girl’s world and the wonder of it. The unseemly title of this testimony arouses curiosity and ends in awe of Him who loves us beyond our understanding.

  2. Our sins were bought and sacrificed by Jesus Christ. John 3:16. For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. It is good to honor your parents and family but that will never get you eternal life. Jesus promised to send a helper before He was crucified, the Holy Spirit.
    Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
    Romans 3:10 As it is written:There is none righteous no not one.
    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our lord. This promise is for sinners today.
    2 Corinthians 5:21. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we become the righteousness of God.
    Romans 10:9-10. That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    This is great news, it is here for us today. God Bless

  3. We are our own though. Jesus didn’t die for us, he died for those people 2000 years ago.The people we owe for our lives are our family and parents.

  4. A most excellent post from a wonderful young woman, who learned the absolute truth! We are not our own! We were bought by GOD THE CREATOR at a very high price! The cost? The very life and HOLY BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST THE LORD, WHO IS, GOD IN the flesh! Thankful, LORD JESUS took up HIS LIFE AGAIN, after three days and three nights in the grave(tomb), so that we who believe UPON HIM, shall never taste death! Only our fleshy body dies, but our very essence, our soul returns to our FATHER, to remain in Paradise, just as LORD JESUS told the believing thief upon the cross! JESUS CHRIST IS LORD! CHRIST JESUS IS THE HOLY WORTHY ONE, WHO WAS, WHO IS, AND WHO SHALL COME AGAIN, IN GOD’S MIGHTY GLORY! (Please note, all capital letters is not shouting, but due respect to our CREATOR GOD!) Blessings To All!✡️💜✝️

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