September 2, 2014 marked the beginning of the end my master of divinity program at Bethel Seminary San Diego. I started in 2008 and I will finish in 2015. I had mixed feelings as I sat through my first class; I felt satisfied and nervous.
Satisfied. This semester is the beginning of the end of my seven year journey through seminary. Looking at my transcript, I had 5 “withdrawals.” I think back to those courses and I remember the life circumstances that led me to drop those classes, they marked changes in my community. Those were difficult times. But I can see how God redeemed those difficult situations for my benefit and His glory. When my community changed, I was not completely abandoned. Rather, my community grew. I admit that it took time to find people that I could deeply trust like my friends of old. I admit that it took extra effort to remain connected to old friends and it is not exactly the same. These changes, however, created the opportunity for growth. Just looking at a random picture from 2008 and one from 2014, I look the same. But I know that I have learned so much more about myself, about God and I’ve met so many wonderful people who have been a blessing. I feel like I have lived a full life in these past seven years.
Nervous. Graduating in May 2015 signals several things. School will no longer be one of the reasons I have to stay in San Diego. So I will be moving to Los Angeles in the summer of 2015. I will say goodbye to a community of students that grows and discovers together. I will miss that community. We all had ideas about theology and spirituality yet we were willing to be edified by each other. It was a community of humble learning. In the summer of 2015 I will be making a step towards full-time ministry. I am nervous about pursuing a career that is 100% support-raised. It is truly an exercise of faith. I get nervous thinking about my ability to fill the Leadership Team role. May 2015 signals many changes.
Looking back and looking forward I feel satisfied and nervous. I know that God’s hand is in both feelings. God’s love and goodness overwhelms my past. My nervousness for the future is a combination of insecurity and anticipation that are eased by a sense of call. God has been with me, he is with me, and will always be with me.
Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.