As time started to elapse between my time back then and my time here on Whidbey the Lord started to show me that all my motivations for attending a Bible college were motivated by the flesh, i.e. my desire to get married, which I still have just in the Lords timing and not mine but I digress. So I knew that my church had a Bible Institute, but I didn't know what to make of it. A church that trains men for the ministry?! Can a lady even attend? So I talked to my Pastor at the time, Pastor Prisk, and he said that ladies were of course welcome to take the classes, just not the ones that train the men for preaching, based on 1 Timothy 2:12 and the qualifications for a man being the one to preach found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. So I started going, but was quickly snatched away for deployment. I already knew that the Lord wanted me in WA so I decided rather than intermitantly attending classes that I would wait until I got out of the Navy, which actually worked out because shortly after returning from deployment I was put on night check. It would have been very difficult to attend Bible Institute at that time.
So in 2005 I got out and set to work on Bible Institute training. Training to use the information that I learned to use in my Sunday School classes, which I have; to share with friends to encourage them, which I have; and ultimately to use that knowledge to better serve the Lord and understand His words with, I'm still working on that but that's life it's a constant work in progress.
It was easy at first to see my progress because I basically needed all the classes that were offered, but as time passed by more classes were added, turning a 3 year program into a 4 year one, and then all the classes were re-set to accommodate the Preachers In Training here. Not that I was upset exactly, I mean they are the men that would be preaching and the institute is designed for that, but it did start to get discouraging after a while because slowly all the classes that I have already taken have started to resurface and I started to get lost in the classes and what I needed (some of the classes kept me in limbo because they had yet to be defined). Eventually it really started to affect my spirit. Each time someone would stand up in the pulpit and expound on the program and how long it was, I would sit in my pew and stew about it, knowing that I might very well be in the institute for a few more years and trying to accept that, after all the world is not the stage for the "Carolyn Show", but never quite coming to terms with it. So at the beginning of the month I finally decided that rather than continue to stew about it I would just ask Pastor so that I could see the big picture and continue to stay motivated.
After his much needed vacation he came back and yesterday asked our seceretary to bring him my permanent record. How the scenario played out shall remain within the walls of the office, but I know that there was some discussion with Tim about it and that a dear friend stepped in to advocate for me. So about 3:30pm I got an email telling me that I would have to do to complete the requirements for it was 2 more book reports! Really?! Completely! Totally!! Seriously!!!
I really don't know what else to say...I know a total shocker! But it's humbling and overwhelming at the same time to know that I'll have my Diploma after these 5 years. I do actually plan on taking any new classes that come up, just because I always like a good challenge and learning from my Pastors. Sitting under their wisdom and getting to absorb all that they have dispensed is priceless and I can only hope that I can allow to use a fraction of that as I continue to go forward in the life that He has designed for me. Suffice it to say, it is well with my soul!
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.