Jon Rouleau: creating his own path, but not by himself
Jon Rouleau is well traveled and well versed in shaping the future. As a pastor, Jon shares with us his story and journey into his path of achievement and success as well as his unconventional story and the wisdom gleamed from it.
What did you want to be when you were younger? Please tell us about how those dreams transformed into your present/ future dreams and achievements.
I always wanted to be a football player. As far back as I can remember I dreamed about being in the NFL. My father was a professional Hockey player so maybe it was in my blood. Growing up playing sports taught me so many valuable leadership lessons. I honestly don’t think I would be the person I am today if it wasn’t for sports. Not to mention it kept me out of trouble. When all my friends were gang banging and getting into trouble I was at practice.
When I lost out on a scholarship at 17 years old, it crushed my world, and sent me into a tailspin. This was my first taste of failure or challenge. It was also a moment that would redefine my life. It was during this season that I found Jesus. It might sound cliche, but it was when I was at my bottom that God met me. It also taught me that what you think is failure can really be a beginning to something even better.
What barriers or hurdles did you overcome in trying to follow your dreams?
I think we all have our barriers. I came from one of those families that look great on the outside but are really broken on the inside. My family struggled with addiction and that resulted in all kinds of trouble; divorce, abuse, death. When my mom decided to move to a different state after high school I was on my own at 17. Im grateful for all the families that supported me and let me crash but it was in this season that I felt like I was on my own. When I decided to go to a Christian college after high school my father did not support that decision and my mother was not in a position to help either. I found a way to go to college, took out student loans, was the first in my family to graduate, and first in my family to get my masters. In some ways, although I am 39 years old and married, I am still trying to establish myself.
What advice would you give someone following in your footsteps?
I always tell people a few things:
You are never alone. You might feel alone and you might even be physically alone in a situation but Jesus will be there if you ask him. I can’t really explain to you all the incredible ways God has taken care of me over the years but I can tell you that it is not unique to just me. He can take care of you, just ask him.
NEVER GIVE UP. Keep going. The world can’t someone that doesn’t allow failure to keep them down.
Be kind. Kindness is love in action. People will definitely take advantage of your kindness, be kind anyway. As you grow older you realize that kindness is shaping you more than anyone else.