If you have ever graduated from anything, you have been asked some form of the question “What’s next?” As my own college graduation date approached this past May, this question fell from the lips of every single person I knew (which, strangely, is not much of a hyperbole). My reply to them became an ever increasing forceful shrug of my shoulders in exasperated uncertainty. Apparently, this is not an acceptable answer to this question, so I would stumble around trying to conjure up a statement of my mythical desires and opportunities to give to my well meaning friends until I satisfied their inquiries.
The future was quite muddy, but I was mostly okay with that. Initially, three things kept me from considering Midwestern. One was that I just completed a five year stent of education at MBTS and wasn’t entirely fond of adding four more to that number. Wise people encouraged me to go elsewhere and expand my horizons in education, which is a helpful and good piece of advice. Another blockade was a growing apathy that was settling in my mind for lack of passion. Because I was not sure what I was passionate about pursuing, pursuing anything at all was paralyzing. I am not the kind of person that chooses a path just to choose something; I need to have good reasons and strong passions that I’m sure will make me love Jesus more to make a choice. Finally, I didn’t want to go to Midwestern just because it is familiar and safe. I know the professors, culture, students, city, and staff that contributes to making that school what it is. Not only do I know it well, I also love it. I have made a home in Kansas City and the last five years of my spiritual development have begun in the walls of the classrooms and apartments of Midwestern’s campus. It seemed like going back would be much like returning to an old friend simply because you can’t find any new friends, and that wasn’t a good enough reason.
Thankfully, I have some of the best friends a struggling girl could ask for. They began to remind me of my inclination to find what I love and pursue that wholeheartedly. During these conversations I was free to analyze all of my interests and find the thing that deserved to be next.
As I analyzed all my options, two things rose above the rest. I have been transformed by the redeeming work of the older brother Jesus to pay for my wretched ways with his blood and call me to the Father as a beloved prodigal daughter rather than a distant harlot. The Gospel has given me a yearning to know the Word of God, the revelation of Jesus better than I know anything else. Not only do I hunger to understand the Bible, I also hunger to know its implications for women. Even in the early years of my education in college, I sought the Scriptures for the meaning of Biblical womanhood which then translated into seeking to understand complementarianism, the specific gifts God has given to women, the way women can and should function in the church’s process of discipleship, and in recent months how women fit into the intellectual seminary setting.
Once I realized these two things, that I want to know God’s Word and how to utilize that knowledge to make disciples of women and teach them how to obey Jesus, the transition to thinking about seminary was an easy one.
Why wouldn’t I continue my education so that both of my heart’s longings may be cultivated?
More than that, why wouldn’t I do so at a seminary that elevates the Word of God above all other sources of knowledge so that the Bride of Christ that I so deeply desire to be communal with (Redeemer Fellowship) may be built up with men and women who can lead, equip, and love her well? My decisions could not be evaluated by standards of what would make me great. They could only be evaluated by what would make me love Jesus more.
If you know anything about Midwestern, you now know why I wouldn’t second guess my choice to continue here. They are committed to training leaders who know the Bible for the church. Sure, I am going to be in a comfortable and familiar setting, I am going to be here for quite a while longer, and I am not going on to an Ivy League school for my masters degree. One thing I am going to receive is a Biblically committed education from Christ-exalting professors, fellow thinkers who can help me grow in my love of God and his people, and a closeness to the city and church that God has called me to plant myself in. I trust I will grow in my love of Jesus over the next 3-4 years, and that is worth it all.
I pray that the passions I pursue in this next stage of life continue for the rest of my breathing life and serve as constant pillars of light that point myself and others to the God of my salvation until he calls me home.