Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Six Years

"The older we get the more history we have with the Lord,
meaning we can relect on more of His faithfulness in our lives."
Kelly Minter

Six years ago today, I packed my little blazer with all of my belongings and headed to Wake Forest on one of the hottest days I can remember.  My parents and Devon came along for the journey to make the transition.. smoother.  Smoother because I am not one for change.  I was moving to a completely new state.  Starting a new school that I'd only visited once.  I did not have any friends or strong connections.  I did not have a job.  I did have an apartment and a roommate that I knew through similar job situation.  I did have the affirmation and calling on my life that I knew God had brought me to Wake Forest to attend seminary and grow in Him.

And grow.. and stretch.. and shrink away.. and live vibrantly.. and cry.. and scream with excitement.. and smile, all of these... I have done. All the while, I have had God's calling on my life in the midst of it all.  This is what you have to come back to in those crazy moments.  This is what I had to come back to often.  I have been selfish. I have been a giver.  I have been prideful many atimes.  I have been humbled.  I have made some great friends.  I have had great friends move away to pursue God's calling on their life.  I have learned to view myself differently.  I have learned what freedom in Christ is.  I have learned to recognize sin in my life and confession.  I have learned how to love others well.  But I have also not loved others well at times.  I have learned how sinful I am and in need of God's grace.  I have had my faith tested.  I have stumbled. Often. I have come out stronger.  I have been able to see God's Word in a new way.   Yet, none of this is perfected. God is forever molding me and refining me.

My time at Southeastern was wonderful blessing and gift. The Lord provided solid friendships within the first couple of months.  Those friends mean the world to me today.  My understanding of who God is and His mission developed during that time.  But often, I wonder what I even did during those 3 years.  Apparently I just strapped on my "focus hat" and turned out papers and exams just as fast as Britney Spears was marrying then.  How much more I want to learn now!  When I graduated from Southeastern three years ago, I would not have planned this course for my life.  It's no secret that I was ready to haul out of Raleigh and take on the world.  Not so quietly, I have stayed.  I have stayed because the Lord has kept me here.  He has provided in every way for me, though I often fail to realize that.  I take His path for my life for granted quite often.  Yet, He has shown wonderful grace - oh, the stubborn years following graduation!

I came to Wake Forest without a job and stayed in the unemployed field for a month.  Nearly a month after arriving I was offered two jobs on the same day - a teller and a waitress.  Both would fit right into my schedule, and I could keep both jobs.  The teller and waitress job turned into quite a few other random experiences for jobs - cafeteria cashier, insurance agency temp work, a nanny, a law firm courier, a teller again and again.  Each job has literally come within a day of the previous job ending.  At least up until my current job.  Those moments of fear and anxiety and not knowing how the bills would be paid (because I sure freaked out about it, even if a bill was no where to be seen) ended within hours.  I laugh because of the randomness of the mix, but I am also grateful because God continued to show me time and again how He was my provider.  Every step He provided a new job that paid those unforeseen bills and allowed a new jaunt to Target every now and then.

Recently I was studying Nehemiah 9 and have been since reminded of my six years here in the Wake Forest and Raleigh area.  This is such a beautiful prayer of the Israelites on their return to Jerusalem from 70 years in exile.  The Israelites proclaim the wonders of God in bringing them out of slavery, and they confess their continual stubborness despite God's faithfulness.  I have been no different - I have been so stubborn over the past six years despite God's grace, mercy, faithfulness, and compassion.  In my Bible study, the Kelly points out the compassion of God even after the Israelites made the golden calf.  I am thankful that God loves me beyond the "Even afters" in my life.  I am thankful for my six years here and all that He has taught.. all of the friends.. all of the tears.. all of the laughs.. and even those situations where I just question "how did I get here."

Six years has treated me well..


  1. Such a great post Erin! Reading your post reminded me of my journey the past six years, except instead of staying put, I was always moving. It has been hard and stressful and full of hair pulling anxiety, but looking back, I can now think, "Wow, those experiences could have been so much worse without God."

    Crystal L. Beasley

    1. Thanks for reading Crystal. I am glad that this post was able to encourage you! Hope you are doing well!