Saturday, December 08, 2007

end of a semester...

“But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
Job 23:8-10

This first semester at seminary has been good, but different than I expected. God has been refining me and stripping me of things that I have held on to for years. He has shown me my need to be open and vulnerable with my weaknesses and fears. He has taken my plans and ideas and set them aside for now reminding me that HE is in control, not me. He’s also given me the gracious news flash that he is not confined to the box I put him in…he wants to do immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:21). I don’t know that refining is ever a FUN process, but it is GOOD and necessary. I also don’t completely comprehend what “exceedingly abundant” blessings look like, but I am learning to trust him for those things.

Columbia, SC was not my first choice of places to move to, but God made it abundantly clear that this was the place to go and I can say, after this semester, that it is no mistake that I am here. I’ve learned a tremendous amount in my classes, but honestly, I’d have to say I’ve learned even more relationally. Through roommates, professors and friends, God has shown me in tangible ways what grace is all about. Being with like-minded people has been a HUGE blessing, but also challenging. I realize how lax and apathetic I have become in spiritual disciplines, Scripture memory, prayer, daily time in the Word.

Right now I will be moving back to South Carolina mid January to a place in the heart of downtown Columbia, Lord willing. One of my current roommates, Kristin, and I have a desire to be intentional and strategic in where we live and found a place next to the USC campus. We are excited to see what doors the Lord will open there. I am also not going to be going to China this summer. That door was closed and I have a peace about it. Long-term future plans are on hold as I pray and seek the Lord for my next steps. As a planner, the unknown can be frustrating at times but exciting to see what he DOES have in mind as HIS plan unfolds!

Currently…I’ve got one final done, two final exams and a paper/presentation to go and I’ll be on my way back to Alaska. True confession…I have not missed the cold at all, but I AM looking forward to seeing you all SOON!!!! There is something to be said for having a WHITE Christmas!


Kari Smith said...

I continue to praise the Lord for this place that HE has brought you to. This place of refinement. This place of uncertainty. This place of TRUST! Continue to press on toward the goal...relationship and fellowship with your Creator. With the lover of your soul. With the one who is planning your course.

I can't wait for the immeasurably more that you WILL experience.

Love you Eller! P2 for life...apparently!

Kari Smith said...

Also, nice picture you got there! How about a little love for the photographer! :)

ace said...

Way to go Smith, you should think about doing some professional work. :) Thanks for the pic! Come back any time to take more!