Graduation

Adam graduated from seminary on Saturday. It was a good day. A great day. A day I sometimes thought would never come. There was great celebration and rejoicing in my heart when he walked across that stage. Because let me just tell you, the 95 hour M.Div from Southern ain’t no joke. Getting this degree has been a long road. SONY DSCI’m really proud of Adam’s perseverance. It’s really hard to go to school full-time and provide for a family. But he did it. By God’s grace, he finished. His goal was to finish by May 2013, but he loaded up this semester and finished early. My goal was to have 4 classes left when he graduated, and I only lack 3. I cannot say it enough: “Praise be to God!”

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Even though the process of earning the degree was challenging, our four years at Southern have been a really precious season of life. No, it hasn’t been the four years of social bliss on our parents’ tab that college was. But it has been a richly blessed season, nonetheless. It’s been a season of real learning and growth and change. And I’m not just talking about in the classroom. SONY DSCI’ve learned a lot about God, a lot about myself, a lot of life lessons. Many of them, I’m still learning. I’ve learned that I’m a slow learner. . . that I often want what I want when I want it. Various circumstances that we’ve faced during these seminary years have exposed idols in my heart that I didn’t know existed…idols that I’ve had a hard time surrendering. Difficulties and challenges often expose ugliness in the heart that we might not see otherwise. God is so gracious to expose hidden sin, that we may repent and return to Him.

DSC05101I’ve learned that real security is found in Christ, not financial prosperity or even financial stability. I’ve learned that God wants me to deny self-sufficiency and daily trust Him to provide for every need. God hasn’t asked me to plan, prepare for, and micromanage  every future detail of my life. He’s called me to walk by faith in HIM, even when I can’t see. I won’t lie, this has been a hard lesson for me.

DSC05106But I’ve learned that God is faithful. He can be trusted. He has never let us down, not for one second, even when I have been unfaithful and doubted Him. No, things haven’t always gone the way I would have planned or preferred. But every need has been met abundantly in His perfect way and time. I’ve learned that this is best. God’s way is always best because HE is God. I’m not. And it’s been really faith-building to see the unexpected ways that He’s shown up and provided. He’s blessed us with far more than we need.

SONY DSCI’ve learned the benefit of reading a lot. Good theologians and writers are first good readers. I’ve read more in these 4 years than I have in my entire life {and I’ve always been a reader}.

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I’ve learned of the sufficiency of God’s Word first-hand. It’s speaks {either directly or indirectly} to every life circumstance I may face. It’s living and active, able to expose the thoughts and motives of my heart (Heb 4:11). It’s inspired by God, and it’s profitable to do all that is necessary to adequately equip all believers for a life of faith, resulting in good works (2 Tim 3:16). I’ve learned the importance of really knowing God’s Word—not just isolated passages and stories but the overarching story— God’s big story of redemption of the created and fallen human race through Jesus Christ. Only when I become aware of God’s grand story, will the specific parts of His Word become alive to me. Only when I take part in this grand story will God’s Word become applicable to me. During these seminary years, I’ve learned how much I don’t know about the Bible. But I’ve grown to love and crave God’s Word in a very new and real way. 
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During this season, I’ve experienced the blessing of deep friendships. What a gift it has been to have friends in the same phase of life. . . friends experiencing many of the same challenges and joys that we are experiencing. . . friends who have wept with us and rejoiced with us. . . friends who love our child. . . friends who will do anything in the world for us. The idea of leaving these precious friends is one thing that makes graduation bittersweet. Our friends have helped shape the way we think, particularly about adoption. Of our three closest “couple” friends, two have adopted and one is in the process. What an inspiration and example of obedience they have been!

DSC05136During these seminary years, we’ve also experienced the blessing of children and the deep joy that a child can bring. Parenting is hard. Sometimes it stretches us more than we want to be stretched {and we’re just beginning…yikes!} But the joy of parenting is deep and real. God has been generous with His gifts, and we’re so very thankful for our 2 little “seminary souvenirs!” 🙂

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More than anything, I’ve learned that God is good. Regardless of our life circumstances, God is good all the time. Our God alone {not this world} defines true goodness. In His Son, we can find true joy regardless of what life holds. 
DSC05139So, as we finish this season and begin to look toward the next, my heart is filled with thankfulness. I’m so thankful for the ways God has challenged us, shaped us, and blessed during our seminary years. These years have been a glorious part of our sanctification process, and they will be fondly remembered as some of the best of our lives.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Congrats Adam and Sarah — and congrats to both sets of parents for sending you out as arrows into our world… pointing the way to Christ and piercing hearts for HIM.

  2. Mallory says:

    Yay for seminary souvenirs!!!

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