Posted by: JennyRain | August 25, 2009

Questioning Destiny

 

When is enough truly enough?

For the last five years I have been pursuing a Masters degree – seminary actually. I started as an MDiv student, with an emphasis in counseling. As my call became more clarified I moved into a straight MDiv.

Somewhere along the way I realized that though I loved the classes and instructors, getting an MDiv does not qualify me to do what I really enjoy, working with women. Though McAfee opens the doors for women to be ordained, I (as a Baptist woman) have come to realize that: (a) The ordination of women is not a non-negotiable for me; (b) As I become healthier and realize leadership is a gift from God whether or not the New Testament called Phoebe a Deacon or not has no relevance in my life; (c) I never really cared about ordination to begin with, so what does the theology matter?!?

A degree and ordination are both great feathers to have in my cap, but are these things worth the battles?

I am questioning whether or not to continue this path.

Tired%20BoxerI have fought so many battles that other seminary students do not seem to have to fight. Though in the top 10% of my class at school, I have gone through my savings to get there. I have heard the statement over and over – “where God guides, He provides” – yet I have come through this degree over $4,000 in debt and still struggling to finish – looking at yet another tuition bill I do not have the money to pay.

When I got married and moved to DC, I watched as God moved in the McAfee leadership to create a two-year degree, thus putting me in a position to be within two classes of finishing an MACM – which would still give me a seminary degree, just not an MDiv. Great compromise!

Yet again as the semester begins, I once again find myself fighting more battles. Money. Scheduling. Class approvals. Motivation.

Battle after battle has seemingly plagued me from finishing and I am at a point where I have lost my fight. If I God qualifies the called, and His gifts and calling are irrevocable, why am I killing myself to finish this degree? Is this the path I am supposed to be on? And if so, where is the provision?

Am I in seminary because I feel called by God to be there, or because I felt that I needed an external indicator that proves I am a credible theologian (whatever that is!).

 

 

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Responses

  1. I feel your pain. My MDiv took twelve long years as a part-time student. For me, it was worth the struggles. I use the plural of that word because there were many struggles along the path to completing this degree.

    One of those struggles came at around the mid-point of that work. I considered similar questions. What is my call? Should I finish this degree? Should I change to a school that offered a shorter track to the end? These are tough questions.

    Now I have the degree, but my calling isn’t quite what I thought. Twelve years earlier I began seminary with the intent of taking a few clases to help me become a better Sunday school teacher. Along the way I began preaching and even was pastor of a small congregation but now only do pulpit supply. Now I am writing. (I hope you see me in print soon.) It is amazing how our outlook and our calling changes. Life is not stagnant.

    Wherever God sends you, should it be Nineveh or New York, go. Whatever your hands find to do, then do it knowing God has blessed you and will continue to bless in the struggles of life as well as in the times when all goes according to plan. You are so gifted. Your friendship and your life have blessed me. I am confident it has and will continue to bless others as well.

    Our chosen paths twist and turn from beginning to end. We cannot see the final outcome. Our vision extends no further than the curve up ahead. I cannot tell you which direction to go – I dare not even try. Trust that all of life is good because you are blessed as you traverse this God-ordained life.

    No matter your final choice of direction, know that God is with you always – even to the end of the world.


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