Chanda Stegall, M.A.C.E.

In January 2015, Fabian and I began discussing our future and asking God what He wanted us to do next. We felt the Lord leading me to go back to school. But to study what? We didn’t exactly know. Since my undergrad degree is in Journalism, we thought I should pursue Communications, so, I began researching Communications graduate programs. I wasn’t fascinated by any of them. Then, one night, I googled seminary.

I didn’t know seminary programs were graduate programs! But we’d already agreed I would pursue Communications, and I didn’t know how Fabian would feel about me changing fields (again) so I went back to googling Communications programs.

But I couldn’t shake the thought of seminary. I prayed, and a few days later, I floated the idea to Fabian – what do you think about a graduate program for Christian Education? He said, oh that sounds so much more like you. That was the beginning.

In a flash, I applied, received my acceptance, and I embarked on what I thought would be a two year journey. I quickly learned that would not be the case. I could not be a full-time student. So, I changed the pace and took a max of three classes each semester.

I wish there was time to tell you all the ways the Lord carried me on this journey.

Like when my tuition plan fell through and I needed $4,100 to stay in school. The week the payment was due, the Lord provided $4,200 – because He’s the God of Lagniappe! (NOLA for a little something extra.)

Or the time when I signed Fabian up to attend a mandatory class with me without realizing it would be a two year long course that met every Sunday afternoon during football season.

Or the time when I had three courses, a full-time job, a part-time internship, a Bible Study group to lead and a Sunday School class to teach all while wife-ing, mom-ing and attending four football games each week.

There were many times when I said that’s enough, I quit. There were many nights when I really wanted to just give it all up. I cried, I cried a lot. I doubted myself and I doubted this is what I was supposed to be doing. And through it all, God continued to show me His faithfulness and He gave me signs all along the way that assured me that He sees me and He is for me.

So today, by the grace of God and with His bountiful favor, I graduated. I put on the regalia, walked the stage, shook the hands and received my degree – a Master of Arts in Christian Education.

The Commencement Service began with the Doxology, a song I’ve been singing since I was 6-years-old. It seems like such a fitting way to end this journey:

Praise God from whom all blessing flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him all of ye heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost
Amen.

Phil. 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Phil. 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
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