In four months, I will be wrapping up a chapter in my life; I will be graduating with my Masters and move on to the next chapter (kids? Buying a house? Starting a business? Guess we will see).
As the sun begins to set on this era (metaphorically it’s about 7:00pm) I reflect once more on how I have changed since I started this chapter. When I came to Andrews I was angry, I was hurt and I had doctoral aspirations. But three years later I have found healing and clarity. While at times I have felt overwhelmingly busy, God has been working on me through the traffic.
I have found the strength and the grace to let go of my resentments. This was a huge step for me. When I arrived here, I would seek out any opportunity to speak about how I was mistreated. I do not regret this because I believe it was therapeutic and part of my healing. However, I have come to a place where I do not need to speak about it anymore to feel better. I can focus on the future and follow God’s leading.
Clarity was huge. I have learned that there is a huge difference between reading and researching. Just because I enjoy reading on a subject does not mean I will enjoy researching it! After doing research on Pauline theology, the Gospels, NT studies, OT studies, archeology, Church history and pastoral ministry I can confidently say that I am not interested in doing professional research in those fields. I enjoyed very much reading what scholars had to say, but I did not enjoy researching to find something new in these topics. I still have doctoral aspirations, but I now have clarity in what I do not what to pursue. Realizing what you do not want is just as important as realizing what you do want.
I also found clarity in who I am as a person. What do I truly enjoy? What makes me happy? What gives me purpose? In the past I thought the answer always had to be God. But I have learned that God gives good gifts to those He loves. He is the supplier and provider. He knows me better than I know myself. He knows what I enjoy, what makes me happy and what fulfills me. His providence in supplying them for me are an act of love. In gaining clarity to these questions, I am in a better position to see Gods goodness and receive what makes me happy.
My pride, my past hurts, my insecurities, and others expectations of me used to make me believe I wanted something else. In gaining clarity to who I am I have found peace and contentment with who I am. I can see now that sometimes what truly makes us happy is not as impressive as we might have hoped.
Healing and clarity are two things I do not always have, but I am always in the process of reaching for them. I read a quote on Instagram a few weeks ago that inspired me. I do not remember who said it, where I found it, or exactly how it went but the idea stayed with me (if you can find the quote I’d appreciate a reference). But the gist of the quote went like this, “The moon has taught me that it is okay to go through phases before being whole again.”
I like that.
I guess you could say, “I am going through a phase.”