My Theological Studies:
I was on a masters/Ph.D. track in Biblical Theology at Regent University in 2011 with a special focus examining the scriptural treatment surrounding creation after earning my B.S. in Psychology/Communications in 2010, but have to work full-time to survive. My workload doubled during the first year of my master’s program as the Red Cross went through a series of restructuring processes in Georgia and throughout the United States. I couldn’t juggle both masters level work and the ever increasing professional workload and sadly withdrew in 2012.
No sense in doing something poorly that is so important and costing me a fortune. I’m still paying on those student loans. Whew. It was a very hard decision, but my creator has a purpose for all we go through. Part of the purpose of having to leave school turned out to be my own emerging sacred story.
I eventually participated in Loyola University’s LIMEX program at the University of Georgia’s Catholic Center focusing on ministry with an emphasis on creation after leaving the masters/Ph.D. track at Regent. I made it through several courses at Loyola before work again shifted me into a new office location that was even farther away. At that point I had to move closer to work and too far away from the Loyola LIMEX program to continue. Still between it all, I managed to keep working on my Silent Communion project and the precepts.
I started creating personal masters level type studies outside of work after settling in the new location. While some people go home after work to watch t.v. or leisure activities, I went home to continue my own personal studies. That worked and has continued to work for all of these years. It’s common for me to fall asleep in a book or at the computer. I have woke up on the floor a good number of times too … serving Christ as best as I can by squeezing every second out of the day, and trying to not seek my own personal comfort. Don’t misunderstand, I do seek comfort and would prefer more time in my days for my calling and studies, but my work is demanding. We must make do with what we have and understand there is a purpose even though it might be very hard and not make sense to us.
As my own sacred story emerged and grew, I experienced little support from the Christian community during my grief when Hannah passed at Summerplace. Their ignoring and devaluing of creature grief prompted me to write a manuscript for grieving animal stewards in 2017/2018 that was in final edits with my editor in March 2018 and a month away of being published. Then Sarah, myself, and eventually beloved David became ill. We went through terrible losses those two years of 2018/2019 … our home, most of my possessions, and our health … because of black mold toxicity. Sarah did not recover and passed away so I put aside the manuscript to grieve for myself. I was quite sick too and just as I started to recover, David developed large cell lymphoma. Walking through his cancer journey with him made me realize that parts of the manuscript needed to be strengthened before it is published. Growth can be filled with overwhelming loss and is not always pleasant. I miss my home, Sarah, and especially my decade plus long friendship with David. Yet I am called to continue and can take comfort in knowing that they are in a place of total love now and no longer suffering. I will one day get to join them in heaven.
Today, with over a decade of personal study, I’m no longer after a Ph.D., but that doesn’t mean that I am no longer a student. That will be lifelong. I am currently a student of Richard Rohr’s Living School; Cohort 2022.
Give one of the videos a try if you want to hear a different type of theology.
Peace be with you, Tams