Conventionalism on The Unconventional

Fact: Must finish (this current phase) of school. I’m 3 semesters away from completion. Will not be able to pursue desired opportunities with “ease” without the degree.

Issues: Inconsistent habits with online studies; longer work days make on-campus options difficult; wanderlust is driving me nuts; certainly ain’t ’bout that student loan life after paying them all off this year.

Am I the unconventional peg trying to fit into the conventional hole again?

I leaned back in my chair and stared at the post on my Facebook profile for a few moments before clicking “post.” Formal education is not a new topic in this blog but I’m sorting out new concerns about it now. Yes, I  mentioned a few concerns but the biggest concern is this: Will I make a move that delays my destiny?

As Believers, we know (I was careful not to say “understand” there) that we have free will. Likewise, Galatians 5: 16-17 says, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (ESV). For several years, I’ve heard clearly that the Lord wants me to teach the Bible and receive formal training in this calling. My flesh, however, is having a very difficult time accepting I have to go back to school and complete a second degree.

For 4 years, I’ve (re-)enrolled in—and tried my best to stay within—a formal academic program for Biblical Studies. Many things have happened that have made the pursuit of finishing extremely difficult. Even now, as I’ve been planning to enroll at a local college for 2015, providing them with my transcripts has been difficult. Aside from providing one’s contact information, that’s one of the easiest things to do in the enrollment process! Now, as the year is creeping towards its end, and God has blessed me with amazing opportunities in other avenues, I’m becoming..well, nervous and confused.

My mother-in-love often asked me if this was the only way, if God directed me to pursue the degree or if “formal education” would be in an informal setting. By and by, I’d answer that it needed to be in a school; but the process, thus far, has all been outside of a college or university. It did not cross my mind as conventional, but God is The Unconventional, Amen! So, maybe my flesh isn’t crying out for the wrong reasons after all. Maybe my intentions, although good, don’t fit the way things need to be today.

I ain’t dead yet. School’s not going anywhere. So, I boldly believe and declare that my Heavenly Father will continue to educate me in profound, unconventional ways. He will continue to direct my path and show me how to die to my “wisdom,” misguided or otherwise; and to stop trying to make my life fit a conventional mold. He declared greatness over me—the great ones never travel a path that makes sense. When it’s the right time to return to school (because it’s going to happen, lol. I surrendered the fight.) the circumstances will be exactly how the Lord needs them to be.

I will finish. I will finish strong. Today just looks a lil’ different.

~ Ashley


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