…And so it begins.
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.” But more on Jeremiah’s prophesies later…
So, the logical question to ask is, why begin a blog? Why bother to blog in the first place? After all, there are so many blogs out there in cyberspace for anyone to read. But I want to record my last semester as an undergrad, and the moments leading up to my entry into Princeton Theological Seminary in September. With this goal in mind, I will continue. Who am I and why might I want to go to seminary, you might ask? (Please ask! I LOVE answering that question, as the answer possibilities are literally endless, but in my case, quite specific!) With my trusty beast in my lap (Kate, yorkie, 5 lbs of adorable mushy cuteness), and my favorite beverage at my side (diet, preferably Pepsi), I am prepared to lay the whole story out for all to hear. So here goes.
I was raised in the Reformed Church in America, the sister church of the Presbyterian Church (USA), not to be confused with the similar Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). A beautiful marble wonder of a structure, I always felt at home among the velvet-upholstered pews and hymnals. Little did I know at the age of 5, while singing along with the organ to “How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord” and “How Great Thou Art” that years, years later, I would be making those same tunes a part of my theme song. Not blatant enough? Ok, so at 5, I never realized that I would be studying to stand in the pulpit and lead an entire congregation in those same hymns years and years later. But here I am. Obviously, I am leaving out quite a bit, including practically my entire upbringing. While most of it isn’t relevant, I feel that some of it is. Like I said, I was raised in the church, and did practically everything there was to do there during my Public School days. I sang in the choir, was involved in the White Gift Service (the most amazing Christmas pageant ever put on with sweet musical numbers and costumes ala-1990, but nonetheless a church tradition that every girl looks forward to from the first grade…), preached as a senior, and went to youth group on Sunday nights religiously. This level of involvement – surprisingly enough – continued into my college years, even escalated to a higher level.
I elected to go to Smith College after I graduated from The Bronxville School (Bronxville, NY, population ?), following in the footsteps of both my mother and also coincidentally, my 9th grade church confirmation mentor. A 2800-student women’s college nestled in the Pioneer Valley, Smith College is known for turning out strong, eloquent and empowered women, like Julia Child who go on to rule the world and kick butt in the process. Going to Smith was clearly a sign from God, as now that I look back on it, I see that going to a women’s college was a part of God’s plan for my life, much like what Jeremiah was talking about. (Clearly I’m a Smithie, as that sentence was structured like an essay argument…) At Smith, I took classes on Bible for fun, fully intending to complete a Chem or bio major. However, after Chem 111 royally slaughtered me, (which I took as a sign from God) I switched my intended major to religion, with a concentration in New Testament. The pieces began to fall into place. I saw how much my classmates were painstakingly struggling through calc and econ homework, when I could read the Bible and study God’s Word for credit. I felt as though a fire was ignited within me. I loved my major, and wanted to take any class that the 5-colleges had to offer about Bible, Jesus or God. I studied with professors who encouraged me to find my place in the Word, and follow my dreams.
It was at this time that I began to look into ministry as a career. Until then, I had never met a female minister in RCA, let alone did I know that they existed. But God’s plan outranked any idea that I might have about the possibility (and even reality) of becoming a minister. Right after I graduated from high school, my church hired a female minister for the first time in its over 100 year history. It was almost as though God was showing me that what I wanted for my life was totally possible, and was even giving me a person to walk me through the whole process. C, as I shall call her, has guided me through discerning my calling (aka figuring out whether or not it is my purpose in life to serve God through full-time ministry), looking for ministry opportunities, searching for seminaries, choosing my denomination, applying, and now, getting into seminary. It is so clear now that I was meant to go into ministry full time. And now that the opportunity has presented itself (meaning that the dream I had nearly 4 years ago is now more than simply a dream, but a clear and bright reality), there is so much to talk about.
But for now, enough about me. To bring it all together, why did I mention Jeremiah 29:11-14 before? (Please refer back to the bolded Biblical text at the beginning of the post. Jeremiah so nicely mentions to us that God does things that we may not understand at first, and may cause us some momentary Earthly grief. But in the end, God has our best interests in mind. Who would have guessed that little me would grow up to hopefully become a minister? I know I sure wouldn’t have initially! But like I said, God knows what He has in store for you (and me), even though, however hard you might try, He doesn’t always tell you upfront. With all this in mind, my story is much like what Jeremiah describes. God’s plan for me as far as I know and can tell is to go into full-time church ministry, and having gotten a taste of what He has for me, I can’t help but keep going and find Him every day.
Ok, enough. Much Love and more to come!