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The Sweetness of God: Thoughts on Graduation, Book Deals, and Answered Prayer

I graduated from Seminary on Saturday. It was seven years in the making, to finish the three year degree (at least seven is a Biblical number). I now have what is called a "Masters of Divinity," a rather unfortunate title. By my reckoning, one of the goals of a Seminary education is to teach us that we can never "master" the subject of "divinity," that God, who is infinite, eternal, and inscrutable, cannot be pinned down or summed up in pithy phrases. Nonetheless, I have the diploma. I made it. As much as Seminary taught me to be careful of ever thinking I can control or predict God, the fact that I graduated speaks to God's sweetness, God's intimacy, God's personal care in my life, in all of our lives. Two years ago, I would have said I would never graduate. I had finished a little more than two years of courses and was taking a leave of absence after William's birth. It had been years since I was a full-time student. And I had a chance, I thought, to write a second book. Seminary would have to wait. Or, rather, it would have to be indefinitely incomplete. But then the Seminary changed their graduation requirements so I only needed four courses in order to graduate. And then, a year ago, every editor who was interested in my second book was unable to convince their team of editors/marketing people that it was worth publishing. So I found myself last summer without a book contract and with finishing up school in a year a real possibility. I started posting regularly to this blog in August of 2009. I thought it was an exercise in "building a platform" for writing. But it turned into a blessing, a space for me to work out my thoughts about all sorts of things, a space to connect with people far and wide, a space to be challenged and to challenge others, a space to be encouraged and to share encouragement. I figured I would finish classes and see what happened with writing. Five days before my final assignment at the Seminary was due (my thesis), I received an offer from a publishing house to work on my second book. The day after that, I received an offer from beliefnet.com to move this blog onto their site. Looking back on it, all I can say is that God cares about me. It's a simple statement, but it would be a terribly self-absorbed one if I didn't think the same is true for every individual on this planet. Over the past seven years I have learned a lot about God. In school, I learned that God is grand and worthy of our worship and so great that I cannot comprehend Him. But in my personal life, I learned that God is intimate and personal and so humble that I can pour out my silliest requests, my anger and fear and doubts, my heart. And I can trust that He will listen. So this post is an announcement–in addition to the new website at www.amyjuliabecker.com, which offers some details about the new book–"Thin Places" will be moving to beliefnet.com this week. I hope you'll stay with me, and I hope the move will simply mean we've added many more people to our conversation. But in addition to announcing these changes, this post is a thank you letter, to my Lord and my God, who cares for me. And for you.

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