I took my final seminary exam Monday night. After a lot of hard work and juggling family and work life, I’ve completed my time at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. All at once, I’m delighted, relieved, and thankful.
Today, I felt an invitation to slow down and reflect on the experience over the course of the last 14 months with my professors and the authors I read. These men and women are brilliant and humble teachers of God’s Word and have greatly encouraged me. But, I find myself moving into the personal layer of my growth with God throughout this special time.
One might think the biggest thing I learned was facts about the Bible and the methods of interpretation developed and used throughout church history. While understanding more about the dynamics and different parts of Scripture is necessary and a high value for all who want to know God, I find myself favoring how God has personally changed me throughout my seminary experience.
Like many of us, I grew up in church environments that valued appearing right over transformation. Isn’t that sad?
I continue to witness the temptation for all of us to fall into this broken mindset. We inadvertently forget Jesus came to save us from the exact ways we protect and prop ourselves up because of
sin's effect on us.
Jesus and I have walked together throughout this time.
He’s invited me to let the pressure go that I thought I had to have on myself, especially because I’m a woman in the church. (The sad reality is, women of God feel like they have to work harder to prove themselves worthy but that's actually part of the enemies lie - let’s talk about that more later.)
He’s enabled me to walk humbly, thanking Him for His power at work within me instead of relying on others to encourage me. He’s shown me more about what it's like to enjoy living from a posture of openness to let Him lead in the ways He knows the Holy Spirit can accomplish change in us.
And the most vulnerable, are you ready to hear this because apparently, I'm ready to tell you. He’s shown me I’m not a mistake. How He designed me has never seemed to fit in the church model and I've battled with that thought for years. He created me well and wants to use me in a unique way.
I’m meant to be here.
My time in seminary was life-changing, not because of the gift of good professors, the books, and God’s Word, but because of God Himself. Everything He gives us and the importance of these things are meant to lead us straight to Him.
So, if my time in seminary has done anything, it’s made me fall more in love with Him and shown me what life to the full is again.