“Nothing is Impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible!’” – Audrey Hepburn
I’ve referenced this quote often throughout my adult life. Affirming positive statements as well as encouraging biblical scriptures, such as; Phil. 4:13 has brought me through many of life’s challenges. In addition, my service in the United States Navy helped me to overcome many social and personal deficiencies, such as; low self-esteem, and indecisiveness. The military pushed and challenged me physically, mentally, and spiritually in a way I had never experienced before or since, until online graduate school. Ha! (I’ll elaborate on this more later in my discussion, stay with me)
Twenty-five years ago, I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Telecommunications Management. The 1990’s was the height of technical advancement. The internet had been around for a few years at that time and society was experiencing vast changes as the digital age was bursting forth like a fast-approaching comet entering the earth’s atmosphere and changing the landscape of everything humanity knew about digital communications. Things were changing so quickly, that most people had no choice but to jump on board the technology bullet train!
In April 2022, I experienced another earth-jolting change in my life when God called me into full-time ministry. I had already served in our church for fifteen years in leadership. But this directive from God was different…he told me to leave my lucrative job to write books!
I’ve always had the heart to share the word of the Lord and the experiences God had walked me through to edify others. I had been blogging for several years, not that I enjoyed writing! No, not at all, but my heart was to obey God, no matter the sacrifice, even if it meant writing a few paragraphs online every once and a while. Authorship was an entirely new level of writing but I remembered my favorite quote by Audry Hepburn, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible!”
In January 2023, my book was released to the public. Wow, God did it! He had more plans for me, this was only the beginning. God told me he wanted me to author more books but I need more biblical academic training. God said, the first book was a good starter for those on a milk diet but the future books will require more meat. He wanted me to become more of a teacher of the word of God from an academic position. I waited for confirmation on this word, (you know how we tend to do when we know God is telling us to do something we really don’t want to do!) A few months later at a prophetic conference, I received full confirmation. I knew I couldn’t delay as it would result in direct disobedience, so I enrolled in an online seminary school to obtain a Master’s Degree in Ministry Education. Then came week one…
Absolute panic would be the best expression to relay my state of mind after reviewing the syllabi for my courses. I had this huge argument in my head with God. No way God! I can’t do this! I had excuse after excuse as to why I would not succeed in this endeavor. God told me, what happened to Phil. 4:13? He continued; I thought you stood on the premise that all things are possible.
God was right, as always…one of my courses I consider a God-sent! It addressed the difficulties I was facing as an adult learner new to the online education experience. Many students face these same doubts. I felt a bounce back in my spirit. I had to remember my purpose and God’s vision for the next chapters of my life and ministry. I had to realize that I couldn’t fall out of agreement with God now! If God called me to perform it then he will equip me with what I need to not only complete it but to do it in excellence because I’m God’s representative.
How one learns, and how we apply those fundamental truths to our lives when it comes to our Christian faith is no different from how we receive and process information received through an educational institution. Education doesn’t work against spiritual growth but it can work alongside ministry as a means to provide a greater understanding of how we perceive and teach the word of God. I believe God allowed me to receive that seed of doubt in order to truly see how God was using education to show me myself. Although I have been in leadership for many years, I had not “arrived”. I still needed to grow in many areas!
Does graduate school still pose some challenges? Yes, but with various spiritual formation concepts I have learned in school and implemented, I am able to overcome them with the encouragement that I can do all things!
If you are considering enrolling in seminary school, I would like to share some final thoughts with you. I hope my previous dramatics didn’t scare you away! My fears were due to a lack of understanding of the resources and support available to me. It is important to realize that you are not the first student to return to school after being away from academia for many years. Many others have done this successfully. If God has called you to something, He will see you through it and bless you with favor. You will connect with other students who share the same apprehensions and form great bonds and support systems that will help you overcome your fears. Before you know it, you will be the one mentoring and encouraging others who are beginning their journey in seminary.
Anything that is of great value often comes with a hefty price tag. To achieve your goal, you may need to make sacrifices and work diligently, but the end result will be worth it. Along the way, you will appreciate the assets you have gained and the growth you have experienced. I strongly recommend the book “Surviving and Thriving in Seminary: An Academic and Spiritual Handbook” by H. Daniel Zacharias and Benjamin K. Forrest, who are both former seminary students and now professors. This book is unique because it is written from two viewpoints: the student and the professor. The authors share pitfalls from their own experiences as seminary students and provide valuable information to help current or future seminary students to avoid or overcome these pitfalls. I found the following statement to be profound and applicable to my personal struggle in seminary.
They state, “It is at these moments that remembering is most important, because it is here that you may wonder why you are putting yourself through the hardship that is seminary. You need to remember. Remember how God saved you… Remember the people and circumstances that brought you here in the first place. Remember the call that God has placed on your life. During times of stress or doubt, let these memories draw you back to your purpose and the reasons that you want to endeavor.”
Wow, what words of wisdom!
I have a golden nugget for you as well! Whatever you choose to pursue, whether it be school, planting a church, starting a ministry, or joining a missionary team; continue to grow in faith! It is easy to allow deadlines to consume you and the first thing we tend to do is, reduce our time with God. I must admit, I am guilty of this! During my first few weeks of seminary school, my primary focus was deadlines! I said to myself, I have to read this and complete that. I began skimping on my morning devotional and rushing through my prayer time so I can get my day started. This is a trick of the enemy my friend. God can supernaturally extend the hours of your day to ensure everything you need to do gets done (remember nothing is impossible for God), but you must put God first.
Continue to start your day with God in meditation and bible study. If needed, start your day earlier so that you can have your private time with God without interruption. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God…and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33 KJV)
I’ll conclude with my opening quote by Audry Hepburn, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible!” Whatever your decision, seek God and allow him to direct you. I pray this blog has been informative and a blessing to you. Please feel free to leave a comment on this post below.