A few thoughts from an ESBS graduate

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Carli Cannon, ESBS 2012-13

“Carli Cannon here, a student from the 2012-2013 year of awesomeness. Just wanted to give you a little picture of what life, or at least mine, looks like 6 months after graduating from ESBS.

First a little background on me: I’m a 19 year-old from just south of Nashville, TN. And no, I unfortunately don’t have a southern accent.J I absolutely LOVE travel and mission work. I have a passion for kids with special needs in underprivileged countries, and I spend a good chunk of my time watching children in one way or another. I sing, so there’s a little bit of Nashville that’s gotten into me. I graduated a year early from high school and took a year to attend a Discipleship Training School with Youth With a Mission that took place in Charlotte, NC and India! It turned my life around 120%, being the knucklehead high school punk that I was. While I was in this school God made it clear in a supernatural way that my next step was to go through an SBS school. So, a year and a half, a lot of grace, and about a million pages of reading later, here I am.

The common denominator every student shares from my year at ESBS is that we now have a gold mine of knowledge about God’s word.  A surface level understanding has been replaced with a deep knowledge. As ESBS graduates, we’re privileged to know a depth of historical context behind the passages we study in church (which makes the meaning of the passage SO much richer), and passages that once seems insignificant are now VITAL to understand life and walking with God!

That said, coming home from ESBS was difficult for me.  When I first came home I had this subconscious notion that I now knew nearly EVERYTHING that there was to know about God and the Bible. I wouldn’t admit that to anyone, myself included. But now I realize that pride was festering in almost every thought that popped into my mind spiritually.  The thing that I am realizing now is that God is SO much bigger than ANYTHING I could fit into my teeny tiny brain. He doesn’t fit into a box. Even in the Bible God scarcely worked in the same way twice! I mean, hello, Carli?! Yes, ESBS was a solid foundation on knowing His character and the Holy Spirit continues to lead me to help discern what is of Him and what isn’t.  In humility Im now learning to quiet myself and continue to receive as a learner, rather than have explosive historical diarrhea on anyone around me.

I am continuing to learn SO much since I’ve been back home, and a lot of which has come from people who don’t know Jack Squat about the Roman Empire, historical facts, etc...  Don’t get me wrong, I think the Bible is the biggest way that God reveals Himself to us and it is of our benefit to marinate in all of its goodness, both inductively and in meditation.  ESBS is an amazing way to do that, AND I am realizing that God has many tools of sharing pictures of Himself, whether that be the Bible, nature, other people, what have you. He works in more ways than any of us could imagine, and that’s the beautiful thing about Him: He is not contained. And even in just the Bible, who am I to think I’ve discovered it all in those zillion some odd words He provided for me to feast on for my entire life? Pride is a sneaky little monster.

So, going to ESBS was one of the most important things I’ve ever done. The ways I think and have relationship with the Lord will NEVER be the same. It is amazing to go back and read journals about how I’ve been sanctified over the past year and the richness of how I read the Bible now. Now 6 months out from graduation God is still working in me through teaching and relearning things I studied… and then some. The Holy Spirit’s revelation plus Biblical knowledge make a pretty awesome baby, just sayin’! God is good, people! In the words of a wise professor of mine, “posture to receive, posture to receive.” And that is precisely what I am learning to do…continue to receive good things from the same good God I learned so much about at ESBS.”

Your sister in our Savior,

Carli Cannon