I’ve posted that I will be moving back to St. Louis in 2 months. Yes, Two months and 3 days from today, I will graduate college. I’m thrilled to move on into the next stage of life! I am frightened about moving back to St. Louis.
Moving back to St. Louis is almost worse than moving to a place where nobody knows me. The person who everybody thinks they know is a close copy of me, but is a completely different person than who I am now. They know the Heather who was in high school–who desired to follow Christ but didn’t know how. Who went out and partied to fill the gaps that remained. Who was rude and had an anger problem. Who couldn’t orate why she believed the things she did.
Then there’s the Heather they may be Facebook friends with. Have you ever known somebody better on Facebook or Twitter than you did in real life? You might really like them online; like all their statuses, retweet their links, and even have conversations with them. But then you meet them in person, and it’s kind of nerve-wracking. What am I to expect from this person? What will face-to-face interaction even be like? It’s a very strange notion that we even have these type of relationships, but such is our culture. I’m afraid that my old friends might have painted a picture of me, but might not understand the full me or even may be disappointed with who I really am.
As I mentioned the other day, I have some mending to do with friendships. And how does that work, exactly? I know that the way I operate relationships has changed drastically. The way I love people is completely different than the way I “loved” people in high school. My desires are completely different. I find no desire in things that I used to.
So basically…I’m starting from scratch, building new relationships with people (even if I previously knew them), yet there’s this evil twin of mine that they know that’s impairing their judgement of who I am. Snap crackle pop. I just can’t seem to win right now!
Although, the idea of starting from scratch is refreshing. I know there’s much work to do.
Hey everybody! I haven’t posted in over a month, which is odd for me but has been the trend for a few months now…I’m going to say that I’m going to get better, but that is probably false. I took some time today to write a few posts that have been on my internal to-do list and in my journal for a while now, and they will get posted daily this week.
In my quest in trying to figure out a few things about what I’m supposed to be doing with my life when I graduate, only a few things were made clear to me: God isn’t going to divinely reveal it in a way that is clear-cut and obvious. There is a journey involved that I must go through. That being said, I tried many approaches to this journey. The angle that I went at it was trying to figure out, “What do I desire the most?”
I tried the location thing—I desire a large city. I’m not cut out for the country any more that I have tried the last four years. I have desired to move to Chicago since my freshman year of high school. My family is in St. Louis…and many other factors. I also thought about what I wanted my role in youth ministry to look like—do I want to work in a church, in a non for-profit, etc. Do I want to be full-time, part-time, etc? I like working at treatment facilities; do I want to continue that? Do I continue education and pursue seminary?
Many of my answers to those questions not only varied, but honestly didn’t matter that much to me. None of those things were things that I necessarily desired for my life; they were things that, if they happened, I’d be able to glorify God no matter what. None of those things were desires that were set apart or defined something special for me.
With the things going on in my family, I realized that the one thing I desire right now is for my sister to grow in the Lord and be rescued from her current situation (more on that tomorrow). She is the defining desire that I have right now, and if I were to go back to St. Louis I would be able to do any of the things I previously listed and still be with her.
So that’s the plan. St. Louis. That’s all I got! I’ve been applying around a bit where I can find something. I’m in a new part of my journey that is involving reevaluation of my denominational heritage and decision to continue in that (women aren’t accepted in a majority of our churches as teachers). I’m open-minded and knowing that the next 69 days are going to be crazy and essential in order to grow further :).
I had the opportunity this week to visit a seminary. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to think. Going into college, I was just excited about getting an undergrad degree. As college progressed, I began to think more and more about seminary. Seminary is basically grad school that is only focused on theological degrees.
The same concerns that I had before visiting seminary are the same concerns I have now. Which is discouraging, but at the same time all my questions were answered and now I have a lot to think about.
Here are some of the things I’m thinking about.
- Seminary seems like an extension of my undergraduate degree in ministry. Most of the people who attend seminary have their undergraduate in something completely unrelated to ministry or theology. Most of the classes they are taking I have already taken. Granted, they are at a much higher level of difficulty, but they are similar. A lot of churches require for youth ministers to have a seminary degree, but I wonder if, because my undergrad is essentially the same thing, if it really matters.
