ELBOW & ALBOW

The O'Nan Family Blog

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Graduation


Praise the Lord! After three very long years of hard work and study, I finally graduated last Friday from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Although I have had times when I have seriously wondered why God brought me here, I can now look back and see the ways that he was preparing me to become who I am today. My first serious doubts came during my first semester. I felt inadequate and weird. I was somehow very different from everyone around me.

I was in the missions track of the Billy Graham School. I came here thinking God wanted me to be a full-time international missionary, but I sat in my missions classes knowing I was in the wrong place. I thought maybe I should leave. Why should I be here if I wasn't going to be a missionary? I had heard dozens of people say, "If you can do something else and be happy, do it." Well, I could list about 1,000 things I would love doing and would be perfectly happy doing. I would love to teach college literature. I would love to be a gallery director. I would love to work in magazine design and layout. I would love to work for an independent record label. I would love to go to culinary school. I would love to go to hair design school. I would love to own an independent bookstore. The logical thing then (based on what I had heard all these preachers say) seemed to be to leave.

However, God used several wonderful people and conversations to show me my niche - the arts and the church. That's my "thing," and I was fully prepared to persue this niche in academics and with my hands. I was going to get the Ph.D. I was going to move to New York City. I was going to write books. Then, one day I met Alex. He turned out to be another wonderful reason why it was very good for me to stay in seminary. If I had moved away from Louisville too quickly, we would have never crossed paths, and I cannot now imagine life without having Alex in it. Alex has simplified and complicated my life all at once. For one thing, he has eliminated the NYC option, and that's a good thing. He's allowed me to settle down and relax and figure out what I really want to do in the arts with the church. He has ushered me into Sojourn Community Church which has opened up many, many opportunities for involvement in the arts. He has given me the stability and love and encouragement that allows me to explore where God will have me go with this arts thing. He wants me to write books. He wouldn't mind me getting my Ph.D. - just not right now. He loves the way that God has chosen to use me in this uncoventional way. Honestly, I don't think I would have made it through seminary if Alex hadn't come along. He kept me going when others discouraged me. He identified with me when I felt like I was an outsider. He, along with the Lord's good grace, is why I walked across that stage on Friday to receive that diploma.

9 Comments:

  • At 8:32 AM, Blogger Alex Jonathan O'Nan said…

    You see that? That's my girl! You rock my unborn baby momma! She's got her freakin' masters!

     
  • At 8:33 AM, Blogger Philip L. Copeland said…

    Congrats, Laura!

    I know what a big accomplishment this is; the SBTS degree is quite long, difficult, and complicated! On another note, I love the recent pictures of you and your man--hilarious.

     
  • At 9:03 AM, Blogger Alex & Laura Beth said…

    Thank you Dr. Copeland!

    And thank you Alex! However, your comment sounds like I'm pregnant or something. Do you know something I don't? Or were you talking about the future?

     
  • At 9:05 AM, Blogger Alex Jonathan O'Nan said…

    The future, my sweet, the future!

     
  • At 5:40 PM, Blogger Alex F said…

    Oh... you meant THAT Alex

    Congrats

     
  • At 8:16 PM, Blogger Hilary Noltemeyer said…

    LB- We love you and are so happy that God has brought you into our family of friends. I know you know what I mean. Anyway, Congrats!

     
  • At 11:51 AM, Blogger Bobby said…

    Congratulations! New York's loss is our gain.

     
  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Alex & Laura Beth said…

    qsqiThanks Bobby and Hilary! I am happy to be here in Lousiville forever with people like you.
    -LB

     
  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger Lorie said…

    And you've got a wonderful man. And have made him a wonderful wife.
    And will make him a wonderful unborn baby momma. :)

    Congrats!

     

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