Well, it was a short adventure, but a good one. I have withdrawn from Seminary. Yes, after just seven weeks. But that was enough. It was enough for me to learn what I needed to learn, for now. I knew going in that it was an exploratory venture. That I would ‘check it out and see’. I also knew that there was a chance that it would be temporary. Whenever I was struggling to learn the material, I would pray:
“Lord, I know I am going to learn something. Please help me learn what You want me to learn, even if that is different than what my professors want me to learn, or even what I want to learn. Help me learn the lessons You have planned for me. Amen.”
I have figured out from experience that the lesson is not always what we think it is. So, what did I learn? I learned that I still do not fully understand my call. I re-learned that we can always make a U-turn, that we always have choices. And I was reminded that God is always leading us, if we are willing to follow.
This last one makes me think of Vacation Bible School when I lead kids around the church grounds between sessions. Many times, I will take the long way around and circle a picnic table or the fountain just to see if they will follow (and because it is more fun!). When they were younger, the kids always followed even when they wondered why. But this year, the group was older and they did not follow and it made me sad. I pray that I always follow God’s lead even when it makes no sense to me or others.
As I have mentioned before, my word this year is ‘confidence’. It can be tempting to let something like this shake my confidence, but now I actually have more confidence in many ways. After getting feedback from professors and deans on my assignments, I have more confidence in my writing and speaking abilities. I have more confidence in talking to people I don’t know and more confidence in sharing my story. I have more confidence in my ability to discern when I am on the wrong path, or in the wrong timing. I have more confidence in being authentically me. I have confidence in the loving people along the path who want to help me discover God’s will for me rather than pushing me to pursue their will. Having worked many years in the corporate world, that has not always been my experience with people, and it is a refreshing and nurturing change. I also have confidence in the support of my friends, family, and church community. I have confidence that new opportunities will arise as I continue to discern and pursue this calling to share my faith.
I am really grateful for the experience, and I am so glad I went. Can’t wait for the next adventure!
So rather than “Woes”, I like “The Adventures of a Seminary Dropout” instead.
p.s. For those of you concerned that I may be ‘throwing away my shot’ (my daughter will be so excited that I included a Hamilton reference), I want you to know that my standing as a Seminary student is good for a full year. I can choose to go back if I feel that is the right thing to do. It is really great to have so many wonderful options.
Now off to continue discerning….
Dear Loving and Faithful God,
my Wise Teacher and Guide –
I pray that I always have confidence in Your Guidance and Your Leading and Your Path, U-turns and all.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
~ Proverbs 3:5