Following a Deeper Call

I didn’t really want to leave.
In fact, it didn’t make sense in the slightest.
It was a job I really liked. I got to do meaningful work, and I was good at it.
It paid well.
I had job security and an opportunity for growth.

A more practical person would have stayed.

They would have made the “safer” choice.

But, I did not. I could not.

I feel a deeper call.
Barely a whisper most times. From some well deep inside.
It is not loud. It rarely becomes a shout, scream, or command.

But it is constant.

Nudging me, not with a push or shove, but with a gentle shoulder tap.

Consistently encouraging surrender.

On a whim one day, I applied for a part-time job with another organization.
I’m not 100% why, because it didn’t make sense.

For someone who prides themself in always moving forward, this was a step back, a lower salary, fewer benefits, and less time.

I didn’t think it would go anywhere.
Then when it didn’t, it would just solidify for me that I needed to stay where I was.

I nailed the first interview.
Then the second.
Then I got an offer.

It all happened so very fast.
I hesitated.
But this organization pursued.

The first number they offered me was so low that I said I would have to think about it. They came back with a higher number.

I agonized over the decision. What about my family, our savings goal, cost of childcare?
But deep down the urging from the well tapped and I knew.

I knew from my heart, but not yet from my head, and they wrestled.

They still wrestle.
But I accepted the offer
Resigned from my “safe” job.
At the start of a potential recession.

I’m shifting my focus to seminary and diving in. I’m using the extra hours to pray, study, learn and take in what God has for my family and me here.

As someone who did not grow up with much money and by the grace of God clawed my way to the middle class this has been terrifying.

I have no idea how this will all turn out, but I’ve followed God into the wilderness before, and it has led me to exactly the right place for me, at the right time.

I know that I could ignore it, and choose the safer option, but I won’t.
I believe that there is something for me here. A lesson, a skill, some wisdom I need for the next season. I don’t know, but I have faith that it will be fine.

Faith is funny like that. Thriving in the space of contradiction and uncertainty.

For me, in this season I think taking a step back, may actually be the way forward.

Maybe I’ll find out soon.

“Our steps are made firm by the Lord,
When he delights in our way;
Though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong,

For the Lord holds us by the hand.

I have been young, and now am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken

Or their children begging bread.
They are ever giving liberally and lending,
And their children become a blessing.”

Psalms 37:23-26

Wrap Up! My First Year of Seminary

Last week, I wrapped up my first year of seminary. It was both a beautiful and challenging year. 

I worked full time during the week…then wrote Hebrew Bible Exegesis papers until 2 am.

Alvan and I took Aria to visit parks and birthday parties on the weekends…and I read essays on Paul and Womanist Theology on Saturday nights.

We navigated Covid closures and daycare isolations… and I processed the fact that there are multiple theories of atonement.

We cared for a baby with RSV, and then a stomach virus… while I wrote a paper on Gustavo Gutierrez and Liberation Theology.

We hosted Christmas, Easter, and a Birthday party at our house….Then I studied for Greek verb conjugation quizzes.

I cooked countless meals, (that my toddler threw on the floor)…then reviewed Hebrew vocabulary flashcards.

On our way to daycare dropoff, Aria and I listened to songs from Encanto… and on the way home, she heard my Christian History textbook on audible, and learned the history of the Nicene creed and the stories of the early church martyrs.

I missed spending time with some old friends… But gained time with new friends who have easily become “my people.” 

I lost some orthodoxy that I’d held on so tight to…but gained a deeper sense of the vastness of God and His kingdom.

I’ve learned that we can believe scripture is true, but need to regularly be reminded that it is not simple.

My faith was shaken, but “the things that cannot be shaken, remain.”

At some point during the year, I began to think that all of this was crazy and that I should probably stop and do something more reasonable….

And the next day a received notice that the faculty awarded me with a fellowship that would pay for the remainder of my MDiv. 

It was a beautifully challenging year, but God is still good, and I am grateful. 

Looking forward to next year!