This blog is ever-evolving and developing. My vision for it keeps changing. As the commentary stated on my previous post, this blog is me chronicling my journey to licensing. So many people are unaware of what the process entails and I want to showcase my journey as I go through the spiritual preparation, which I’ve been showing in the posts up to this point, the sermon-writing process, and then the big moments leading up to my service. I have a rough idea for how I want to do this, but ultimately, I rely on the Holy Spirit to guide my heart and I want to be sensitive and mindful of where He leads.
I am approaching the hectic part of the semester and with the end of the semester comes final papers, projects, and presentations…and in some cases, a sermon. I attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma for a few years before returning to Bacone. Some of my most cherished memories happened at NSU, as did a lot of growth and maturity. I did a lot of my creative and fiction workshop writing on the third floor of the library, where I was yesterday. It was my first time being back there since I left the spring of 2015. It was one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever had to do. I was back in the stacks, pulling books for two papers over the trial of Jesus. As I looked around, I was reminded of where I was when I left. I was also reminded of how far I’ve come.
I have only been back at NSU to visit friends one other time, around this time last year. At the time, I was in a bad place. I don’t want to say it was one of the lowest points in my life, because there have been several low, low points, but it was close. When I made this last minute trip, I had intentions on visiting former, beloved, and respected professors and mentors. As I was looking through the books I selected on my topic for these papers, I was also communicating to my mentor in Bacone’s Center for Christian Ministry. It’s funny how we grow and how things that at one time were so familiar are now so foreign. I confided in my mentor that I didn’t belong there anymore. That it was like I was an outsider. I admitted that I felt that I by rights, couldn’t say I was once a student there. It was like a chapter of my life’s story reached the end.
I was reminded that it was part of my journey to becoming who I am today and that I need to embrace it rather than being so quick to dismiss it. While my time there was rocky, at best, I left with some of the most amazing memories, friendships, and relationships. I saw how bad life can be and because of those dark days, I’m able to better appreciate the beauty around me.
I saw a former advisor who for all intents and purposes, is still so much of a mother to me, for the first time in a year. The last time I saw her, I was in a rough place. I was experiencing some pretty bad growing pains from trying to figure out where I fit in at Bacone after being away for so long. I was getting used to being around former professors and was still working on my spirituality. When I made this return the other day, my eyes had life again. I was excited about where I was. Obviously, my licensing was mentioned. It was confirmation to me that I’m where I need to be.
While I had a specific reason for being there, I left with realizing how much I’ve grown since I’ve been away. I realized that my time there was for a specific reason and without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. While I’ve considered returning a number of times, I know that my time there is over. The mission of why I was there was fulfilled and I have nothing left to prove.
NSU to a degree will be like my home away from home to visit, but Bacone is ultimately home base. I thank God every day for all of the experiences I’ve had leading up to this licensing experience and as I spend the coming weeks preparing, all of these moments were the stepping stones, ultimately leading me to the pulpit.
In closing, this is a post that is another “Pages from Sarah’s Journal”. There’s not a lot of theological//spiritual depth to it but as I’ve said, I want this blog to be me in my most personal. I never want to convey myself as something I’m not and I really want this to be a true reflection of a millennial in the process of beginning my ministry journey.
I think that’s about it for this post. I have a couple more posts I want to do and I’m still trying to figure out how I want to document my licensing preparation.
Until next time,
Love and light,