Becky completed 1 semester on the Harrisonburg campus, after studying both online and at the Lancaster Pa. extension.

Becky Hess,
2010 graduate

Finding My Way

Where are you going to live? Why are you going to seminary? What are you planning on doing when you’re done?
These are a few of the questions that have been blasted into my mind and heart, often coming from the lips of friends, relatives and most intimately, my own heart.

Where will I live? After praying, seeking God’s help, and sending emails to Harrisonburg friends, the question of where was answered by the kindness of a stranger willing to open her home 3 nights a week to me, an unknown seminarian.

Why am I going to seminary? This question, at times, leaves me struggling. Why am I going to seminary? Shouldn’t I keep teaching elementary school and shaping young minds? Why would a mother of three teenagers go to seminary? It isn’t practical! This why question went for the jugular of my insecurities. The underlying dilemma being: Has God really called me? For evidence I looked to my past, recalling my junior year of college. During that year, Jesus the Son of God appeared, giving me understanding that God actually loved me: thieving, lying, pleasure seeking, hedonist was loved by God. This reality brought the words of scripture to life. “Whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save it.” I wasn’t condemned! Time to party! Prayer became integrated into my daily life. During these prayer times when closing my eyes, a picture formed. An enormous hand, bigger than the size of a football field would be over me, a tiny person huddled with head bowed. I would open my eyes and shake my head trying to get the picture out of my mind in order to keep praying. The image of the giant hand stayed. God walked with me. I wanted to walk with Him.

Several decades later after serving in many aspects of our local church- teaching, preaching and nurturing, seminary simply seemed like a natural progression. It doesn’t dismiss the doubt. When doubt comes, I remember one retired pastor, Roy Bucher. From his hospital room, after laughter, prayer and tears, he stated, “Becky, you will be my pastor.” One week later a heart attack took him into the presence of the Almighty. Roy’s encouragement turned me towards finishing my seminary degree, which for this semester, brings me to Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Three weeks into the semester, assignments loom large. Trying not to cave into the pressures of this life, I seek God’s aid for balance. The sense of community at EMS reassures this fragile pastor.