Saturday, August 1, 2009

Seminary orientation

Just got the details on seminary orientation, to be held August 29-31. I'm excited, yes, to get started--but even more than being excited, I'm curious. What does the mysterious "Seminary Life" session, held in the chapel, entail, exactly?

What will it be like to rub shoulders with old and new students and to start to get a feel for the style of each of my first-semester professors? Since they have asked all of our spouses to attend, what exactly do they want my husband to do during the "seminary wives meeting" while I am at library orientation?

The whole thing is a little surreal, honestly. First off, it's hard to believe I'm finally beginning this journey. Couldn't have predicted it when I left my job and my community, married and moved a year and three months ago. Yet it is so obvious to us now that both my husband and I are excited for me to dig in.

God has a way of revealing our calling, often as we put one foot in front of another, as one conversation leads to another, as we discover that our gifts are given to be used and that we long to be good and gracious stewards. And that is how this journey has unfolded.

My husband David and I have become fully convinced that not going to seminary for me would be an act of disobedience. And since we desire to obey, the choice has become obvious. What we haven't understood and has concerned us some is how we will pay for my seminary education. We have prayed about this and discussed numbers and ideas, and we would love to do this without going into any debt. My freelance writing business has been spotty due to the economy, but we knew we had the first semester covered, between scholarship and savings.

In the last few weeks, God's plan for this certainly seems to be unfolding. Freelance opportunities have suddenly popped up that should stretch through this first semester. And when all is said and done, if all goes as planned, it looks like the income received will be just about right to cover second semester. I kid you not.

I'd like to have everything figured out, of course, before starting my first class. But that would not cause me to depend on my heavenly Father as my provider. And so this "provide-as-you-go" approach makes sense to me. It keeps me praying to my Abba for His grace and provision to follow our obedience. It keeps me connected to the Vine. 

John 15:5-8, The Amplified Bible

"I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned. If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine."


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