My husband and I are in this crazy whirl wind of preparing for Seminary. Right now we are living in two different states for half of the week. I am living at my parents with our three children and he is working and living with his parents. He comes to see us on the weekends. We will be doing this for two months to save money before the big move. While living with our families I have really thought about our witness to the people we will be leaving behind after our move to Seminary.
We have been told how brave we are and what a witness that the Seminary step of faith is. A hint of truth, I suppose; however, as I check my motives, following our “dreams” for God isn’t about us or our courage. It is about how we treat the relationships that the Lord has given to us.
As we leave behind friends and family, I really think that our witness is how we leave these relationships. We can’t be everything to everyone, but there are a few ideas and things to focus on before we go and start a new community of friends.
– Are there any relationships that you are leaving that need reconciliation? If so, your acts of forgiveness or confession are more of a witness than following your dream to Seminary. The Gospel is about Grace and reconciliation. So I encourage all of us to act on our end to give Grace in the hard relationships you are leaving. Relationship chains follow us wherever we go. Let those go. There will be so much more freedom in the huge Seminary move. If there are any harmful and unsafe relationships – Forgive in your heart, and remember you are a child of God, and your value rests in no other relationship.
– Remember the family and friends that have helped you get to this point? Maybe this is not the case for you; however, for our family, we have had so much support and encouragement for our move to Seminary. Take some time to really think of the people that have encouraged and supported your move. The encourager and supporter is God’s gift to us. Take an evening to write thank you cards, or make a phone call to really let them know how much you appreciate their support.
Again, remember that our witness is not by the things we accomplish for God, but for the people we love with no condition.
I encourage you to make right what needs to be made right. To let God heal any relationship wounds that can’t be done on human terms, and to put a little time and effort into letting your support system know how much their role is as important in the Kingdom as your Seminary degree. I put this out as a challenge to myself as well, because, oh how thankful I am for the friends and family we are moving away from.
By Denise J. Murphy Denise is a mother of three young children and passionate about people stepping into their individual calling. Their family will be moving from Michigan to Colorado this fall so her husband, Mike, can attend Denver Seminary. Mike and Denise blog together at theevertree.wordpress.com.