I haven’t written a personal post in a while, so I thought I’d give you a little update.
A Quick Recap
Jennifer and I have been in Orlando for 7 months now. It has been just about a year since I quit my job as a campus minister in order to go to seminary. I’m not going to lie, it has been a tough journey. We almost didn’t come because our house wasn’t sold only weeks before we were planning to move. That obsticle was removed and we went into high gear trying to get down to Florida asap. Once here, things were good but tough.
Though not an entirely smooth transition, seminary itself was everything I had hoped it would be. I loved every minute of it (well… except the minutes spent writing papers… I don’t like papers). The professors were amazing and I was growing in my understanding of God and scripture. Not only that, but I could feel myself being transformed. It was amazing.
The Summer Sets In
The summer has been really difficult. For one, I have WAY too much free time. I’m taking two classes this summer, so there has been some reading and writing, but generally speaking my academic schedule is pretty light. Along with that, business has been really slow. While this has allowed me to work on some other projects and catch up on some things I’ve wanted to tweak on goingtoseminary.com, it has been a constant source of stress… no work = no money.
I also think that the summer has been tough on my wife because I am home all day, every day. Since I am self employed, I work out of an office in my house. I think there is an added stress in the house when dad is home all day. Not just for my wife and kids, but for me too… I’m not used to being in my house 24 hours a day… so, I think that is starting to wear us all down.
The Money Well Runs Dry
As you might guess, the whole no work = no money thing is a big deal. When we decided to come to seminary we made a step of faith that was informed by us crunching some numbers and thinking that we could make it for a year before things got really hairy (financially). Our hope was that, once down here God would either begin to prosper my web business or provide for us in some other way that he saw fit.
With the sale of our home we were able to put a nice chunk of money into savings. This money was designed to pay our rent and cover any monthly shortages (should we have them). Well, as you guessed, we’ve had more than a few shortages and every month the savings disappears quicker than we had planned. So, last night as I sat looking at course offerings for next semester I had to ask myself, “what do you do when things don’t go as planned?”
Well, since things are not going entirely as planned, here are some of the options I’ve come up with:
- Have faith, register for classes, keep walking forward.
- Have faith, register for only 2 classes, loose your scholarship, get a part time job
- Have faith, don’t register for any classes, get a job
- Have faith, move back to Richmond, get a job
- Have faith, change from M.Div to MA in Biblical Studies, take out a loan, try to knock out all my classes in under 8 months
- Have faith, play the lottery
All six options have some merit and on any given hour I fluctuate between which one makes the most sense. I do my best to remember that all six options require that I have faith. I also try to remind myself that the challenges that we are facing are just as much a part of the journey and what God is teaching us. Though this is not a course for credit, this is part of my seminary education. Through these difficult days I trust that God is working in me and my family to shape us more into the image of his son.
That said, decisions do need to be made. I do need to register or not register. I do need to look for a job or apply for a loan. I can’t simply hang out in the valley of indecision forever. So, it is crunch time.
Table For Two
If you’re in seminary or considering seminary, odds are you’ll be joining me at this table. Now, your situation will probably be different, but from what I’ve seen we all face adversity of one sort or another while we are here (can I get an “amen” Terry?). It is highly likely that things will not go as you planned. In it all, just remember that God has not abandoned you. He loves you and is work in you and through you… that doesn’t mean it will always be easy and comfortable… but have faith friend, have faith.