Governor Bill Haslam shared his story with Lipscomb University students, Oct. 18 at The Gathering, Lipscomb’s weekly community worship. President L. Randolph Lowry and Student Government Association President Sierra Sparks led Haslam in an interview about his faith, past experiences and advice for students.
Haslam shared that it was in his junior year of high school when he chose to intentionally follow Jesus at a Young Life retreat. Three weeks later his mother died of a heart attack, a tragedy that quickly tested his young faith.
He said his belief in God helped him through career decisions until he found a job that he truly felt called to do. Originally planning to be a teacher, Haslam considered becoming a pastor and even spent many years as a businessman until he found his passion in government.
“Now I really do feel like this is what God made me for,” said Haslam.
Sparks asked the governor what advice he would give to college students hoping to find a career that they are passionate about. Haslam responded that it’s all about listening to God and trusting Him to lead you where you’re meant to be.
“Hopefully you’ve been listening and obeying, obedient to the call in that moment, even if you’re thinking you won’t be in that position forever,” said Haslam. The difficult moments become easier when you know that God put you where you are for a reason."
Haslam also credits his wife, Chrissy, for helping him find his strength to lead. The couple met in college and Haslam is thankful to have found a supportive spouse to stick by him amid his crazy schedule as governor.
“Having a partner in adventure is a wonderful thing,” said Haslam who shared his wife once told him “I’ve done everything you’ve done, I’ve just had to do it in heels which is a lot harder.”
Finally, Haslam left students with a challenge to take advantage of their college education and to take risks knowing that God will be faithful.
“Don’t waste this opportunity,” said Haslam. “It’s going to be ok, it’s not going to be safe, but we serve a God who is faithful and good.”
—Photos by Kristi Jones