Lots of things have happened over the past three months...maybe I'll do a post in the near future about that...but for now, I'll just pick up with today and ask for grace on everything that I've missed.
Today was a bid day for me. After months of anticipation, I found myself sitting in a chapel, surrounded by people I had never met as we became "oriented" to the Divinity School. The place we will be spending the next 3-4...or more....years. In many ways, it was like a dream come true, with a few nightmarish parts thrown in for good measure. The dream part was listening as Dr. George spoke on Hebrews 11. Often known as the "Faith Hall of Fame," I have read the verses that make up that chapter time and time again. The passage took on new meaning this morning, however, as we were instructed to move from certainty to trust, security to vulnerability and temporal to eternal. I felt like I couldn't write his encouragement down fast enough. Then came the words I wished I had never heard...you know, the phrases of "This is not summer camp. This degree will be every bit as hard to earn as a medical or law degree." Definitely not what I wanted to hear. Or how about "whatever grades you made in undergrad, expect to make a letter grade less" my over-achiever side about had a heart attack when that was said!
Thankfully, as I looked around the room, I saw so many faces that looked the same as mine. Fellow believers that have a desire to grow more in their own relationship with the Lord so that they can impact the Kingdom. I have no doubt that there will be tears shed between the time the first class begins tomorrow morning and the time that we receive our diplomas, but I also have no doubts that the support that I will receive from the students and faculty alike will be insurmountable.
After the end of a full day, I left still very excited about the future, but a little more apprehensive than I have been in the past. As I drove, I asked the Lord to calm those fears and to help me remember the reason that I was going to get this degree in the first place. It was not for me...it was for Him. Then, because God is in the details, tonight I got a message from my cousin asking me to come to her house for a small group Bible study that she and some of her friends were starting tonight. I'm not going to lie, it warmed my heart on so many levels...one, because they were meeting on their own accord to dig deeper into God's Word and two, because they wanted me there. As I sat and listened to them share their desire for authentic Christian community, it was all I could do not to cry. I mean, I teared up, but I don't think they even noticed. Really, it was just too much for my little heart to take today though. The way they encouraged one another and were honest about their struggles was encouraging. It's no secret that high school and college aged girls are my favorite group of people in the world. As I sat and listened, it was almost as if the Lord was right there, confirming and affirming that girls ministry and Divinity School specifically, is right where He wants me.
So now, instead of being nervous, I am choosing to be thankful. Thankful for the opportunity to grow closer to the Lord so that I can in turn minister to others in a way that will give them a desire to grow closer as well.