“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I
give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. ”
I find myself with very little free time these days. For reasons that I am still exploring, I decided to go back to college to get a degree. I can’t really say “to finish my degree” because whatever I was majoring in 35 years ago has long faded from my memory. One transcript I had said my major was Deaf Education. The other said Hotel and Hospitality. Kind of a strange leap and truly I can’t even remember why I chose either field. I am sure there was a reason. I suppose my lack of purpose was probably partly to blame in my inability to finish anything having to do with college. I finally gave up and got a full-time job and then got married and started a family. Through the years I would ponder starting college again but kids, life, jobs, moves, and any number of excuses kept me from taking the step.
I am attending Liberty University’s Divinity School. I put my major down as Theology but I am now leaning towards Christian Ministry and possibly Christian counseling. Once again I can’t seem to nail a specific major down so I suppose that I haven’t changed much. Which is comforting yet disconcerting all at the same time. But knowing that it is all for Him keeps me from freaking out about not having the answer to the question of “what’s your major?”
I cried when I received the letter from Liberty welcoming me to the college. But not for the reasons that those around me thought.
was am so afraid.
Fear. The very thing that scripture warns me against.
I saw a picture recently that said the words “fear not” are in the Bible 365 times. (It turns out that is not true but that’s a whole different issue). However it is in the Bible enough times and with enough intent that I know for a fact that God does not want me to be afraid. In fact He specifically sent the Holy Spirit to keep me from being afraid. One of my favorite chapters, Psalm 27, starts out with one of my favorite verses. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
So what exactly have I been so afraid of? Probably not what you would think. It’s not the writing (the joys of being a writer). It’s not the discussion boards (oh my goodness we are putting out some young people who can barely write a sentence). It’s not the hours and hours of (I am sorry but it’s the truth) listening to presentations by people who seem to love to hear themselves talk. It’s not the quizzes (how many ways can you ask the same question). It’s not the fact that I can go to school in my pajamas and drink coffee during class and take a break to peruse Facebook (online learning has its perks).
I must admit that I find myself fearing that someone will point at me and say “she shouldn’t be here. She’s not worthy of being in Divinity school. She is not worthy of being in ministry. Do you know what she has done in her life? If they knew what I knew about her they would never have accepted her into their program.”
Then I remember my life verse. John 14:27. The promise that He gives me. The reminder that with Him beside me I never EVER have to be afraid.
He placed me here. He covers me in His grace and mercy. He hears my prayers and the prayers of those who are on this journey with me. He takes my fear and turns it into strength.
Because of Christ I am forgiven. Because of Christ I am set free. Because of Him I am fulfilling a dream started all those years ago. Only this time I have purpose. I have direction. I know what I am called to do.
This time I know I will finish. Because when it’s all said and done I am doing it to bring glory to His Holy name and I know that He will honor that. And if I stray off the path a little to take a class that has nothing to do with my major I know He will just smile and shake His head.
Blessings and thanks for being along for the journey,
©2015MichelleWelch, Breath Of Life Women’s Ministries and Single Matters Magazine
photography by Michelle Welch, all rights reserved
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.