It’s crazy to think that in a couple of months, I will be facing yet another transition in my life. It seems like only yesterday that I hopped on a plane to fly across the country (literally – from California) to start my graduate education. Personally, coming to Candler was a HUGE decision. In so many ways, it was out of character for me to choose to invest so much time and money into an education that could not guarantee me a set career. And to get up and leave my family, friends and comfort zone to go to the South! What could the South possibly offer me that LA couldn’t? However, I knew that if I chose to ignore the opportunity set before me and refused to take that leap of faith, I would be left wondering “what if…”
Many people have told me that you need to be really intentional about spending time with God in seminary. Doesn’t seem to make much sense right? Shouldn’t it be easier since I will be reading, writing, breathing and living everything God? But it’s true–the academic demand does cause a spiritual disconnect at times. However, my studies here at Candler have also enriched my relationship with God in so many ways. I have been introduced to so many great thinkers, writers, theologians, preachers and the like. The readings that I actually got around to really challenged me to go deeper in my understanding of God and His Word. Similarly, the discussions with which I engaged during classes have also stretched me to look at things in new and different ways. Even though I know that God isn’t calling me vocationally to ministry (whew!), the skills that I have found and honed here at Candler will be an asset wherever I go.
So. Was it worth it? Was it worth getting past my fears and insecurities, of trusting that God will somehow make everything work? Most definitely. This of course does not mean that I have all the answers. Graduation is in 3 months and I still have no answer to where I will be going next. But that leap of faith has brought me to trust in God at a different level. He not only met me here in s-l-o-w Atlanta, but He revealed different parts of Himself to me in the green trees and the curvy one-lane roads and even on the MARTA bus. He answered my prayers for real community and good people in a way that I didn’t think possible. I am astonished at how much God has grown me and stretched me in the past two years. Not only have I learned new things about myself but I have started a journey in finding parts of me that I have lost along the way. To think that I would’ve missed out on all of that…
- Jung Won An
Jung Won is a second year MTS student from Los Angeles, CA and a Student Ambassador.