I would love to say that my journey has been easy, but it’s not always so. I know that in a lot of ways I am extraordinarily blessed, but this does not mean I haven’t had my own challenges along the way. There is much that I could say about my life and perhaps I shall visit more specifically on particular stories later, but for now, here is the SparkNotes edition:
I’m about to finish my fourth year at Asbury Theological Seminary. Oh, how I love Asbury. My time here has been deeply meaningful for me. There is something special about the relationships I have here; there’s something more, something way deep inside that resonates on a whole other level. I like to think that the presence of God dwelling here might have something to do with that. When I stepped onto campus on a visit during the summer before I officially made the decision to attend, I knew that this place would be important for me. I knew because I felt the same thing as when I step into the holy ground of Blue Lake Camp where I have encountered the presence of God dwelling in that place so many times before.
Yet dwelling in His shadow has not prevented me from experiencing the pains and perils of this world. It seems that I have actually experienced the greatest depths of my sorrow while attending seminary. Death crept close to me. My first year, a teacher from high school, who became a mentor to me as I became a teacher, committed suicide. The following year, a student from that one year that I taught, also committed suicide. My third year was my toughest, for it was my own death that I began fighting when I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and a thyroid disorder that left me in the worst shape that I had even been in my life. The third year sorrow grew when my uncle passed away suddenly; I grieved, yet was unable to be with my family to share in theirs. Then that summer, after having some hopes crushed, I returned home for the first time in a long time and watched as my grandmother, a great spiritual mentor and prayer warrior, wither away until her suffering finally ended. In the fall of my fourth year, death came to the marriage of my parents as they divorced.
The events that cause my sorrow grow stronger with each passing of the semester, and yet, I know that God is good. He still sits on the throne of heaven. His love and mercy have been spoken to me in such abounds by my friends, my classmates, and my teachers. I thank the Lord that I am here at Asbury as I experience these tragedies in my life. I am thankful for God, despite what has happened in my life, for what He has done for me far outshines anything that I have experienced. I hope to love and serve God fully, both in the present and in the future for which I am preparing and for which I am being prepared. And this is where my journey truly begins…