Happy Halloween! Happy COVID-19-free Halloween at that too. I’m sitting here drinking wild apple sarsaparilla tea mixed with honey to help sooth my strep throat. I’m also sitting her in nursing scrubs. Long story short: I was going to get tested for COVID, but got tested for strep first, and strep came back positive. And completely unrelated but ironically related, is that I’m dressing up as a nurse for Halloween because Lois is dressing up as the COVID-19 virus. Plus all of this has nothing to do with seminary. But here’s an awesome picture of our costume.
Okay. On with it.
Bobby just walked into the living room with his freshly laundered clothes and uttered, “I was working on that application for like… a month! I’m so glad that’s done,” and he whisked away to finish his Saturday chore.
So there it is! Our big news. Our big announcement. And I’m not talking about the laundry. Or my positive strep throat result. Bobby’s application… Finished! Complete! Ended. Closed. Concluded. Finalized.
Whoa. It’s crazy to think of how much has happened… in not even two months. So much! So many emotions have progressed in and out. So many thoughts have come and gone. And so many endeavors have been done and passed. But this one… this one makes it real. Really real! Like, there is no turning back! There is nothing left to do!
We even clicked the submit button together… His hand on mine, with a real computer mouse. I know, I know. We are dorks. But at least we are romantic self-proclaimed dorks right?
Another funny and fun part is, that I had the privilege of participating in his application. The wife of the applicant is required to write a reference. Kinda crazy right?
So I thought it would be fun to post what I submitted in his reference. I had to answer two prompts. One asked for my testimony of my relationship with Christ, and the other asked for my reflections/excitement/concerns about seminary and moving toward full time Christian ministry. It may be boring to you, my few readers (Hi mom!), but this blog is kind of an official journal of sorts, so I thought it was a unique milestone.
Writing both of them was very good for me. First, it was so sweet to be reminded of how Christ transformed and continues to transform my life. Second, it was helpful to put all my seminary thoughts into a brief essay. I basically had to summarize my blog in 3 paragraphs! The reference was just a pleasant reminder and summary of a lot of things.
So without further ado… Here it is!
Part 1: Testimony of Christ
Jesus is my life. Jesus is my everything, Jesus has transformed me from the inside out, and my whole life is devoted to knowing him more by the Spirit, through His Word, with God’s people. I knew Jesus as a young child. I knew who he was, I believed in him as God, and I knew I needed him as my Savior. Although I believed in Jesus as a child, in college God completely captivated and renewed my soul in ways I never experienced in my youth. I went to a Christian university, and through one of the books we were reading in class, “Life in the Spirit” by A. W. Tozer, God taught me that my sin was far deeper in me than I ever imagined. Only after seeing that every single bit of my natural self was sinful to the very core, did I glory, marvel, and fall to my knees in absolute wonder that he would bestow on me such marvelous grace! I finally knew for myself that, “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” I realized that I needed His death to conquer my sin, and I was joyously renewed that His resurrection gave me life! I not only testify to my past belief in God’s saving grace, but I testify to His current working in my life. Not a day goes by that I do not see God’s mighty hand sanctifying, purifying, and making me more like Himself. And though trials come, my faith is tested, and temptations still lure me, I know with absolute certainty that I am His and He is mine.
Part 2: Reflections, Concerns, Excitements
Since day one of meeting Bobby, there was (and is) no doubt in my mind that he is carved out to be a seminary student. Not only is he uniquely made to be a seminary student, but he and I are ready to follow the Lord wherever seminary takes us in future full-time Christian ministry.
When Bobby and I first started dating 10 years ago, I would joke with people that it “felt like I was dating my pastor.” The reason Bobby and I ever started hanging out was because he was obsessed with the Bible. I was also obsessed with Jesus, and we would just talk hours and hours about both of those things. Our love started with the Bible, continues around the Bible, and I believe it will end with us always obsessing over the Bible. So, the first reflection of my husband Bobby going into seminary is: YES! As I reflect upon him going to seminary, mindful of our marriage and family, I give another hearty: YES! Why? Because I believe that when Bobby is living out his full God-given potential, when he is following his calling as a passionate learner of the Bible, when he is using his gifts, talents, and the full capacity of his mind and soul for God, he will in turn be the happiest husband, most engaged father, and most zealous servant to others.
I give my hearty YES, but the hearty YES comes with costs. We love our life here in Nebraska. Both our parents live here along with all our siblings, we have the most incredible gospel-centered church, we have an amazing house, great neighborhood, and every good thing that any good person would want. But through hours and hours of conversation, Bobby and I agree that following Jesus is worth “forsaking our life.” Will leaving be sad? Absolutely. Will leaving be hard? 100%. Will leaving be worth it? Absolutely, 100%! Along with leaving the home we love, I also count the cost of the husband I love. I want you to know that I LOVE my husband. If it were up to me I would just spend all day, every day with him! I know seminary will take him away more than I am used to, and probably more than I will like. I feel a sense of jealousy for my husband’s time and mind, and I know seminary will require much of both of those things. But like I mentioned before, I fully believe that when Bobby is happy in God, and following Christ fully, then I as his wife will not suffer, but thrive. I trust the Lord that just as he has kept Bobby and I thus far, he will continue to keep Bobby and I through all seasons of our life.
Seminary may have the potential for hardship, but we also view seminary as a new fun-filled God-filled adventure! We visited the seminary a couple of weeks ago and loved it! We met people we loved. We looked at houses that we loved. Bobby and I both love change. We love variety and meeting new people, and we love thinking of doing it together! There is often a bittersweet feeling when we talk about seminary. We feel a bit sad to leave good things behind, but we are also excited, eager, and ready for the adventure that lies ahead of us! I am excited to meet new women, volunteer in new roles at a new church, and give our kids new experiences. All in all, seminary for us seems like a new chapter in our lives that we aren’t resisting. We are ready to pack our bags and go!
So there you have it. My reference. For better or for worse.
The application is finished. My reference is finished. October is finished. Day light savings is finished. The full moon is finished. It’s all just finished!
Until… January when Bobby will hopefully have a phone interview. And February when we find out if he’s accepted…
But for now, we can just take a deep breath, spend lots of time praying, and just be finished.