“Love” shows up in the Bible roughly 300 times. For me, this past month has been a time of experiencing God’s overwhelming love through the Body of Christ. It has revealed itself in a variety of ways in my life and am also thankful for the lessons He has provided; just when I thought I understood God’s love fully, something new was discovered.
First, I want to express my deepest expression of thanksgiving to those who have already responded to partner with me in ministry. 48 have responded to partner in prayer, financial support, and/or other means in response to the roughly 250 letters that were initially mailed to parish members, friends, and family members. Going to the mailbox has been a joyful experience each day. The support and personal notes that were included brought both smiles and tears, sometimes at the same time.
Next, God reminded me yet again, that I do not head to seminary alone. It gives me courage to know that I will be covered in prayer! Nearly all the responses so far have agreed to keep me in their prayers. Additionally, God asked me to trust that the finances required for attendance at VTS (my deepest worry) would be made available. As shared in the letter mailed out, there was still a gap of $14,000 for my first year of seminary. To date, partnerships with pledges and gifts totaling nearly $10,000 have been received! My heart is overflowing! Being supported prayerfully and financially will provide peace of mind that will allow me the opportunity to concentrate on my studies this school year.
As I write this, I am at General Convention. There are over 1000 brothers and sisters of the Episcopal Church here. Love is witnessed daily as we gather together. I’d heard ahead of time that Convention is much like a family reunion. It is. It is amazing the number of people I already know and those who I’m meeting that are immediately connected to me in some fashion. There will be those whose hearts will be filled with joy at what happens/ed at this Convention and those whose hearts will be saddened. The two thoughts that pass through my mind regularly are “we live intentionally in tension” and “love one another.” All of our hearts are bound together by the blood of Jesus!
I find myself contemplating being bound to all of you as I prepare to leave Sheboygan. In a month, I’ll be on my way to Virginia. I’m learning not to think about the love I leave behind…mostly because I now realize that I take so many of you with me. We do not journey alone and He is already preparing a place of love for me at VTS. Convention has allowed an opportunity to meet up with several of my classmates to begin building bonds (see photo).
If you find my writing a bit scattered this month, it’s because I’m a bit scattered at the reality of what is just ahead of me. There is SO much to do, so many I’ll miss, so many I look forward to seeing, so much I look forward to doing! “For my days drift away like smoke” (Psalm 102:3) SO true! However, even in this drift, your love and prayers are felt (and needed). My heart is full with all that He has revealed to me of His love this past month. I give thanks for His love and yours.
God is so good….all the time!
By His love,