“so bid your troubled heart be stilled…”

To get full context for what I’m about to tell you, we have to go back about 13 years.

I grew up in a Southern Baptist megachurch, as many of you well know, and the summer after (I think) my eighth grade year some of us from my youth group went to a conference of Baptist teenagers from around the world–people from Mexico and South Korea and Ethiopia and everywhere in between. On the last day of the conference, I went forward for prayer, because I was called to some sort of ministry.

Now, if you’re not a Christian, or if you’re not a Christian in a tradition that necessarily encourages this kind of phenomenon, sentences like “The Lord spoke to me” probably strikes you as a bit silly at best and outright loony and possibly dangerous at worst. But–and even as I type this I feel really silly saying it myself–I can count a few times in my life when I’ve definitively known that God was telling me something, and I needed to take heed. Not anything for revelation to the whole church–nothing to be added to the canon–but definitely for me, and occasionally for the community I was in.

Thirteen years ago was one of them; two weeks ago was another.

Since my senior year of college, I’d been pondering going to seminary, getting a counseling degree, but I’d put it off, said “Maybe sometime later in my life,” and went to library school instead. It’s been two years since I graduated for UT, and I’ve had a couple of jobs since then, but not in my field.

So I was in the back seat of my friend’s Matrix, literally pulling out of my other friend’s driveway on the way to New Braunfels, when I got yet another call telling me, sorry, we’ve decided to go with someone else. And then this went on my head:

“What am I doing wrong? Why am I not getting a job?”

Because this isn’t what you’re supposed to be doing, and you know it. Stop running.

“But…”

Stop running. It’s okay.

It didn’t go any further than that during the actual drive up there, but I found a few quiet moments during the weekend, and finally: “Yes. Okay. I give up. Now what?”

So that’s it: I’m researching seminaries to go get a degree so I can be a counselor, and it’s freaking me out, because a) I don’t know when (although it’s looking increasingly like next fall), b) I don’t know where I’m going, c) I don’t know how I’m going to pay for this, d) it means I may have to leave Houston, and that makes me increasingly sadder every time I think about it, and e) I’m so scared that I’m going to screw it up, because what right do I have doing this when I’m such a train wreck myself?

But that’s where I’m headed, God willing. And wherever I go, He goes with me, and He will provide everything I need, and He’s already done plenty to redeem the time I’ve spent avoiding it.

I’ve mentioned before the feeling like Abraham, how I don’t know where I’m going, but I know it’ll be good. Never more so than now.

So if you pray, I guess this is a call for prayer for wisdom (because I don’t know what the heck I’m doing) and for faith (also because I don’t know what the heck I’m doing).

Thanks, friends.

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3 thoughts on ““so bid your troubled heart be stilled…”

  1. I’m praying too. Your story sounds a lot like my husband’s. Except he never finished any degree and probably spent the last 20 years, off and on, in school and has had more jobs than I can count. I think he’s finally given in to the fact that he was called into the ministry in high school. At the time, he thought it was to preach but soon after, he began to run away from God. It’s been a LONG journey, but God has started weighing apologetics on his heart lately. It’s so tough to not know where you will end up and how you will get there. It’s hard to walk by faith but I’m praying you will.

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