(thank you, Shainey Coleman, for this dreamy Boone mountain pic)
Unexpected, unanticipated, not even on the radar.
Living in Redding (California) and attending BSSM (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry) was one of those “wouldn’t that be awesome” kind of dreams. You know, just like the “wouldn’t it be great to live on this remote beach instead of just vacation here” kind of dreams.. not the ones you take seriously, but the ones you pull off the shelf, admire for awhile, and then forget about in the day-in, day-out.
I’ve heard about life in Redding for years now – best friends have been to school there, transformed by the culture forever.
I was able to visit in January of this year in the middle of #rigginandtaycrosstheusa (the cross country trip that I took with Kelly Taylor and also Instagrammed like a champ). A friend showed Kelly and I around Redding and we ended up at a worship night facilitated by his community.
There are moments in our lives when we encounter people who are walking in a freedom that we haven’t yet known.
It happened that night. There was a breathing room, a living hope, a deep rooted joy in every face that I saw – a freedom that I, at the very least, had lost sight of or forgotten about altogether..
You know how one white shirt, when by itself, looks as white as white can be? It’s only when the shirt is compared to another brand new linen that its dinginess is revealed.
It happened that night. Comparison in a healthy, “remember what is possible!” kind of way.
Long story short, through little heart tugs and conversation with a friend, I decided to apply — SUPER last minute, assuming that if I was accepted, it would have to be God (because who in their right mind applies to school for the Fall at the end of June?) Honestly, more of me believed that I would not be accepted, but that I could finally put the “What would happen if I tried?” question to rest in my mind.
Well guys, I got in.
I’m learning in this season that the heart tugs – the purest, deepest, fingers-crossed hopes of our hearts should often be listened to, instead of buried in fear of them never coming to pass.
I have so many of those dreams – dreams of running after-school programs for inner-city kids and watching those children beat the odds, break the curse, and pursue their dreams – of having a freaking incredible marriage and raising a family full of compassionate hearts – of giving people TOOLS to navigate this life and to listen to their hearts; not getting swallowed by life, but overcoming by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and maybe a little Talenti gelato – of knowing the heart and the intentions of God deep and wide, and proclaiming those truths to a world full of weary hearts that are only hoping He’s good.
…but I know that it starts with me. It starts with me getting the tools and the healing – it starts with me encountering before becoming the encounter. It starts with me deeply knowing the heart and intentions of God so that in every season, I can stand with others and say “No matter how it looks, He is still faithful.”
I’m not discounting my seasons or my story leading up this point. I’m not saying that I don’t already know some of what I’ve mentioned, or that I’m not already pursuing some of those heart dreams – but there are times when we are called deeper, when we are called to more, and I believe that for me, this is one of those times.
I thought that I would live and die in Winston-Salem.
I love this city – the way that it’s not too big, and not too small. The way that it carries inspiration in the air and breathes wind into the sails of creatives. I have unspeakable gratitude for every gift of friendship that I have with SO many people. I don’t feel worthy of 1/10th of the love that has been poured into me through the friends that I have. I belong to the best church in the world full of beautiful, loving, gifted people. I have nothing but thankfulness in my heart when I look at all that has been built and all that was in store for me when I moved here 3 1/2 years ago. I will forever call this home and plan on returning during the school breaks and beyond — but for a season, I am laying down and giving all that I’ve got to this invitation of BSSM.
I am sharing this via blog on the world wide web for a few reasons:
1. I have every intention of blogging more regularly throughout this journey, because I’m coming to find that story is powerful and one of the tools God uses most to encounter other people. Let’s call this the prelude to all of the blogging entries to come.
2. PRAYER. Y’all, this ISFJ, green-blue on the DISC test girl HATES CHANGE and LOVES SECURITY. I hate change even when it’s awesome, just because it’s different than what I’m used to. There is nothing familiar in this guaranteed to be spectacular season change. (There are many other areas to be covered in prayer, I am sure, it’s just the quirkiest, yet also realest thing I’m facing right now).
3. SUPPORT. This is the hardest for me for a million reasons – my “no that’s okay I’ve got it” independence, and the fact that as humans, we love to point to something and say “this measurable proof shows that this is worth investing in” .. but those voices fade in the face of last-minute transitions and no-other-choice.
Tuition for the school year is $4,550. In addition to this cost, I have to cover living expenses and continue to cover all of my adult bills. I will be working part-time throughout the school year to supplement, of course, but it is very scary going from full-time job money to part-time, the cost of living staying the same but the income being cut in half. Because the school is not accredited, student loans are not an option.
Talk about a faith walk — one of those moments where the rubber hits the road, and the theology that is much easier to quote is actually put to the test.
If you would like to give toward this adventure, donations can be made via Paypal
THANK YOU so much for reading, praying, and supporting! I look forward to sharing tons of moments with all of you: whether they be the life-changing jaw dropping ones, or the “this-is-funny-now-but-it-sure-wasn’t-when-it-happened” ones, and all the others in between.