I have been going through my old journals from 1997 – 2002, when I transitioned from a graduate student getting a master’s degree in Arizona to being married California. It was a very emotionally volatile period in my life; God was working on my heart and drawing me to himself.
I had a girlfriend who first got me to visit the Lutheran Campus Ministry in the Fall of 1994, the last year I needed to complete my undergraduate degree. Her relationship with God was important to her, so I decided to go. God worked on me that year, and I decided I wanted the love that those Christians had. So I submitted to God, and was baptized Easter 1995 with water being poured over my head. But God only owned my head; not my heart and soul.
I got engaged to my girlfriend that summer, and I got a job in my college town to wait for her to finish schooling. I continued to go to the campus ministry, and stayed in the performing groups I had the previous year. After that year, I was still engaged, and I decided to earn a master’s degree at that same school because I was waiting for my fiancée to finish her degree.
I was living in sin, but thinking I could just accept His Name and receive showers of His blessing. I was not accepting God on His terms; I only let him come close on my terms. He was not satisfied with my half-hearted devotion; he wanted all of me. Finally, after nearly two years together, my fiancée talked with me about her conviction to abstain until marriage. That conversation called into question all kinds of issues about our relationship, and where it was heading. We called off the engagement in the summer of 1997, and I started writing in journals.
I now was half-way through my master’s degree, and clearly over my head. But I stuck through it, got tons of school loans, left my outside job, and began my final year of grad school. I wanted to know what was happening to me. I wanted to sort through my emotions and what I wanted out of life, love, and relationships.
Perhaps you, dear reader, are in that stage of life now. Are you blogging about these topics, looking to find some meaning through the pain? It was a five year journey for me, and it’s rich with some really touching writing. I sound so embarrassingly selfish in those pages. Those winces give me actions to be a better person now.
Now, while I will maintain the flow of the original thoughts, I’m going to edit together the bits where I’m on a single topic. I had a tendency to non-sequitor switch to something else that I wanted to get down on paper. So this blog will hopefully have more continuity and make it a better read. I will also fill in details that wouldn’t be obvious without some background.
This period ended with my marriage in 2002 to my wonderful, humble, Godly wife. It’s a story with a happy ending, though I found out that I had only begun to learn about how to serve God through loving people.