A Beautiful Struggle


Name: Fernando
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Ethnic Identity: Puerto Rican
Denomination: Presbyterian Church (USA)
Ministry Role: Associate Pastor
Ministry Context: Kirk in the Hills, Bloomfield, MI
Seminary Attended: Princeton Theological Seminary


You’re here. Finally. I’m so thankful that you have responded to God’s call that has brought you to where you are today. It’s great you are here and I’m proud of you. Whether you know it or not, there are a lot of people that have been praying for you, and will continue to do so. Pa’lante. 

As you enter and continue through this seminary journey remember that discernment does not stop once you get here. You’ll continue to have moments that confirm your calling. You will meet people and have experiences that help you clarify what that call is. Listen closely to what God is saying and doing.  

That said, there may be times that you wonder what you are doing here. This too is part of discernment. You may have started this journey with a strong sense of heading one way, yet through your classes, conversations and experiences you may start feeling a tug to do something else. Even some of the things that you may have believed that were firm and true may be shaken up a bit. It’s part of discernment. It doesn’t mean that you’re not called. Growth is happening during those moments. The Spirit will do what the Spirit needs to do. Stay close to that. 

Also, a warning: the so-called imposter syndrome is serious. There are many principalities and powers that have been unleashed throughout the years that will question your call, your presence here and so much more. There may be very few people that look like you. You may not see or hear voices like yours. Yet, remember this: In all its forms, the devil is a liar. 

You are called by God. You are called. You. Are called. Still and in spite of. You are, by God. 

No one, or thing, or system can take that away. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Your community is out there, and is ready to support. Aqui estamos. No estás sola/o. 

Be courageous enough to stand on your call. Speak up when you need to. Speak up louder if need be. Don’t be afraid of disagreeing or when others disagree with you. There will be many times when people will push back. Don’t be afraid of engaging. Whether you are right or wrong, you’ll learn more by engaging than by staying quiet. Most learnings come from engaging. Your older self will thank you later.

I said it already, but I’ll say it again. No estás sola/o. Identify who your community is and be open to expanding it through the many networks you’ll have. You’ll know who they are. They’ll be the ones celebrating all your achievements big and small and also standing along your side not questioning the tears when they come. They’ll also give you space when you need it. Though this familia may increase or decrease throughout the years, they’ll help you get to where you need to go. They’ll help you see light when all you want to see is darkness. More importantly, they’ll help you see the light in yourself and hold the mirror to help you see the wonderful work God is doing in you. 

We can’t do this alone. No estás sola/o. 

This journey will be a beautiful struggle. Sigue pa’lante. You deserve to be here. And there’s a bunch of people out there thrilled that you’re here. 

Que Dios te bendiga y protega. Que Dios haga resplandecer su rostro sobre ti, y te de su favor; que Dios te llene y te ilumine, y te moldee a ser la persona que Dios quiera que seas; hoy y siempre. Amén. 

¡Pa’lante, siempre pa’lante!  


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