I can’t stop thinking about school. And not just college, but the Christian University not too far from my house. Ever since my husband and I took a tour of the campus, because of his acceptance into the Master’s of Divinity program, my heart has been crying out for more.
I was drawn to it. It’s this deep seeded desire to be there. On those grounds. In those buildings. As if, somehow, it was holy space. Holy space filled with the Holy Spirit, beckoning my soul to respond to the subtle, not so subtle, prompt.
So much inside of me is saying yes- this is my season! This is my season to step out, to be a finisher, to establish myself, to overcome strongholds, to find my courage, to increase my faith, to obey, to stretch, to try. This is my time to be bold.
I’m terrified. Terrified!
The enemy is prowling around me, hissing lies like a provoked snake; you can’t. You won’t succeed. You’re not worth the money it’d cost. You’ll just waste your time. You’re going to take too much from your family. You’re not made for more. You’re just you. Who do you think you are, anyways?
That’s when I had to take it back old-school style, in Exodus 4:11-12. Moses, having been given a great task straight from the mouth of God, responds with, “Who am I, that I should go…?” I mean, I love this question. I really love Moses for asking it. And, whether he wanted it to or not, I love that this question made it into the bible for all of us chronic self-doubters to refer to. Because obviously God set that up, given his response. His response to Moses, his response to us, his response to me as I contemplate how I can possibly earn a bachelors degree when I couldn’t even earn an associates degree at a two year college after attending for nearly two and a half years. God shut him down with this, “I will be with you.”
To paraphrase, God is like, “Umm…don’t you realize? It doesn’t matter who you are, it matters who I am.”
This exchange brings me back to a conversation I had with God. In February, I was fortunate enough to attend a leadership seminar with my church, and it was an extraordinarily enlightening experience. During one of the workshops, I remember thinking “God, why do you think I can?” and I distinctly heard in reply, “because I know that I can.”
God doesn’t need us to do or be anything except obedient and receptive of his direction. If you continue to read through chapter 4 of Exodus, you’ll find Moses coming up with four more excuses as to why he just could not carry out this request, and then in a last ditch effort to avoid his destiny, he asks God- face to face in a burning bush- to please send someone else.
Moses. Bless his heart. He’s totally my soul brotha from anotha motha. If you’ve never been knees knocking, voice quivering, hand slowly raising to cautiously obtain the attention of God so that you could whisper, audible only to His ears, “I think maybe you’re making a mistake by loving me so much”, then you’ve never truly grasped the depth of his love and adoration for you. You might have missed just how great he thinks you are.
I feel inadequate much of the time. Luckily, that’s the perfect place to be to ignite the strength and might of our Glorious Father in Heaven. Seriously. 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And in verse 10, Paul concludes with, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
As a writer, I just geek out over the irony in that sentence. The opposing adjectives. The juxtaposition between man and God. The absolute faith it requires to move forward in your extreme humanness in order to release God in you. Words are so powerful, are they not?
Paul is advocating that we stretch into those places where we feel weak because then God has the perfect place to show up, show off, and glorify His holy name!
So okay, Moses and I, we’re not in exactly the same position. I mean, he was leading an entire population to freedom and I’m just contemplating going back to school. Yet, although our differences are vast, the tie that bonds us is this: we’re both allowing fear to push us into doubt to keep us from our destiny.
Except that I won’t. I adamantly refuse. I have discussed this particular decision with my husband, friends who’s opinions matter, and mentors who want what’s best for my spiritual life…and all have said “Yes!” Deepening my faith, furthering my knowledge of God, stretching my ability beyond myself, challenging my human limitations, and believing that this is an honorable step in the direction that God has deemed my life should go: I cannot say no to any of that!
And if it’s the wrong move? Well, let’s just say I know first hand the Almighty’s ability to take a mess and turn it into a masterpiece because, that I am alive after those 2.5 years of college, is a miracle in and of itself.
It was bad, friend. Really bad.
But this? This gives me all of the toe-curling, eye-squinting, fist-pumping, feel good squeals!
So… to school or not to school? I’ve decided that I’m going to do all that I can on my end and then relinquish all the control I never had over my own future to the one who had it planned out before I was even conceived (Psalm 139:16).
I just think that’s probably always the best plan, yea?
Have you ever contemplated going back to school? Why or why not?