- If in fact it does matter, do I want to be in a church that requires seminary? I know that it’s extremely important to have training in theology and such; that is why my undergrad is in ministry. Duhhh. But I don’t know if I desire to work in a fancy-pants church. I honestly would rather just go to the inner-city and live among the desperate and give them the raw gospel. You don’t need seminary to do that. Heck, you don’t need college to do that. Yet I am in college trying to make myself smarter. I’m afraid that if I get any smarter, I’ll become super-arrogant. I’ve exhibited the signs. There may be no turning back.
- Also, what is more important, education or experience? I’m completing an undergrad in ministry, a program similar to many seminaries. I am also already a youth minister while in college. Who will someone hire, a person who graduated from seminary, or a person who has already served as the head honcho of a youth group for a few years? I’m just saying.
- Am I going to be able to use the extra theology in ministry? Again this comes back to arrogance. I don’t want to make myself so smart, that I’m not able to relate to teenagers anymore (especially inner-city teens). There was one guy that I talked to this week, and he has a similar path that I’m taking-undergrad in youthmin, youthminister at a church, attending seminary. When I asked if he’s applying seminary, he didn’t convince me with his answer. He then revealed he’s thinking about becoming a head pastor one day, and then it was clear to me that his seminary classes were more for that.
- I’m a girl. *shock* From what I hear, the girls on a seminary campus are one of two breeds: super-shy awkward girl or super-crazy liberal feminist. I’m neither. My theology is surprisingly to some not feminist (even though I’m a female in ministry) and I’m not shy and not awkward by accident. I also heard that females on campus are like cars-taken or broken. Soooo basically…… well I don’t have to say how that makes me feel (pretty self-explanatory).
Readers, don’t think that I’m saying seminary isn’t important. I’m just orating the thoughts sprouting into my head so that I can iron them out. Any feedback would be nice :)
Oh, also, if you are a youth minister who went to a seminary, you mind giving me your outlook?
Today God really reminded me of how much he loves me. His love for me is extravagant and just more that I can ever imagine. His love is more intimate than any other friend’s love for me. I don’t even choose to be loved by Him, He loves me no matter what. His love is amazing, and stronger than any other love I have ever known. It’s overwhelming and enticing. It’s irresistible. It’s grace-filled. It’s mighty. It covers all of my sin and is greater than all the “good” things I have done put altogether. It’s not contingent on what others think of me. It is not dependent on any other factor than God’s mercy. It’s just…God. God IS love.
So this is weird. I’m thinking about how we are all going to grow up one day. I feel like just yesterday I was in high school, not understanding who I am and struggling to fit in. And here I am, in college, with a slightly better understanding of who I am and people who are constantly affirming that. It’s crazy. And tomorrow, I’m going to be an adult. Well not really tomorrow, but when I get to that point, I am going to wonder where the time went. I wonder what it’s going to be like when we are 80 years old. Weird. So. Stinking. Weird.
As I looked online for curriculum, and pa-rouse youth ministry sites, I realized something. One day, my colleagues are going to be the people writing this curriculum and making these sites. My friends are going to be the ones speaking at huge conferences and camps like Centrifuge and Crossings. I may even know the next Lecrae (and hopefully marry him!) They are going to be writing books that I turn to when I want to pull my hair out, and making the curriculum that I will use with my youth group. What is weirder, I might be one of them! Whoaaa! Thinking about this has made the reality that “One Day, I’m Going to Be an Adult” almost more real. Should I start writing my book? Should I start getting the curriculum I just wrote for our WarZone published? hahahaha. Oh my. Tis Strange.
On another still-weird-but-less-frazzled note, while I’m thinking of youth ministry majors, I’m quite disappointed with some of ours right now. I’m beginning to realize more and more that people go into ministry to correct their own lives. It is so incredibly sad! This mentality is very common in my peers, that “I had a messed up youth. So I’m going to go to college, major in youth ministry, and I will become reformed and help those in their youth to make up for my sin in mine.” And honestly, I’m sure that I felt that at one time or another, that the program would help reform me. Why shouldn’t it reform me? But there needs to be a legitimate, specific calling to the ministry. I don’t want to see more teenagers suffer because their youth minister committed a major sin and had to leave the church. And that goes for me too.
I’m incredibly scatter-brained today. God answered a huge prayer last night, but I still am not happy. I don’t really understand it. But I need to learn to rest in His grace and armor myself with His Strength. I can’t fight whatever funk I’m feeling alone! oh no no nooooo…