It’s been a while since my last post. I know. I’ve really been struggling with something lately, and as silly as it may sound…just go with me, here. How do I fully serve God with my career without a degree from a Christian university?
I’ll be honest…my dream school was Dallas Baptist University. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love UT Arlington and I believe it’s where God wants me to be. But I’ve wanted to go to DBU for years. Sure, I went through an Aggie phase, but I came out of it once I realized I didn’t want to be a veterinarian. For some reason, scholarship money was all hallelujah focused at UTA, so here I am. And I really do love it. (Insert UTA commercial.)
I keep thinking, though, wouldn’t my degree and, ultimately, my life serve God better with a “Christian” or “seminary” title on that piece of paper after four years? I know that my life and my career are meant to serve God and to serve His purpose, but how can I do that with a secular degree?
How obsessed have we become with labels? Whether it’s the clothes we wear, or the car we drive or even the titles we stick on one another, we are a labeling world. So, a few verses came to mind when I was thinking about this.
One of them was, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people…” (Ephesians 6:7). An employer that sees my degree and says, “Oh. So you didn’t go to a religious university…hmmm” is questionable. At that moment, I’d probably turn around and walk out the door. Partly, because it sounds like I wouldn’t get hired. But also to make a point…of course. I want an employer that can see my passion and my heart for God, not a label on my degree. That’s what everyone wants in life, isn’t it? Separation. Even the church has set up boundaries and stereotypes that ward away those that don’t fit a certain image. (Not every church…by the way.) Many people hear “Christian” and immediately shut down, stop listening. Maybe that’s something my degree will give me an edge over.
People will ask me, “What school did you go to?”, and I’ll say, “The University of Texas at Arlington”. (proudly) I may get a “why” or “what is your degree in” and there you have it, folks: a chance. My moment to share that God opened doors and I walked through them. I fought Him a little…okay…a lot, but I stuck it out and was blessed by it. I can say that I want to pursue a career in Christian based events, such as The Passion Conference or The Rock and Worship Roadshow, so that I can be around people with a passion for God and His grace, and want to share it with the world, just like I do.
What God has shown me in the last couple of weeks is that He DOES have a plan for me. And that plan involves honoring Him and His purpose, and I can do it with my career. He’s showing me that I have options to serve Him with the four years I’m here and beyond. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 says, “For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts”. God knows where I wanted to go to school; He knows I wanted to serve Him in that way, but His plan was different…and better.
One thing that confirmed this for me is that God’s really been calling me to give Him one last summer before I go off and find internships and jobs that will help my future career. I lead at Disciple Now weekend at First Baptist Church of Bowie a couple of months ago, and I felt like I was where I was supposed to be. Their youth minister, who I’ve known for years, as well as the students and adults are amazing and I know God has great things in store for them, and me. So this summer, I’ll be devoting my time and energy to those students and to seeing God move in them. I can’t wait. I’ve never been more excited for a summer before. So, if you could be praying for me, that’d be awesome. 🙂
Watching: “One Night With the King”