A few years ago, I was sitting in the living room of my apartment watching television when I got to thinking about my future. It had been a whirlwind; I’d walked away from my career in sales to pursue a long ignored call into the ministry and I started Bible College with the intention of getting into seminary.
Anxiety washed over me. Could I really do this? Could I really achieve my goals and make it to seminary? Four years ago, it seemed like a distant, almost impossible dream. I often questioned myself, wondering if I’d made the right decisions. Sometimes I still do. I’m still not sure I’m worthy of any of this, indeed, I doubt I ever will be.
But that particular night, I needed some type of reassurance, some way of making the intangible more tangible. So I put on my long wool coat and fedora hat and walked out into the biting December wind and just decided to drive to the seminary I wanted to attend one day.
I made this long trek in the middle of the night, a light snow was falling. I arrived at the seminary campus and found that it was mostly deserted as most of the students had left the dorms and apartments to go home for the holidays. I parked the car and just walked up and down the campus. I tried to imagine myself being a student there, being a seminarian. It was difficult. I didn’t even know if I’d be able to make it through college, let alone seminary.
So I did the one thing I always do when I feel weak and am in doubt. I prayed. As I walked up and down the grounds of the seminary, I prayed “Lord please help me get here. Please make this real. Please make this happen.”
Now here it is four years later, and that distant dream has been realized with God’s help. I graduated with my Leadership and Ministry degree Summa Cum Laude. Not only did I get accepted to the seminary, I also got a partial scholarship. I’m already well into my first semester and while I am enjoying my classes and the work, it is very overwhelming. It is a whole new world and a greater challenge than any I have yet faced.
It is no wonder that I find myself wresting with the same kind of nerves and anxiety. Am I really cut out for this? Can I do it? But I remind myself of Paul and his Missionary Journeys. I’m sure he had his doubts too…but he pressed on. I must learn to do the same. Perseverance has become my motto, my creed.
I’ve overcome a lot of adversity, challenges and pain to get here. I know there will be more of that on this new journey, but I must once again persevere. This is why my favorite passage in the entire Bible is Romans 5: 3-4 “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character; hope.” I must live my these words.
And as a new journey begins, one must sadly come to a close. I joined this forum several years ago as a place to learn to write about, articulate and defend my beliefs as well as learn from people who hold different beliefs than I. I never imagined that I would come to care about it so much. I got so busy with my school work that I completely dropped off the forums. When I came back here last December, I saw that my last post had been over three years ago.
But I never forgot about this place. I looked forward to a time when I could come back and resume my discussions and debates with everyone. When I finished college in December, I finally had that opportunity. I started writing like mad again; catching up with old forum friends and making new ones. I started this blog, having never really blogged before in my life. But with words of encouragement from friends like MarkDohle I kept writing and I watched in amazement as my readership began to soar. I had no idea the impact this would have.
I have been a writer since I was a little kid, and this blog has provided me a wonderful outlet to use this God-given ability and to glorify Him in the process. It has made for a wonderful several months of writing. I couldn’t be happier.
But because I know the demands of seminary are so great, I must regretfully draw my time here to a close; both on the blog and the forums. This is a farewell, of sorts.
First and foremost, I want to thank all of my readers. You have honored me with your presence here and that you took the time to read my posts and comment on them. I also want to thank some of my friends on the forum: MarkDohle, Paranoid Android, LibstaK, Jor-el, and then, Liquid Gardens, Shadowhive, XenoFish…and so many others…you’re all amazing and I’m blessed to know you, even on an internet forum. Please feel free to contact me on here; I will regularly check my messages even if I don’t have time to post on the forums. I’d even be willing to give out my personal email or social media contact info if any of you wish to get in contact with me like that. Just send me a message on here and let me know. You guys will ever remain in my thoughts and prayers. Please pray for me as well, that the Lord will help me to walk this seminary journey the whole way and complete it, however difficult the roads may be.
I also want to send a special shout out to the guy who basically became my forum “arch-nemesis,” Davros of Skaro. We had some really memorable exchanges over the past several months, and I enjoyed them immensely. I won’t forget our debates. Thank you Davros for challenging me and pushing me so many times, and I hope you won’t be too offended when I say that I will also remember you in my prayers!!
Thank you, everyone, for an amazing journey. I am going to miss this place; it saddens me to even write this post. But I have to emphasize that this goodbye hopefully will not be permanent. This is temporary. I will still read the forums on here and post occasionally when and if I have the time. I will also leave the lights on and the door unlocked….when I’m on break from seminary from time to time, you will most certainly see me popping up on the forums and on this blog. I have to go on this new journey for now, but the wonderful forums of UM and the Urban Contemplative blog will remain as my vacation home.
Until next time, goodbye and God bless……