When our children turn 18, we hope to happily launch them into the world to become the adults we’ve been preparing them to be. Their pathway seems clear: most will go to college, find a vocation and then a true love, and settle into a comfortable life while we parents keep in touch through occasional phone calls, family gatherings, and surprise trips home for Christmas. But now more than ever, these expectations fail to acknowledge the significant challenges faced by many young people, from a pandemic to racial unrest to a climate crisis that is setting the world on fire, figuratively and literally.

While young people are consistently told they need to discern God’s calling, in Finding Our Way Forward, Melanie Springer Mock draws on her decades as a college professor and mom to four adult children to explore how finding our way means developing a more expansive understanding of calling for ourselves and for the young adults we love, one that moves beyond vocation and capitalistic enterprises to what God really calls us to: Seeking justice. Loving mercy. Walking with humility. Loving others. Loving God. As we do so, our relationships can be transformed as together we find our way forward.

Melanie Springer Mock is a professor of English at George Fox University (Newberg, OR), an evangelical Friends institution, where she primarily teaches first-year writing, memoir, and journalism courses. She is author or coauthor of five books, including, most recently, Worthy: Finding Yourself in a World Expecting Someone Else (Herald Press, 2018). Her essays and reviews have appeared in Ms. Magazine, The Nation, Christian Feminism Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Runner’s World, and Inside Higher Education, among other places, and she is a regular reviewer for Anabaptist World, Red Letter Christians, and Christiansfor Social Action.

Melanie and her husband live in Dundee, Oregon, and have two 19-year-old sons. She is a stepmom to two adults and “Nani” to two grandsons. In her free time, Melanie enjoys running, swimming, biking, knitting, and watching reality television.