For those who are toying around with the idea of going to Seminary, you will need to understand one thing: Seminary is a sacrifice.
I haven’t stepped foot on campus yet (I start at Denver Seminary this coming August) but the sacrifices my wife and I have already made just to get there are more than I anticipated.
My wife and I, along with our three children are down to one plastic tote of clothing each. Yes, you read that correctly, each of us has only one tote of clothing we will be taking with us. We’re running garage sales for the next month in an effort to earn more money to pay for moving. We are re-evaluating everything we own to decide whether or not we really need it.
We’re also sacrificing our families. We know that we will miss major milestones in our family’s lives. We know that we won’t see them until major holidays (if we can afford to come back). We realize that moving to a different time zone will create issues with our communication.
Our lifelong friends are also being sacrificed. I’ve had the same group of friends for almost 20 years now and when I move out to Denver, they aren’t coming with me. Sure, I’ll be able to call them, but it won’t be the same. My wife has an amazing group of friends that she is beyond close to, and we’re moving away.
All of this sacrifice, and I haven’t even stepped foot onto the campus!
Then I have to remember that more sacrifices are coming once we get there.
My current job has me working from 5:30am until 2:00pm. I am able to be home with my family for a much bigger chunk of the day than most people. We’re giving up our schedule. Balancing family life, school and work will be a major challenge. Trying to give 100% to three completely different areas of life won’t be easy.
With all this sacrifice, why do it?
The simple answer: God said “Go.”
I’ve known that Seminary was on my path for a long time, but prior to now the timing never felt right. I also had to wait for my wife to be completely on board. I couldn’t do this without her.
*Side note: Men, if you’re wife isn’t 100% on board, wait. If God has called you to go, he will confirm that in your bride at the proper time. I waited almost a year, and it wouldn’t have worked any earlier.
I also fully understand that the sacrifices that we make now won’t be that bad in the long run. My family and friends will always love and be there for me. The things we get rid of now will not be missed. God is going before us and is preparing the way. His way and His plan are better than staying in my comfort zone.
If God has called you to go to Seminary, follow your call and go. Remember that your sacrifice will put you in a better position to minister to a world that needs Jesus. The world needs your gift, refine it and then use it!
By Michael A. Murphy Michael is a husband and father to three children. He and his wife will be moving their family from Michigan to Colorado to attend seminary this fall. Mike and his wife, Denise, blog together at theevertree.wordpress.com