God is the master weaver, the one who makes sense of all the seemingly random and chaotic moments that fly by in our lives. In Threads, Part One and Part Two, I started an assignment that Jennie Allen gave me and a large group of women at a mom’s conference to remember three of the best moments in our lives and figure out why those moments were so important and how threads from those moments have been woven throughout our lives from then until now. As I mentioned before, I’m writing in hopes that those who read this will do the same with moments in their own lives.
My third best moment (not in order of importance) happened in college. I had many similar moments throughout my college career, but I can picture one very clearly. It was spring semester of my freshman year. I was sitting, leaning forward, in the front row of my Old Testament Introduction class, gazing up at my professor, Dr. Frank Spina, listening to his words with everything I had. I can remember exactly in which room in Demaray Hall we were. Dr. Spina was no lightweight professor. In fact, although I was a pretty good student normally, I was a little shocked just now to discover from my transcripts that I only earned a B in that class. His students either loved or hated him because he challenged us to work hard, and worse, he challenged our preconceived notions about Scripture, making us think for ourselves. I think you can see that I was one of the ones who loved him.
I went on to take as many classes as I could from him, and I even chose him as my advisor. I remember loving one class in particular in which we studied the book of Genesis. One of our assignments each week was to make fifty observations about each chapter we read, even if the chapter was Genesis 10, entirely made up of a genealogy list. Some students were angry about that assignment, but through it, I was introduced to a Bible concordance, where I learned a lot just through looking up the meanings of names.
I fell in love with Scripture like I had never done before, despite the fact that I had read it all the way through year after year through my growing up years. I was amazed by the complexity of it, the beauty of God’s authorship. Don’t get me wrong: I advocate repeatedly reading through the entire Bible, but after I had done it so many times, I needed to study it at a deeper level. Dr. Spina’s classes fulfilled that need. I also was at a point when I needed my faith challenged. I grew up in a very conservative, legalistic church, and I needed someone to make me figure out what I believed for myself and what I had just accepted because my church and parents told me it was true. He pushed me to the point of doubt, but I came through with a much stronger faith, a faith that was fully my own.
Because of Spina’s classes, I decided to major in Religious Studies (basically a Theology major), and I did most of my Bible work in the Old Testament, an area in which I was quite weak–my church at home tended to stay in the New Testament. I didn’t know how I would use it for a job–in fact, I didn’t believe I would ever use it in that way–but I was at a Christian school, and I wanted to take advantage of these amazing classes that would deepen my understanding of the Bible and theology. I minored in Literature and French, and hoped one of those would help me with an occupation in the future.
Nine years went by before God picked up that thread again. I had moved pretty far east in our country, and I had forgotten some of my love of the Bible, although I was still reading it. I took my first Beth Moore Bible study with video, and through her infectious enthusiasm, my love for Scripture came flooding back to me. After that, it was like I was back in college–I took every class that she taught, semester after semester, until I had done about thirteen of her studies, all in a row.
Near the end of those studies, God moved His needle some more, prompting me to start writing my own Bible study, starting with the jewels He had already given me. He’s helped me finish it and sent me to a Christian writer’s conference, and whether the study ever gets published or not, two groups of women were kind enough to take a chance on it and are going through it together right now.
God took a passion of mine, a passion that He Himself placed in my heart, and in a way I never could have predicted, has used it for His glory.
What are your passions? Has God used them in your life? Is He asking to use one of them even now?