Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Life of A Seminary Wife: Part 2 - Surprising Graces

Last week we looked at the struggles a seminary wife faces. This week I will write about some of the lessons that God has taught me during our time in seminary.

Prayer - While I was out running this morning, I was also praying. This is not abnormal for me, being that it is one of the few times I get to spend by myself. I love to utilize this time in order to meditate on the Lord and beseech him on behalf of myself, our family, and especially my husband. The Lord has been teaching me about prayer over the last year. Through various books on the topic, a study of the Lord's model prayer (Matthew 6), and my own personal study of the Scriptures, prayer has been a huge focus for me lately. 

Not only am I convinced of my need for prayer (personally), I am convinced that the single most important way that a wife can serve her husband is to pray for him. As I mentioned previously, seminary has unique challenges. I have often felt that I do not have the right answers to Chance's theological questions, nor the correct counsel in certain situations. However, I can always take his burdens to the Lord in prayer. 

I have been profoundly impacted to learn the necessity and privilege of prayer through the study of the Word of God. Although no where in the Scriptures are wives commanded to pray for their husbands, what other person do you know more intimately than your mate? Who does your husband share his burdens with? Who knows his propensities and struggles with sin more than you? A wife is called to a life of service alongside her husband. The best way a wife can serve her husband is by interceding for him.

Study - Over the last two years, God has impressed upon my heart a desire for the study of theology. When I became a Christian in college, I was very intimidated by ministry majors (i.e. Chance and others) who seemed to know everything there was to know about the Bible. I had very little head knowledge, and I was put off by the arrogance of some who were zealous in their studies. 

However, God has completely renovated my way of thinking about theology. Chance has impressed upon me, over and over again, the great blessing that learning is. He has challenged my thinking by asking pressing questions and picking my brain about my convictions. We have wrestled through a great many theological topics together. I have been his sounding board, as he works through issues in Scripture; and he has been mine.

I have grown in my confidence to be able to study theology on my own. He has been the greatest encourager in my walk with the Lord, convincing me to read [many] books that I insisted were way beyond my intellectual level. I have come to a deep appreciation of extra-biblical books and theological studies. God has used the avenue of my mind to deepen my walk with Him, and God has grow me in ways I did not think possible. 

Circumstances - Bible reading, prayer, journaling, and quiet times: these are all wonderful graces that God uses to grow Christians in their walk with him. However, I have learned that God also uses our circumstances to sanctify us. 

After Chance and I had been in Dallas for 7 months, the Lord took us out of a ministry that we were a part of. It happened rather quickly, and we did not at all expect it. Our plan was to begin trying to start a family once Chance was in his last year of seminary. But, after our ministry plans fell through, we began to reconsider our timeline for our family. 

About two months later, I got pregnant. I hadn't even been working at my job for a full year! I was nervous about what kind of sacrifices this would mean for us and whether this was the wisest decision. But, we knew that this was the direction the Lord was taking us, although it would mean some serious life change (especially for me). It was not at all what I had expected would happen when we moved here the previous year.

In a matter of months, I went from full-time executive assistant (without children) to stay-at-home mom. It was a drastic change, and I struggled for a few months to get the hang of being at home all day with a newborn. God used those first few weeks of adjustment and difficulty to cause me to depend on him in a way that I hadn't before. I was suddenly very aware of my selfishness, impatience, frustration, anger, pride, and autonomy. But I also saw God's patience, kindness, love, sovereignty, forbearance, and faithfulness more clearly than I had before having Hudson. 

The past two and a half years of our seminary experience have been a roller coaster ride. Though, I am so thankful for how God has blessed us and for what he continues to teach me through this time. He has surprised us in many ways, but God never withheld his great grace in the midst of every circumstance. 

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