As of Friday at 4:00 pm, I’m officially finished with my first semester of studies in the Master of Divinity program at Calvin Theological Seminary. I think I did well and will receive my final grades in a week or so I think. It’s been a good experience and I really did enjoy it. It was challenging and, at times, maddening – but most good things in life are. I’ve got a two week break right now and my J-term classes will resume on January 5th.
It’s seems hard to believe that it was just a little more than five months ago that we first arrived here in Grand Rapids – there has been so much that has happened in that time. As I’ve reflected on our time here I continue to be amazed at God’s goodness. Here are just a few highlights from our first few months here:
1. Making it here safely with all of our worldly possessions
2. Establishing a home in a neighborhood with playmates for the kids.
3. Finding a new church home.
4. Zachary and Bethany both flourishing in their new schools.
5. Making new friends in the neighborhood, at the seminary, and in church.
6. Various visits from family throughout the semester,
7. Flexible jobs for both Jessica and myself.
8. Financial needs being met.
9. Continual support from family and friends.
When we first started this journey, there we so many questions and as I look at this list, so many of our worries have been laid to rest and so many prayers have been answered. We are feeling very blessed.
Tomorrow, after our morning worship service, we are leaving for Minnesota and Iowa to spend a week with family and friends for the holidays. It will be the first time we’ll be back as a family when it isn’t our home. It will be strange and familiar all at the same time.
I suppose it’s kind of like the Christmas story – it’s familiar – we hear it every year which can cause us to miss the fact that it’s also strange – God sends his Son, fully human and fully divine, born of a virgin and placed in a manger. It sounds so impossible; but so did going to seminary once upon a time. But, as I’ve learned over these last five months, nothing is impossible with God. His grace abounds. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.