Monday, September 8

The Seminary Diaries: the importance of being humble

Ahhh so this is what my blog looks like.  I *literally* haven't seen this end of the internet in what seems like months and years.  For good reason, probably, since my spare time should not be spent entertaining others with menial information via cyberspace.  I'm a graduate student, you know.

And that's just it; I should be studying for the quizzes I have tonight and tomorrow; I should be finishing up the book that has a report and summary due next week, and I should be preparing my interview questions and notes for the important "Theories of Development Examination" I have on Thursday.  But, alas, I cannot come up with a single sentence or question, or focus on a single word.  I figure maybe if I just get it all out there, I'll have some space cleared up where new stuff can fill it again.

About four months ago, it was just very cool that I was going to a local Seminary to pursue a degree helping others overcome grief and strife.  One, it's a world-renowned school with leaders, professors, and speakers from every genre and field you can imagine.  Two, most people just don't like listening to others' problems and trying to solve them.  Well, let me assure you, I tried to take the easy route with a different school and I have no intention or ability of "solving" anything.

Regardless, I was sometimes even praised for my ambitious goals and dreams and, occassionally, may or may not have allowed those praises to seep into crevices of my ego and self-esteem.  Then, it all came crashing down with such epiphany and revelation...

I'm sitting in orientation with about 200 other students--not all in my focus, but still--and each of us has the same deer-in-the-headlight, whose-idea-was-this, look on our face, and I realized this ambition, this dream, this passion and career that lies ahead is the same for at least 60 other people.  And the majority of these other people also have their professional casual attire with fashion-forward shoes, perfectly groomed hair, summer-peach lip gloss, and fake glasses (to look studious, of course).  The truth of it is, there are 59 other students just like me.

I am no longer an exception, no longer a one-of-a-kind, no longer The Student of the family or group; I now sit among 59 other people just like.  As we answer questions about our life stories, our future goals, and counseling paths, we sound more like robots and less like individuals.  We have each been called here for specific and beautiful reason, but we are no longer exceptions.

Chances are, I could be swallowed up in this Sea of Students.  Chances are, my stellar grades, my unique personality traits, and my witty sense of humor could go unnoticed by faculty and staff alike, because now there are multiples of me.  But, just as I sink into the abyss of Multiplicity, I remember, "what God uses for good, the enemy tries to use for bad". (No idea where I've heard that, by the way).  Sure, I could become depressed and saddened by the fact that I'm no longer a stand-out, but I could also realize that God is doing something big here. Like, something out of this world, hidden behind spiritual curtains, big.

It's called humility.

It takes humility to accept that I'm not the only counselor out there; it takes humility to realize I'm not the only person called by God to help others; it takes a dose and a half of humility to realize that there are hundreds and thousands of us.  It also takes humility to realize I cannot do this alone; I will be swallowed up by fellow students, the weight of the work, and the hurts of this world unless I understand it has never been about me or my strengths.  It takes humility to understand that God knows me by name, walks beside me daily, and has my planner already in hand.  It takes humility to realize that it's not the stuff I know, it's the God I know (that one came from a fellow student).

All in all, Seminary is full of roller coaster emotions (like that's anything new for a female like myself) but it's also about accepting God's gifts and lessons in those peaks and valleys.  So, I'll gladly spend precious seconds and minutes writing my thoughts out to cyberspace, because, well, chances are I will not remember this gift when mid-terms come, when my first client comes, or when my first bad grade comes.  I'll need a reminder that humility is not defeating, it is encouraging.

The truth is, Growth is continuous, God is everlasting, and Graduate school is only temporary...supposedly.

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