Sunday, December 17, 2017

When the Rug is Swept Out From Under You

When Dusty and I made the decision to come to seminary in the summer of 2012 I had no idea what was in store for me. We would be moving to a new city, with new people, and a whole new way of life. And I was terrified.

Then, when we got here I learned all about the opportunities that were afforded to me as a seminary spouse. There is an organization dedicated to ministering and equipping ministry wives. There were even classes just for the seminary wives. I was super stoked to jump in and begin learning just as much as my husband was. After all, if one of you is called into the ministry, the whole family is. I felt like this was just what I needed to be able to be the helper I was supposed to be.

As I got deeper into the Seminary Studies for Student Wives program I realized just how much I was LOVING being in the classroom learning and growing. I also learned of the Master of Arts in Christian Education program that had a concentration focused on Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics (Homemaking) and realized that was something I really wanted to do.

So, I applied, and was accepted and I began the journey toward my Master's degree. I was stoked. However, the amount of confusion, push back, and critical response I got from people when I told them what I was seeking a degree for was monumental. There were people that were genuinely confused as to why this was a degree option at all. There were others who decided that I had completely turned my back on my gender by going against everything the current feminist movement stands for. And with each level of criticism I felt more and more like this was exactly what I needed to be doing.

I soaked it all in. I took as many of my concentration hours as was offered each semester. I attended almost every women's conference that took place on our little campus. I read books, I wrote papers, and I did all the research. All my seminary core classes have taken a back seat to those that have been offered in the concentration. So much so that I am just now getting around to taking a few classes that I should have taken within my first two semesters.

I had even made up my mind that I would continue taking the concentration courses as they were offered even after I had finished with my program in just 2 short semesters as a non-degree seeking student just so I could continue to grow and add to the wealth of knowledge that I had already received.

My path had been set. And then I had the rug pulled out from under me Wednesday afternoon.

You see, as I was handing in my final assignment to my professor for the semester, I was informed that the program was no longer going to be offered her at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. And not only that, the woman who has mentored me over the course of my educational career here, who has encouraged me, cheered for me, and showed me what it truly means to practice what she preaches will be leaving the school. And my heart is saddened. I am sad to know that the institution will be losing such a valuable asset both in the instruction and the program. Especially for a place that claims to champion the notion of biblical homemaking and encourages women and wives to be keepers of their homes.

The entire course of my life changed trajectory when I began the program here at the seminary and I was excited and encouraged at the way that the administration championed those of us who feel led to truly embrace the call to be keepers of our homes. Sadly, at the learning of the ending of the program, that in many respects is still in its infancy, it feels as if those who were championing the biblical mandate is now turning its back on us and leaving those in the younger generation to continue to flounder and wander aimlessly through this walk of life.

Motherhood, wifehood, homemaking…these are challenges that come with very little support, encouragement, or instruction. Like much of life, there is no clear-cut user manual, and the Family and Consumer Sciences concentration helped to give young women that guidance and encouragement that is so lacking in our feminist driven world.

Since I have already completed all the required concentration courses this change does not have any effect on my graduation plans. I will, Lord willing, be finishing up my degree by December of 2018. And then the question comes of "What's next?" Where do I go from here? How to I use the information to pick up the mantle that is being laid down so carelessly so that I can ensure that the knowledge that I have gained does not just become like the dusty books on the shelf that never get read?

That is my new goal for my little piece of the internet. To figure out exactly how to continue the work that had been started in me and through me. My hope and my prayer is that even though there are no longer going to be structured classes available where one can just sit and soak up the information, I
will be able to serve as a resource for help, guidance, and encouragement as we all seek to navigate this world and do it to the glory of God each and every day.


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