Monday, May 16

What's going on

Things in my life have been a little confusing/complicated lately.
Maybe unsettled is a better word. If you've read my blog entries since April, you've read that once or twice I mentioned things going on in my life that I wasn't yet ready to share about. goes.

There are times I pray for God's guidance and I get a clear understanding of what He'd like to do or where He'd like me to go (like the decision to go to Germany). There are other times when God is (frustratingly) silent (like the decision to leave or stay in Germany). Now is also such a time.

**Sorry, I can't write without a long story to accompany it...I'll try to keep it brief but you might want to refill your coffee cup first.**

Okay, so I just graduated with a Master's of Intercultural Leadership which I have no clue how that will be used in my life, despite it being a good program/degree/experience. The initial goal was to become a career missionary. However, as my degree progressed, I became less certain that I'd be a career missionary. Don't get me wrong...I'm still very much willing to go and live and serve overseas again. I hope very much that it will be a part of my life one day but whether or not I'll live the bulk of my next 30 years overseas, is what I'm not certain of.

But because I am still interested in missions, when I went to Germany in March/April, I had lunch with a good friend of mine, who now works in the personnel office. I intentionally asked her, if I came back, what could I do? Not that I'm opposed to serving in the dorms again but I would like to consider something different perhaps. She mentioned the possibility of being a chaplain's assistant. The current female chaplain's assistant oversees the small groups, plans the short-term mission trips, and makes herself available to listen, counsel and encourage the students. The reason my friend thinks this position may open up is because this lady is trying to get pregnant. Plus, even if she stays, the middle school (6-8th) is moving to the elementary school since the elementary kids are moving to another location. So maybe there should be a chaplain and an assistant at each location. Moreover, my friend knows I have a love for teaching the Bible so she said it would be "easy" for me to pick up a class or two/week to add to my plate, if I choose. Lastly, she encouraged me to consider getting a teaching degree.

Still with me?

So since the beginning of April, the idea of getting a teaching degree has been rolling around in my head. Do I or don't I? Do I really want to be a teacher? God, what should I do? What about a full-time teacher? God, I could use your counsel. At what point do I stop the education and move into ministry? God, help, please! Am I just doing this for BFA/Germany or would I be willing to serve elsewhere? God? What happens if I start and decide I don't want to be a teacher?

Thoughts and prayers have been swirling in my head, both when I rise and when I sleep. My prayer for God's wisdom and guidance have become like a mantra.

Shortly after getting home from my vacation, I went to the BFA website. To look for inspiration or counsel or something. The one thing that stood out, that I was reminded of, is that BFA has a connection with Philadelphia Biblical Univeristy. You can work at BFA while taking classes with PBU and can earn a Master's degree. Not that I'm going to do that. I can't imagine trying to raise support for both living expenses and tuition...even though people do that. BUT...I did check out PBU (online) and feel a draw toward their campus and program. So much so that I've already started the application process.

The funny thing is that for me to get a Master's of Science in Education degree, I have to first go back to community college to pick up a few more undergrad classes for certification. I love that I just graduated with a Master's and am now going to take classes like Political Science or History 101. :) I'm planning on taking two classes in the summer and two classes in the fall with the plan of moving to Pennsylvania at the end of the year. Yes, I realise that this means I will be traveling cross-country during winter. Yes, that should be a fun trip!

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This whole thing (the trip, the college, living on the east coast near places I've always wanted to visit, the future possibilities, etc) make me excited. But it also has me tense...this is a huge change. I'm willing to do this but I want to know that God is in this and that it just isn't me fixating on this idea. And since God has been fairly silent, outside of this unexplainable draw, I don't yet feel assured that I am doing the right thing. So much of this crazy idea doesn't make sense. Plus, I'd have to take out student loans for the first time.

But the thing I find greatest comfort in is that if I move to Pennsylvania and eventually decide to scrap the whole thing or conclude that being a teacher isn't part of God's plan on my life, then dropping the program and/or moving back to Washington would not be the end of the world. Plus, I have a standing opportunity (kind of) to go to Mexico, if I should choose, to work with my friends.

So, I'm going for it. I don't understand why PA (and not any of the colleges nearby that offer education degrees). I'm putting things into action and still praying my mantra-like prayers asking for God's wisdom. He's free to stop this train whenever He so chooses. But until then, I'm moving forward.

I'll keep you all posted as more develops in this area of my crazy life.


Kaye said...

Woah! Some exciting and scary changes! I look forward to hearing more as it all unfolds!

Mindy said...

Thanks Kaye!