For those of you who don’t know yet, I am in the process of applying to go to Seminary to become an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The following post is a portion of my Candidacy Essay that I sent to the ELCA, truly God works in mysterious and wonderful ways. I hope you enjoy
In the book of John, Jesus replied, “You do not realize what I am doing, but later you will understand.” After recently discovering this verse I’ve been drawn to it time and time again, noticing more and more how this verse has at it’s core been the story of my life. My youth director, upon the event of my high school graduation in 2007, asked me if I’d ever considered a career in Ministry. Being a typical teen, I smiled, rolled my eyes a little bit and simply said no. At that time I knew my heart belonged in the Arts and I knew nothing could ever change that, or so I thought. The past 4 years of my life have changed me in ways I never could’ve imagined.
I’ve been involved in my home church long as I can remember; attending Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Youth Group, you name it. My parents have always been a wonderful support system for me, starting very early in my faith journey, in fact, it started before I was born. In a letter my mother sent me last fall, while I attended an Eastern North Carolina Via de Cristo Weekend, she wrote, ”When I carried you the Doctors told me a total of four times that I had lost you. I knew that if I prayed hard enough that all would be well. I would talk to you and beg you to fight with me and you did, we fought against all odds and won.” From what I understand, while my mother was pregnant with me the Doctors were unable to detect a heartbeat on these numerous occasions and as a result told my mother that she miscarried. Yet, through my mom’s unfailing faith and the power of prayer, I was able to grow up and now have the chance to do my part to change the world, one person at a time. In order to spark these changes, I took many opportunities to become closer to Christ.
Last August, at the onset of my second to last year of college, I moved on campus for the first time since I had been admitted in 2007. My familial home is only 10 minutes away from UNCG’s campus, so up until then I’d been commuting. For reasons beyond my comprehension I was placed in a dorm, on a hall with one of the campus sororities. What I soon discovered was that not a single girl, including my roommate would acknowledge my presence. I ate lunch for the first month of my residency alone. I cried myself to sleep every night. Brandon, a friend of mine, reached out to me and told me about Wesley-Luther and invited me to Bible study. Unfortunately Brandon was unable to attend that week, and like everything else that semester I went it alone, and I was terrified. I went to the lounge and before I had even set foot in the door, Josh bounded off the couch across the room from where I was standing, and welcomed me to W-L, became my discussion partner for my first Bible study and encouraged me to return to other events occurring that week. I finally found my niche at UNCG, and became heavily involved in W-L. Jesus replied, “You do not realize what I am doing, but later you will understand.” God put Wesley-Luther in my life to provide me with the closest friends I’ve had at UNCG. Life is a mystery with only so much you can control. What I’m trying to learn is to let go and let God because he’s got this, even when I don’t.
“Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” -John 13:7