God didn't dramatically change the trajectory of my ministry. I am still called to think through Christian formation and theological education. I am still called to think about the equipping and empowering of the people--paid and volunteer, educated by institutions and educated by experience--particularly with the young people of the church. But this calling has a renewed attention to systematic injustices and the failings of the church to reject these injustices. I see more clearly that the church is called to care for the unheard, the ignored, the silenced, whether they are military service members and veterans, the incarcerated, the severely impoverished, those who do not conform to gender norms, or anyone else rejected by the pristine nuclear family ideals. I see more clearly that my work is to reveal this calling of the church to her leaders. I see more clearly that this work is not a task of the church segmented and separated from her discipleship, worship, and fellowship tasks, but integrated into her fibrous, fleshy being.
When I left middle school ministry in the church to attend school full time, I didn't know what would happen while I studied and died to my perfectionist ideals. Sitting at the threshold of the two-thirds mark, I am overwhelmed by all that has been given to me in knowledge and experience and opportunity. Anticipating this place in ministry and life would have been impossible. Looking back it is all that makes sense, God is at work in me and around me. Looking forward, it dares me to dream for even more. If studying and simply sitting can accomplish so much within my heart, what else could be in store?
This post also appeared on the Field Education Blog for Duke Divinty School. Read other student reflections here.