This is a post that I’ve wanted to do for a while. It’s more of my story and how I ended up in seminary in NC and its a long one. So grab something you like to drink and enjoy.
I went to Christian school, I was in church every time the doors were open because I wanted to be there, not because someone was making me. I was saved when I was seven and baptized on Mother’s Day the next year. This story–the one I’m going to tell you today–starts on Wednesday night when I was sixth grader.
There wasn’t really nothing special about that Wednesday night, I can’t tell you when it was but I do know we had a guest speaker–don’t ask me his name because I couldn’t tell you if you paid me–and two things I remember from his sermon: 1) he used a pendulum and 2) he talked about being called into the ministry. I thought maybe that was something I was supposed to respond to but I just wasn’t sure so I left and went home. Sunday morning, I got the feeling again but I still wasn’t sure so I didn’t respond until Sunday night. I can still remember walking to talk to Keith from the far right front section of the sanctuary and talking to some woman about call I was feeling. Someone called it a call to missions but I quickly corrected them. As sixth grader, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of my calling so I decided that I was going to be youth minister’s wife. (Are my Southern Baptist roots showing?)
At the time, I was going to be a teacher and eventually decided on middle school history–I know, that sounds insane but you have to understand that I love middle schoolers. I know, I’m strange. But my plans changed when I was sophomore in high school and fell in love with fiction writing. I slowly began to realize that was what I wanted to spend my life doing and began to research the best path. I quickly landed on journalism for my major at college. I had ideas for conferences I wanted to, I have a distinct memory of my mom getting me to talk to Nikki at 301 (Student Leadership University 301) about some ideas I had.
My college search landed me on the beautiful campus of Samford University in the fall of 2009. I was going to be a Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) major. I settled in and fell in love with everything. I was home for Christmas break and my friends and I were looking for something to do on New Year’s. So, we decided to go on date with Jesus. Rachel and I invited our friends, Cara and Anna over, told them to bring a nice dress, and proceeded to lock them in my room and bathroom so we could get everything ready. Rachel and I set up four stations around my house: 1) at the dining room table was a place for you to read the word on your “dinner date”, 2) at the kitchen table was a place for you to pray while you had “coffee talk”, 3) in the living room was a place for you to think about what God had in store for the new year while you “talked about future plans” 4) in the guest room there was paper for you “write a thank you note” to God. Once everyone was ready, we turned on a CD and said “After three songs, rotate.” We finished in time to watch the ball drop before we sat on my bed and planned a girls event out of that night. We went to my youth minister a couple weeks later and said “we want to do this” and he gave us the go ahead.
Thus began the eight months of planning that included many elements trips, lots of emails, a moved date which resulted in speakers having to be rearranged, and lots of stress. Before I get to actual day of the event, there are some things you need to know. About April, I was on the phone with friend from Passion and I mentioned that was doubting whether or not I was in right major and was beginning to consider going to seminary. I made the decision to not take take JMC classes for the fall semester. That summer was insane and we managed to pull off Love Story on August 17, 2010 had 58 girls come. I definitely count it as a success.
The reason that I began to doubt my major was because planning girls events, organizing and even speaking at them was something I could see myself doing for the rest of life, it just felt right. In this process, I also began to explore the possibility of going to seminary. I spent from January 2010 to January 2011 debating whether or not I was in the right major. But after a lot of praying, many conversations, and one very important night at Passion 2011. The world tour video played, a girl prayed over us in Chinese, and a Brazilian artist who sang God of this city in Portuguese. I remember thinking, “I want a ministry like this” and it was like God said “you can have it.” Right then and there, I decided to stay JMC because I could use everything to start my own ministry some day and that I would be going to seminary when I graduated.
Senior year of college rolled around and I was beginning to look at seminaries. I wasn’t quite sure what to do but I eventually found myself on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the middle of a Sunday afternoon 15 hours from home without my car, not knowing a soul. I loved my tour, my tour guide was awesome and it was just me and her from 9 until about 2–Talk about overwhelming. I liked SWBTS but it was a little too far from home for my liking. About the time, I was getting ready to go Texas, our college ministry assistant, who I had logged many hours talking to about seminary, and her husband moved to New Orleans to be the youth ministers at First Baptist NOLA. I honestly thought that my answer so I began to make plans to visit them and the NOBTS. I liked it, I really did but my options for living were a dorm or dorm-style apartment and I was currently living in apartment with my own room and I knew I couldn’t go back. It’s funny how the littlest things can turn you off. I had spent three months thinking that I was moving to New Orleans and it was time to adjust my thinking. I knew that I needed to look at Southeastern but the problem was I didn’t have a lot of free time second semester senior year. I was home over Spring Break and my parents wanted me to make a decision but I knew I had to visit Southeastern first. I ended up coming to NC the next weekend and I just felt at home. I think one of the big reasons was because I was actually around people.
The craziest part of this whole story is that my application finally got finished the day I arrived in South Africa so I got my acceptance, applied for housing, registered for orientation all in South Africa. I got home from SA and two weeks later packed my bags and moved to NC. It was one of the most insane transitions of my life, I think it was also one of the reasons I didn’t really deal with reverse culture shock. When I got here, I didn’t know anyone but my friend, Karin and her husband, Ethan, but I quickly made friends. I know this is exactly where I’m supposed to be right now.
Living in NC has been an amazing adventure and I love it. I can’t wait to see what all the Lord has in store for the rest of my time here. So, I’ve updated the 101 in 1001 page, check it out. I’ll be back, eventually. Just do me a favor, be praying for my family, that’s really the only thing I can say as to where I’ve been and when I’ll be back.