I received my letter of acceptance to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary today. I never really questioned whether I would get in; I am a little prideful when it comes to my previous academic success. But I have to say when the tiny envelope showed up amongst the junk mail, I snatched it up eagerly to see if it was an acceptance letter, secretly thinking to myself "thin letter normally means rejection."
I am nervous about registering for my first class. I'm excited, granted, but really...I feel a TON of pressure. I assumed five years ago that I was done with school. I had had my fill. So for the past five years, I have been able to hold onto the "trophy" of having never made a B on a report card all the way through graduate school without any additional effort. Now, I have a challenge.
I am a wife and a mother. My number one priority is serving my family in a way that is pleasing in His sight, but I am not just going to seminary for the fun of it...I really believe I am meant to do this. I doubt it will be easy, especially with my main focus being on my boys. I believe that God will give me the strength I need to continue on with my good record, but deep down, I am terrified that I won't be at the same level I was after having such a long break and adding my new roles to the mix. And I also hope I'm not in for some grand "lesson" from God on education at my former idea of success' expense as I prepare to begin homeschooling in a few years.
I'm not who I was back then. My view of education really has shifted (atleast when I am thinking about my boys). I'm really not as interested in getting the A out of these classes as I am learning deep truths of God so that I can help people in some way. When I was in college for education, I had professors that looked for certain answers, and I had no problem giving them what they wanted, even if it wasn't exactly what I got from it all, because the ultimate goal was that pretty letter that kept my parents paying for school, got me scholarships, and gave me first choice on where to live on campus. I won't really have that option this time around. I won't be able to "fake" what I learned or fabricate something that He hasn't revealed to me, or at least I have no interest in doing that.
I'm not sure what the future holds. Maybe I'll have the same kind of success I did back then. Maybe I won't. All I know for sure is that I am going to pray with all my might that I learn something I can use and that I won't be so devoted to something that means so little that I miss what He has to say to me through this part of my journey. Because my ultimate goal now isn't that A. It's having a marriage that represents Christ and His church, raising my boys to have an authentic faith in the Lord and exemplify biblical manhood, and helping those that He sends my way where they have need.
But, hey, wouldn't it be nice if I still got A's?
No matter how much we grow, and how far we come, we should always take time to evaluate our hearts. The pressure to make an A is going to be on me with every class I take. It's hard to lay something down that has defined me for so long. It is going to be a challenge to keep my eyes focused on Christ rather than grades, but it is a challenge I am ready to accept. So today, I am laying down any fear I have of letting anyone (including myself) down or having my best in this stage of my life not be "A" worthy. And I am going to pick up the truth that God is with me and has a plan right now for everything He is going to teach me through this journey. I resolve to give my very best to Him. My best as a wife, a mother, and a student.
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7