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January Fifteen

If you need me, I’ll have free time maybe mid-May… You know, after I finish my Master’s program…

Go to graduate school they said. Continue your education they said. Do it while you’re young they said. What they didn’t say was ‘sacrifice your social life’, ‘say goodbye to sleep’, ‘get ready to write the hardest papers of your life’.

But I really shouldn’t complain. I brought this upon myself. I had a Bachelor’s Degree already… I did the minimum and still I felt that wasn’t enough. So, I took a six month break from school, and I decided to put myself through the torture again…

Now I’m approximately 115 days away from walking across the stage in a long black robe to receive an expensive piece of paper… And the days couldn’t feel any longer. From now until May 11th I have an eight-week theology course and a twelve-week internship. I have countless amounts of reading and assignments, and I also have to complete 120 hours of ministry hours. My head is spinning. I took one look at my syllabus, and I was so overwhelmed I almost burst into tears.

But on May 11th I’ll walk across the stage at the age of 24 and have a Master of Arts in Youth, Children, and Family Ministry. I’m exhausted. I don’t want to read another book about doing ministry for at least the next five years. But most of all I’m excited. On May 11th I’ll have done what no one thought I was capable of. I’m getting a Masters Degree!

To say it was easy is a lie. To say it was a choice is an understatement. I don’t know what it’s like to do nothing after a full work day. After a full work day, I don’t get to come home, lounge around, maybe binge watch some Netflix. After a full work day, I get to come home, listen to an hour-long lecture, and write a 500-word reflection on said lecture. Then if I’m able to do all of that before midnight I’ll get ahead by doing an hour of reading, but if it’s already midnight I’ll beg myself to go to sleep already. It wasn’t- and until May 11th– easy. Each time I wanted to watch a movie instead of read chapters about theology I had to remind myself that I’m doing this because I decided to not because someone made me. Because in 2016 I chose to continue my education and continue learning about how to do ministry well. I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could, and deep down I still want to learn even if it means saying no to spending time with friends.

It took work, but I am so ready to reap in the reward. My brain is filled with knowledge that most church members don’t know. I want to share what I’ve learned, and more importantly, I want to practice what I’ve learned. I’m ready to be done with reading and writing and assignments and start spending that time serving and participating and doing ministry.

115 more days… It would be less if I didn’t have homework on the weekends, but I do. 115 more days; I can do this.

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