The following guest post was contributed by Megan, another one of our very own SWF wives. Megan is 23 years old and a wife to Spencer, who has completed his first year of seminary. She studied and graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in business. She currently works in Accounts Receivables at the McLane Company. She is on our SWF leadership team as the Music and Stewardship Coordinator. It’s been such a blessing getting to know her! And I just know you’ll be blessed by her perspective…
My dream was to meet a cute boy in college, date him for a few years, and get married after graduation to start our new lives together. While I found a cute boy to marry, things did not go exactly the way I expected them to. Spencer & I began dating October of our senior year of college; we were two very different people with different personalities and different backgrounds. We were both involved in a campus student ministry at a secular college in Michigan together, and we were both pretty independent and career driven. I was a finance major with a motorcycle and had an internship with a leading stockbrokerage company who could probably give me a job in about any state in which I wanted to live after graduation. Spencer was a criminal justice major who planned on going to law school after graduation to become an attorney. Our plans began to change that winter…
My husband is very much a people-person, and senior year he realized how much he enjoyed ministering to people. As he served as the head student leader of our campus ministry, he felt that God may be calling him into full time ministry. We began looking into seminaries. As several of you are probably aware, there are fewer and fewer conservative seminaries in the U.S. these days. He was accepted into schools in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas. Why did we settle on BBS? Honestly, because it was the only school that we had visited, and the only trip that we could afford to make the move to.
We weren’t really sure what we were getting into by coming here for seminary. We graduated from WMU on May 1, 2010, packed up a Uhaul trailer, and moved to Pennsylvania 8 days later. We weren’t even married yet. Hubby proposed to me in March. We had only been dating for 5 ½ months at that point so we figured our families would flip if we tried to pull off a 2 month engagement to get married right after graduation! So we planned most of the wedding back in Michigan before we moved here. I was living in our apartment we had picked out, and hubby was living on campus for the summer.
I am not going to lie… things at first were hard. We were living half an hour apart and neither of us could find a job for the first 6 weeks. While we both gained employment the same week, we were both working retail – not what we expected with two bachelor’s degrees under our belt. We got plugged into our new church, but didn’t meet many people our age (they were all away for the summer!). Everything in Northeast Pennsylvania was different from what we were used to. But God continued to provide: for our needs and for several of our wants. I was able to start a new job when we got back from our honeymoon, and hubby got a second job shortly after. We were able to find an apartment closer to campus, jobs, and friends after a year. Seminary does require some sacrifices (I had to sell my motorcycle, and I am making less money annually than I expected to) but I continually have to remind myself that we are not here in Pennsylvania to glorify ourselves, or to just have a master’s degree in hand at the end. We are doing this, growing together, and in our patience, to glorify God and prepare ourselves for HIS ministry. A verse I have taped to my keyboard at work is:
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. ESV
Here are some tips I have for any couple moving here to start seminary:
- Don’t get an apartment in Carbondale your first year. It is just too far of a drive. If you need help figuring out good central locations, contact the seminary.
- Find a church quickly. Don’t try to look for a church that will meet all of your wants because you probably won’t find one here. You are here for ministry, so get started and find a church with places you can serve! One of the biggest blessings in our church is that there are 5 of us couples who got married within 6 months of each other and are all preparing or have prepared to go into full time ministry. We wouldn’t have found that anywhere else!!
- COME TO SEMINARY WIVES!! You will not regret it, I promise you! If you think you are older or younger than everyone else, you are wrong!! There are couples of all ages at the seminary, and there are great professors wives that mentor & build us up on a monthly basis. Your small group will really be a blessing. There is a great cookout in the fall where you can come with your husband and family to meet everyone in an informal setting. If you have missed that or can’t come but are nervous or have questions about seminary wives, contact anyone that has posted on this website! We want to meet you and get to know you!
- Don’t confine yourself to Clark’s Summit. There are things to do and see all over, and several websites that offer deals and discounts. Make the most of your time here. Also, I would encourage you to not confine yourself to your “Christian bubble.” These will be the people you are most comfortable with, but the area is filled with other people- several of which are strong Catholics. Reach out to co-workers, neighbors, customers at work. They aren’t really that different from you .