"Seriously, Dude? You resolved to write more often, haven't posted since March 12 despite having a new kid to tell the world about, and now you want our help? Have you gone wacky, or just plain stupid?"
C. None of the above.
We're going to start this story about a year and a half ago. At that point, I had been spiritually rebuilding for more than three years following what seemed five years ago to be a devastating event in my life (but when anything dies it feeds the ground, and from that event came two new relationships that have blessed Kaylee with not two, but four parents who love her dearly). Then something happened.
God went silent.
He was there. I knew he was. When you have accepted Christ as your Savior and you really focus on drawing yourself into alignment with Him, something changes. It's kind of like learning to ride your bike as a child: Dad holds you up and pushes you, slowly at first. Then, as you get your wheels under you, he speeds up, all the while telling you that you are doing great.
Then, he lets go.
You feel shaky and uncertain, because you are now doing this all on your own. But you always know Dad is still behind you, watching you, silently rooting for you to succeed, but always close enough to come running to your aid if you stumble and fall.
Once you learn to ride, then Dad rides beside you.
God and I had built up enough speed that he could let me go.
During the silence, I did struggle. I wanted so desperately to hear Him, to know even the next tiny step in His plan for me. But it wasn't time. So, like Moses and the Israelites did for 40 years in the desert, I wandered. I knew God was there, but I needed to learn to wait on His timing.
I began participating in the Men's Ministry programs at church last fall, and I developed some very close friendships with some amazing men. And about the same time, I started to hear God murmuring.
Then, one day several months back, God started to shout.
The prayers I prayed countless times to know the next step in my life finally started to get answered. There began to be some sense emerging from the chaos. God finally began to show me what was next.
I would love to go into the details of what that is. I am dying to tell people, but it's not yet time. The one thing I can tell you is that it is an area of ministry that desperately needs attention but has received little. It's been done generally, but now God is calling me into the specifics.
The few people who know the details at this point also know one detail about how I am handling it all: I feel like a cat being asked to fly.
Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to be taking this on. I just have no clue what I am doing. I'm figuring things out as I go -- like He usually does, God is telling me only what I need to know right now. His plan is perfect, and I know He will get me from point A to point B without issue if I continue to trust Him and do things His way. And point B may be complete failure -- but it will be a perfectly executed failure, and will be just one more small step in an enormous plan.
So, about that next step...
I'm going back to college!
I'm not completing my English Degree!
I'm not pursuing a degree in line with my career!
I'm switching to Biblical Studies!
Okay, to be clear, the major is Religion, with a minor in Biblical Studies. But I've never been too fond of the "R" word. Guess I need to get used to it.
So that brings us to today. And, since you are here, you probably wanted more information on that whole "donation" thing. If not, check it out at https://www.wepay.com/donations/send-mike-back-to-school first.
Please understand, I am not doing this to be lazy, or to get the rest of my education on someone else's dime. I am actively pursuing scholarships and grants, as well, but there is simply not enough left in the budget for me to take college classes. So I'm doing this little "experiment." I put that in quotes because I just don't have a better way of phrasing it at the moment, despite the fact that I know God will provide. "Experiment" implies a possibility of failure.
The page has "suggested" donation amounts. Those are there because 1) WePay asks for them, and 2) I want you all to be aware of why the current donation goal is what it is. $2,500 for one semester is not an arbitrary number. The total fees will be $2,365 per semester based on two classes and the technology fee. That leaves $135 to cover books and supplies. Of course, once the goal is reached I will certainly be raising it, because Those two classes aren't enough. I need at least 30 more credits, which is five two-class semesters. If enough money comes in and time allows, I will increase that course load.
A quick note: I am using WePay so the process can be 100 percent transparent. I want you all to be able to easily check on the numbers and know they are genuine. However, there is a cost: WePay, like any other "free" service, does take a cut of the money. 3.5 percent of every transaction goes to WePay, so a $100 donation actually gets to me as $96.50. There is just no way around this without taking the time to write something myself, integrate it with a bank, etc. And, then, we lose the transparency entirely because the beneficiary is also the creator.
So, with all of that out of the way, here is my formal request: please take the time to prayerfully consider a donation. Your gifts are contributing to finish a formal education in ministry, which will be used to run an organization that will fill a gap that so very desperately needs filled. What that is will be made public long before I graduate, but to better insure the long-term success of that ministry, this is necessary.
Please, allow God to guide you in this decision. Any contribution, large or small, is very much appreciated and will be put to good use.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
* Again, to donate, please go to https://www.wepay.com/donations/send-mike-back-to-school.