Lynn Marie Gault
Current MDIV student (Sacramento)
Never Say Never To God!
I heard a wise person once say that we should never say "never" to God. When I finished my Indiana University Bachelor's degree, I determined that my education was complete. God had other plans! He knew I had a lot more to learn.
Several years ago, a window of time opened due to a move which took me away from a well loved job. My husband had taken a new job a distance away. I wondered what God had next for me. Brad Howell, previously a fellow co-worker of mine, works at the Fuller Seminary Northern California campus. Brad urged me to come try out a Fuller class on Women, the Bible, and the Church.
My instructor, Dr. David Nystrom, is a Roman historian, author of a commentary on the book of James, and someone who could competently exegete original Biblical languages. What I learned in that course alone will stay with me the rest of my life. It was meaningful to me that clearly both males and females are equally valued by God, and have dynamic gifting for His glory. There are women all throughout Scripture whom God uses traditionally and non-traditionally, according to His plans. I learned the great value of studying original language and cultural context when interpreting the Bible.
It's interesting how God connects the dots together as we seek His will. Derek was another co-worker with me on my previous church staff. Derek is a Fuller Seminary graduate, having received his doctorate several years before. Derek encouraged me to attend Fuller Seminary; but was very honest about the challenges I might face as a student there. What Derek told me was that there would be times as a student when I would feel like a boat put out to sea, and while there would have my boat uncomfortably overhauled. But, Derek assured me, I would come back to shore a better boat.
What a truthful analogy that has been for me. It has taken courage for me to be willing to honestly look at Scripture, be willing to hear other opinions without feeling fearful, learn to dialog with people who think very differently than me. At times I learned things which really caused my "boat" to rock. I ran to God asking Him to help me accurately process what I was learning. I found is that in so doing my faith in God has grown deeper, my love for Him sweeter. I had nothing to fear, but everything to gain.
Several years ago, I began working again as Director of Women's Ministries for First Baptist Church, Elk Grove. The education I have received from Fuller Seminary has paid rich dividends. What I have learned has enhanced my ability to teach, lead, counsel, and dialog with people coming from different perspectives.
I have only four more courses until I finish my Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry. I never knew who Charles Fuller was before I joined Fuller Seminary, but to my astonishment I have learned that Charles Fuller began and was the first pastor of the church in which I grew up (Calvary Church of Placentia). I am thankful for that church which was so important in my early formative years. And I am thankful as well for the formation which has taken place in my life through Fuller Seminary.