I’m thankful for the catalyst that the Erēmos Internship has been in my life, facilitating leadership development and personal growth.
Erēmos has also been the ground in which my relationship with Jesus and my relationships with others have been further cultivated. I started the internship with a limited understanding of what it would be like. I desired deeper relationships, deeper healing, and I was also seeking a better understanding of future ministry. If I’m honest, I imagined the typical and worldly portrayal of internships: I was about to get used for all I’m worth, burdened by unreasonable demands that would either “make me” or “break me” …
Thank God my imagination was misguided! Erēmos has been a grace-saturated training ground. The books, assignments, and service opportunities have stretched me, offered new perspectives, and challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. I was instructed, challenged, mentored, encouraged, held accountable, and loved. Being loved has made it a safe space for growth, even when growth has felt painful and uncomfortable.
One area where growth has been most painful has been relationships. From boundaries to conflict resolution to avoiding emotional dependency, healthy relationships take work (and humility!), but they are invaluable. I’ve spent many years avoiding conflicts and abandoning relationships that required defining boundaries. I’m really thankful that God has brought me to a place of stepping into conflicts, communicating boundaries, and practicing grace. The value of relationships outweighs the uncomfortable and painful work. All of my relationships in my life have benefited from what I’ve learned in Erēmos.
The other big takeaway is a new way of processing emotions. I’ve learned to look deep at what is in me and why it’s there, of course with the help of my Papa Father God. He patiently and gently heals and redeems.
Prior to starting my internship at MVF,
my leadership health and abilities were unknown in many respects. I already knew I had certain skill sets that were complimentary to being a leader, but not necessarily well-honed ones.
Over the last five years, Jesus has taken a hold of my life, including my sexual brokenness. During that time, I have not really pursued being a leader. I knew that during the internship, I would come to know myself better, including better honesty with myself and others, not only in my leadership skills, but in every area of my life.
What I was looking for from participating in the MVF internship was to grow in my relational skills and grow spiritually in community, while practicing being accountable to others and under leadership. I also had no doubt that greater healing would come in many ways and that it would likely be the hardest thing in my life thus far. And finally, in the process of the internship, I would come to know myself better and have better direction generally, and possibly specifically, in my life.
The internship, as expected, has been the hardest thing I have done in my entire life, and it is not over yet. Would I choose to do it over again? Yes and with no doubt! For me, the internship has been a perfect place for me to grow in community and be accountable for others about every area of my life.
I have been facing relationships, including deep conflict, in ways I would have never done before. Prior to the internship, I rarely faced conflict. In the internship, I am routinely facing conflict and learning to do so in healthy ways. I have also been growing spiritually throughout the internship. Without Jesus, none of the above would be possible. As far as having direction, I do have some more clarity than I had before, but exact details are yet to be known.