“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 CSB
It’s that time of year again. Time for change. Time for new beginnings. Time for a fresh start. Having built my life around education, I tend to go by school years more so than calendar years. Needless to say, I always love the fall semester! I love taking my kids to get school supplies. I love the excitement and anticipation of what a new year will bring. However, I also know that a new school year, whether you are in kindergarten or graduate school, can be a time of great fear and anxiety.
In seminary, each semester is new. Perhaps you are just starting your seminary journey, and you are wondering what you are doing here. Maybe you are somewhere in the middle anxiously anticipating what new things the Lord will teach you this year. Or it could be you are nearing the end of your journey apprehensively looking toward what will come next.
Wherever you are in your journey, let me reassure you with these words…
God will make your paths straight.
You or your husband did not enroll in seminary by accident. God is leading the way for you. He is making your paths straight. So, if God is leading the way, then what is your part in following Him?
1. Trust Him with ALL of your heart
Over and over in scripture, God says, “Do not be anxious…Do not fear” (Phil. 4:6; Isaiah 41:13). God wants us to do the hard work of trusting Him, and believe me when you put your whole life in His hands, trusting the Lord can be hard work!
2. Do not rely on your own understanding
Only God knows the plans that He has for us (Eph. 2:10). His plans are often different from what we would imagine (Isaiah 55:8) and may not initially make sense to us or other people. We must seek His face and rely on His understanding to follow His plan for us.
3. Seek to KNOW HIM
The primary goal of the Apostle Paul’s life was to know Christ (Phil. 3:8). Some days I have to admit knowing Christ is not my primary goal. I get too caught up in the busyness of the day to focus on knowing Him. Yet I want it to be my goal every day. How about you? If you are seeking to know Christ daily, then you will be more in tune with His will. Anxiety about the future will fade away because you are at rest in Him.
As you begin your journey this academic year, I would challenge you to ask yourself,
1) Are you trusting the Lord with ALL of your heart?
2) Are you relying on your own understanding or God’s plan?
3) Are you seeking to KNOW HIM?
Another new beginning for us this year is that our Fellowship of Women Students and Student Wives Fellowship are teaming up into a new NOBTS Women’s Fellowship. We are offering multiple opportunities for women from all aspects of campus life to enjoy community together. Join us as we gather together to get to know one another, offer encouragement and support, and make lifelong friends. New beginnings can be hard, but they can also lead us to unexpected blessings. Be on the lookout for your unexpected blessings this year as God makes your paths straight.
Dr. Emily Dean serves as the Director of Women’s Academics and Organizations at NOBTS.