You may remember me sharing that last summer, Zack and I began waking up at 4:30 in the morning to read scripture, worship, and pray. It was such an enriching time for us, especially as we were navigating his job loss in March and we suddenly found ourselves with an abundance of time at home.
You read that right… We had many changes to our household last year, and it was a domino effect beginning with Zack losing his job in the middle of March.
Here’s one of the (happy) domino pieces: I’ve been accepted to graduate school at Moody Theological Seminary!
“Early to bed and early to rise”, was our motto for months.
We set up our Keurig in the basement and tip-toed down the hall at a very dark hour. One of us grabbed the half & half from the fridge, the other quietly closed the basement door. Once down the steps, we flipped on the lights in an effort to wake up. I know I blinked very quickly for the first four minutes so I didn’t fall back asleep.
I’d NEVER woken up that early *on purpose*, but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this new rhythm.
As the weeks and months passed on, the idea of continuing my studies with something more structured (like seminary!) filled my mind. I mentioned it to Zack, curious as to what he thought? An hour later he emailed me a few program details after ending a phone call with an admission counselor.
Soon it was February, and this time I had a phone call scheduled with an admission counselor. I took a lot of notes ;) How in the world does a homeschooling mother of four children begin graduate school? I wanted to know the details, and I wanted to make sure I had the capacity to submit good work.
You’re eligible to apply for our Master’s program, he said to me.
I gathered my transcripts, wrote two essays, finished my application, and submit two reference applications.
Then, the notice came: Congratulations! We are delighted to inform you that you have been accepted into Moody Theological Seminary…
And here we are, just a dozen days from my first day of graduate school.
I am BEYOND excited. I am SO ready to begin. I am THRILLED to study Spiritual Formation & Discipleship.
This is not at all what I expected to be doing during my 36th year, but I love the events God uses to craft our stories. I’m seeing things fall into place, details that go all the way back to the questions I asked during Sunday school as a child.
Except, this time I hope my parents don’t get a phone call saying I talk too much in class. That would be a bummer. Ha!
This degree will fall into practice beautifully as I continue to disciple my children, mentor women, work with Zack to mentor engaged couples, and write. I have another dream for how I’ll use this degree. I’m sure you can form some guesses… ;)
Another domino we saw fall was the wrestling of HOW I use my time and the results of such choices. The side effect, my anxiety, was absolutely horrible.
It started once I stopped waking up early to study & worship, and it ended once I submitted my application to Moody.
Did you capture that? I’ve never seen God move in my life in such a tangible way. I’m laughing a little bit now, but my gracious that was a wild domino to fall.
Now that much of that is behind me, I am amazed how strong the two forces were: the battle within my mind from below, and the war waged back from above. God certainly did not give up on me during that time. But it was quite a battle. I mean, !
Since then I have learned much about anxiety and how to redirect my thoughts. I stopped fighting the fear and leaned into the nights woven with tension (begrudgingly at first), asking God for clarity. WHY is this happening? WHAT do you want me to do with these thoughts? WHO can I be praying for? HOW can I pray for myself? WHAT in my life do I have agency over?
And suddenly it was so crystal clear: apply to Moody Theological Seminary.
PS. do you see Zack’s hand giving me the “I love you” sign in the shadow above? GOD, THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME SUCH A GENEROUS MAN TO DO MINISTRY WITH.