Hey, look at that! It’s November already! That means it’s been 4 full months since I started my Deaconess Internship here in South Carolina! To say that it’s felt like only two days is an extreme understatement.
Since we last spoke, I have relocated entirely to South Carolina, away from St. Louis and the Seminary, to “put to test” what I have learned/been taught the past two years. I have met so many new people! I have been blessed by their presence in my life! And (God-willing!) I have only added to their lives.
Words/Phrases to describe my experience so far?
Eye-opening. Mind blowing. Terrifying, yet exhilarating. A blessing. A constant lesson. Reaffirmation. A continual lessening of my own self. A continual realization of my daily need to die to my own sin and rejoice in Christ’s promises to me.
Suffice to say: it’s been one wild ride. And it’s only 4 months in!! I cannot wait to learn, experience, and grow as long as I serve the people here!
Every beginning begins with an ending.
The thought rings true when I think on the weeks leading up to my arrival here in South Carolina. I had finished my residential training/education and was being sent out to “put to test” and practice out in the “real world.” My time at the Seminary was drawing to a close. Many of my friends would soon begin down the same road as I, as they relocated their families for 12 months for their Vicarages. However unlike my friends (all candidates for the Pastoral Ministry), I would not be returning for a final year of education and instruction. I took my last formal course in June and began the transition to intern.
I would not be back. Excluding Call Day, Commencement, a Masters Exam thrown in there somewhere, I was essentially finished. It was a tad disconcerting and disorienting. I would be expected to do the job I was being sent to do. Of course, I would still be understood as being a student with things yet to learn and experience, but I would nonetheless be required to fulfill certain shoes.
I was happy and ready to take on those challenges, understanding that I was being given the chances to experience the “inner-workings” of being a professional church worker, with the benefit of “student-hood” still attached.
My ending as a residential student was the beginning of my time as an intern.
And now, as I look at my various notes and outlines for my certification essay for the Seminary, I am beginning to see another ending take shape. The end of the “student/intern” title. I have been in “student-mode” pretty much forever. As long as I could remember, I considered myself to be a student. Now seeing that this has an expiration date, it becomes just a tad bit “real life” and not some far off date when I have to do something and confess loyalty to something.
My time of intern is soon approaching its end.
Even though I have 5 1/2 months left of said internship, the decisions and conclusions reached in the near future are somewhat important. Placing all my trust in God and His timing, I both think and don’t think about what lies ahead, knowing that I will be placed where I am needed the most.
My time of growing in knowledge and love of Christ Jesus, our Lord will never end.
While times and places of service may change, the promises accomplished for us through Jesus Christ’s very death and resurrection never fade, change, or lessen. Taking comfort in the complete and total forgiveness of sins and the assurance of life eternal, I press on. I press on through the various setbacks, roadblocks, detours, and lane changes. I press on knowing that the Lord has promised to always be with me, in good and bad, in times of happiness and times of seemingly never-ending sorrow. With confidence, I can face the day and proclaim “I know that my Redeemer lives and that at the last he will stand upon the earth.” (Job 19:25)
Setbacks and frustrations will occur while we remain on this sinful, fallen earth, but we can rest assured knowing that our salvation has been won by Christ. Comfort and Joy are ours. We take relief in this unfading statement and press on.
As the unending transition of life continues in my own, I rejoice in my God and in His placement of me for His work. I know full well that I have much to learn still, but He has brought me so far in such a seemingly short amount of time. Thanks be to God!
I know that my Redeemer lives;
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my ever-living head.
~ LSB 461, I Know That My Redeemer Lives, stanza 1
Soli Deo Gloria