When my hubby said, “I think I should go to seminary,” I laughed (should my name be Sarah?)
“Sure, if God provides,” I replied, fully expecting to still be barren financially, but God provided the tuition.
We sold our house, almost all our belongings, left the only place I knew as home for 32 years, and ventured to seminary.
I am an adventurer at heart, so trusting God and starting over seemed exciting… until the loneliness grew. Then the panic of not knowing where to shop for groceries crept in, where to take my son to play, how to find a church, and all the other newness of moving to a new, unknown place.
The transition to seminary is hard, but here are some tips and encouragements I learned that can make your season much smoother.
It will be worth it. I was blindsided with just how much time seminary studies require. It also caught me by surprise that when my hubby was home, his face was in a book. This season of seminary is more like boot camp than a weekend retreat, but we are preparing for a lifetime of Christian service. So worth the investment of a Biblical education!
Link up with other seminary wives as quickly as possible. The seminary we attend offers small group Bible Studies for seminary wives. These ladies were vital to my emotional health the first year. Fellowshipping with women going through the same adjustments and working towards the same goals are life-giving. If such a thing does not exist where your husband attends, find ways to have other seminary couples over for dinner. These wives are some of my closest friends.
Get connected to a local church as quickly as possible if you are moving to a new area. It took us more than an year to find a church home. I felt like a bird without a nest to land in. Church community will help in many ways. Get connected!
Journal and renew your mind with truth. It can be so easy to start playing mind tricks on yourself, especially when it feels like no one understands the adjustments to seminary life. It helps to write out those thoughts and then write the truths of God’s Word next to them, replacing the darkness with light.
Give yourself time (and lots of grace). The new normal is coming. It is like starting a new job. It takes at least a year for you to learn the new role and how the office functions. So too, seminary life takes at least a year to find a groove, but you will!
Build in activities of things that fill your heart and refresh your spirit. The first year I was so busy tending to the needs of my young family, I forgot to tend to the needs my own heart. Once I stepped back and built in some life-giving activities (hiking, writing, getting creative, etc.), I started to feel refreshed.
Take a class! Many seminaries will let wives audit classes or attend with their husbands. Take them up on the offer! It may help you feel more a part of the community and you may even decide to go to seminary yourself, like I did!
Most of all, remember seminary is one of the most blessed seasons of life. Never again will you be in community with like-minded ministry-bound believers. Enjoy!