Did You Hear The One About The 13-Year Youth Ministry Veteran Who Finally Decided To Apply To Seminary?

20121016-215943.jpgShe’s still waiting for the punchline.

You’ve heard of draft-dodgers? I’m a God-dodger. I’ve been dodging God about seminary for a good 12 years now. I’ve always had an excuse. You’ve probably heard me say one or two of them, actually!

During my mini-sabbatical–my week of intense vacation in early April–it became obvious to me that it’s time for me to take this next step in my call. I came to this conclusion after hours of conversation with friends, long-time and newer, over cups of coffee, lunch, phone lines and meals. And lots and lots and lots of prayer and reflection and contemplating.e

God is good, always. I am stubborn and timid, always.

My friend Jenny is excited. “Oooh! You always plan everything and you’re always so careful and deliberate, ” is essentially what she said. “Now you’ll have to take a leap and trust that God will take care of everything! This is so exciting!”

“Exciting” is a word I’ve failed to use so far. “Terrifying,” is what I tend to say instead. But I agree with everything else she said. I’m a control freak. I like to plan everything down to the very minute details. I like to stay ahead of the game and anticipate what’s next. I totally understand and appreciate the students I minister to who arrive at the mission trip site and want to know what’s for breakfast the next day, where we’ll be showering and what time we’ll have to have the vehicles packed at the end of the week in order to make it to the whitewater rafting place at what time again?

“Don’t anticipate, participate!” I’ll tell them cheerfully, even as I pass them an itinerary I carefully crafted two months prior after having made countless phone calls where I tracked down the very information they are now seeking.

In this case, it doesn’t matter how many phone calls I make…I still won’t know what’s going to happen.

I’m going to apply to seminary. That’s what I’m saying right now.

Which one? Possibly Louisville Presbyterian or Dubuque Seminary…but I’m not entirely sure.

Which degree will I pursue? I plan to work toward a Masters of Divinity degree (that’s the ordained minister degree).

Will I still work full-time? I plan to, but we’ll have to see.

How will we pay for it? I’m not exactly certain.

How long will it take me? It’s a 3 year program full-time, but I’ll likely have to do this part-time, so I’m not really sure.

What will I do when I have my MDiv? I think I know…but then I don’t really know.

That’s a lot of uncertainty up there ^^^.

Here’s the question I can answer:

What’s the first step? Become an inquirer in the Presbytery of Western Kentucky and spend a year discerning and planning.

Thank goodness. A year to pray and consider and plan…or maybe not! Maybe a year to pray and consider and still end up with lots of unknowns. Regardless, I know this: I’m being obedient by taking the first steps in the inquiry and application process.

Here’s another question I also know I can answer:

Who will support me and love me and stand with me as I figure it out? My husband, Jonas, my family, my church, my friends…

I appreciate the encouraging words and love some of you have given me in the early stages of this decision. I appreciate your prayers and understanding as I answer so many questions with, “I just don’t know yet.” God is good, always.

Have a fantastic weekend!

2 thoughts on “Did You Hear The One About The 13-Year Youth Ministry Veteran Who Finally Decided To Apply To Seminary?”

  1. It is easy for them to participate, precisely because you DID anticipate. I encourage you to embrace your attention to detail. It is a strength, which only becomes a weakness if overused. Of course, I am the woman who had to hammer in tent stakes with a skillet because someone forgot to pack them on my last camping trip ever…

    It is one thing to follow the clues to where God leads you; it is not the same thing to drift through life without purpose. I trust that you will be able to tell one from the other as you embark on this journey.

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