OK. So my last post left off with me on Vancouver Island, feeling like I needed to go ahead with my life, knowing God would lead me to Bethel when the time was right. On August 30 I received an email from Bethel stating that my application was being moved to the 2012/13 school year as the wait list was too long and there would not be room for me this year. So I went back home to Calgary and pursued the job with the Christian Media organization, and things worked out in such a way that I really felt like the Lord had led me to this job. It was great for the first month until I went to the annual conference for the church that was associated with the media organization.
At that point, things shifted dramatically. A friend was with me while I was at the conference, and both of us were very uncomfortable with the Spiritual atmosphere. We both felt like Scripture was being misused and as a result it was the pastor who was being promoted rather than the Lord. The people of the church seemed to primarily be drones blindly accepting everything the pastor said and became indentured servants of that church. About this time I was also given a personality test. At first I thought it was great, because I felt like they actually wanted to know who I was and help me grow as an individual. But instead they stuck me in a box, and began identifying weaknesses I needed to work on, without being able to provide me with examples of these weaknesses. I was also being pressured to attend the church associated with the media organization, even though when I was hired I was told it was not required. It felt like they were trying to make me fit their mold and as a result I was hurt, confused, and frustrated because it felt like no matter what I did, it was not the right thing.
During this time, there were also some bright spots. In November, I was able to book a SCUBA vacation with my parents at the end of February, as well as arranged additional time off (as I did not have sufficient vacation time) to go check out Redding and of course Bethel during the Jesus Culture event in early February.
On December 2, 2011 I received my acceptance letter from Bethel. I had 30 days to pay a deposit of $300 to reserve my spot, otherwise my space would be forfeited. This freaked me right out and I immediately contracted Pastor J and his wife, so they could help me sort out how to proceed. Even though I am in my late 20s, I wanted to have my parents support, as it is important to me to honour them. At this time my parents were not onboard with the idea of me going as they did not see the value of the experience and thought I would be better off staying in Calgary building my career as an accountant. My Pastor and his wife suggested I ask my parents to pray and ask God very clearly for a "yes" or "no" answer about if I should go, and to set a deadline of Christmas. When I informed my parents about my acceptance and asked them to pray, they still were not keen on the school but they did agree to pray. When Christmas came, the both said they had not heard anything from the Lord, which they thought was unusual. I took this as a "yes" and paid the deposit, knowing it still didn't HAVE to go and it would simply mean I made a donation of $300 to an organization I supported.
January passed fairly uneventfully, although I was beginning to grow more and more disgruntled at the Christian Media organization, and began subconsciously counting down the days until I could escape to California. And then February hit! Jesus Culture and my experience in Redding and at Bethel were amazing! I felt so comfortable and like I belonged there. On my last night, I shared with the people I was staying with that I felt confident that this is where I was supposed to be. Now all I needed to do was convince my parents and we had a 10 day vacation coming up......
That is as far as I can take this tonight. I know I'm just getting to the exciting bit, but I'm hoping this will get you through a little longer. The story will be completed this weekend :)