Gordon-Conwell Blog

Finishing Well, Part 3: The Trailhead

May 10, 2012

Megan Hackman

Author's Note: My husband and I are in our final semester of seminary. In some ways it feels like a race to the finish; in others, we are slowly passing through in search of what might be next for us. With this “Finishing Well” series, I invite you to join us in the final months of seminary. I encourage you to consider your own calling and the place in your journey with the Lord where you find yourself. I look forward to hearing where our story might resonate with yours!

You know you’re graduating seminary when:

  1. Someone’s looking for a word to describe nasty tea they just spit out. Appropriate words would be lukewarm or tepid and all you can think is like Revelation.
  2. A prospective student is looking for a specific kind of church—church plant, charismatic-friendly, and with opportunities for discipleship—and you not only know which church he’ll love, but you know who to connect him with. Low and behold, they’re old college buddies.
  3. You’re supposed to be journaling reflections about a missions class, but the content quickly becomes the thesis for your exegesis paper in Isaiah 56.

All these things actually happened in one day. So I guess it is time to settle into the idea that my husband and I are graduating seminary in just a few days, which means we probably should already have applied to a ton of jobs and know what we are doing next. But we haven’t, and we don’t know. Well, we don’t know exactly.

See this journey that we are on originated for me in a rejection from a choice college that then became a pursuit of Spanish and a passion for Spain. Then we went on to pursue missions which led to seminary (see Part 1 and Part 2 if those appear as the tremendous jumps they are). We are fueled with a passionate desire to see people love Jesus and to live as followers of Jesus their whole life. We believe this means living as individual members of the body of Christ, the Church. We are passionate about serving the Body as a whole and its individual members. So really, that could lead us anywhere on this planet.

But that doesn’t necessarily make the job search any easier. So we are thankful for alumni who have gone before us and are married couples serving the church together. We have begun to meet with them in hopes of gaining a language and a vision for living out this passion in a way that can be articulated in job interviews. We plan to apply to EPC churches all over the United States to serve as pastors. We keep our hearts and ears open for unconventional opportunities to serve that might not yet be known to us.

We had an experience in April that led us to both this step-by-step pursuit as well as this open-handedness. We were in our favorite getaway of New England, the Adirondacks of New York. We had planned to climb a nice, short mountain. We knew how long it was (.5 miles), we knew what skill level was involved (a nice junior hike, said the book), and we knew it would have a “nice” view from the top (said a friend). And it was all those things, and it was nice. We prayed and read Scripture and enjoyed the view:


Then we ventured to the next trailhead. We knew the name. We didn’t bother to look at the trail guide, so we didn’t know how long it was (way more than .5) or the skill required (steep gradients, as it turns out). We didn’t even know if the summit would be worth it all. But oh my, was it ever:

It was a hard hike. I dealt with significant fear involving ice slides, encroaching darkness, and physical pain. But Jesus met me in the fear and taught me a lot about the fears I have about the next steps of life. I was overwhelmed with God’s abundant creation glory at the top of the mountain. This was no “sit and enjoy the view” kind of mountaintop. It was a “come-to-Jesus, awe-struck, laugh and cry at the same time” kind of view.

So should I anticipate Plan A, the Owls Head mountains of life with predictable, relative ease and nice views? Maybe. Those are really nice sometimes! But I long for the come-to-Jesus, awe-struck, laugh and cry, Cascade-style ventures.

So to find the “End of the Story” at this point, we are in the application process, preparing for ordination, and finishing our final 2 classes. We have our eyes peeled for those trailheads. We anticipate meeting God both in the struggle of climbing the mountain and in the glory to come on the top.

Megan Hackman and her husband, Larry, are M.Div. students at Gordon-Conwell's Hamilton campus.

Tags: Author: Megan Hackman , equipping leaders for the church and society , spiritually vital , student blogger , student life , thoughtfully evangelical

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What a fantastic post, so very well written, so inspiring. Thanks for making time to write these. God bless you.
Jeff Nichols 9:21AM 05/11/12

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