“…pushing down on me, pressing down on you…”
Hehe. Queen and David Bowie. Such a pop culture staple. And mostly unrelated to what this post is about.
I have this restriction in my brain that says, “don’t write this post. It is going to sound like you are complaining, whining, and are just being negative in general. That’s not what you want people to think of you.” Which may all be true. Maybe what I am about to say is simply a whining, complaining, negative attitude. Perhaps I should avoid reinforcing it and cementing it into my brain and into reality by publishing it online. Because if I don’t publish it, then most people will not know what I am thinking, and I will not be held accountable for my thoughts and anxieties. Which is why I should publish it.
Right now I am in Lexington, Kentucky, checking out Asbury Theological Seminary with two of my best friends, Anna and Gina. I came to Asbury with the intention of being open to what God would say to me about further education. I think I did a good job of being open. I surrendered myself yesterday after a full day of the Asbury experience, leaving so many decisions, so many doors and options at the altar, before His throne. Today our visit to the seminary was markedly different than yesterday. We had more time to ourselves, more time to talk with students and process all of the information we were absorbing, more time to soak up the Asbury environment. We talked with good friends of mine, Allie and Austin Ellsworth, for several hours about their experience thus far at Asbury.
Anna has been pretty enthused since yesterday evening about the possibility of coming to Asbury. Gina warmed up to the idea and seems to be fully embracing it today. I am still firm in my decision/conviction that graduate school is not for me right now. Asbury is a place I would no doubt be stretched, academically, spiritually, and emotionally, where I would know people, have connections, and be in community – I am attracted to all of this. But I feel no pull towards this place right now. I feel no clear leading, no passionate desire to be here.
Asbury is not where God wants me to be. I can say that with 99% certainty. I say this knowing my actions and words may disappoint people, which is the last thing I ever want to do. I am TERRIFIED of disappointing people, especially those I care about and am close to. I avoid it at all costs. That type of pressure is the kind I struggle to deal with well. This is why I need (and, thank the Lord, have) very mature friends and mentors who do not expect me to be anything other than I am or do anything other than I am doing.
So…Asbury is out of my immediate future. One possibility down, a plethora to go. I envy those who feel a direct calling and purpose on their lives. I wish I could hear God as clearly as they did, or had the courage to make a commitment and stick to it. In time…