Thursday, January 13, 2011

Leaving Brenau, following my dream...

"I just want to do the God thing for my life. I don’t want to live a mediocre life. I want to live the life of my dreams. I want to live a life constantly challenging myself, and growing, and learning. I want to love to learn. I want to live a life as an example. I want to leave the world better than I found it. I want to learn how to love, and how to be loved." - an excerpt from Tony's journal - Jan. 2, 2002

I came across this journal entry a few weeks ago as I was preparing to announce the above decision - to leave Brenau to pursue full-time ministry.

Really, it speaks for itself.  I have Tony to thank for that.

Some are shocked that I am leaving a place I love so much.  Some are not.  Some completely understand my decision.  Some wonder what I am doing.

And my simple answer...I'm following my dream.

Even before Tony went onto glory, I have always answered the question, "What would you do as a career if you had no financial, relational, or geographic constraints?" ...very easily, ministry.

Now I didn't know for sure what all that ministry would entail, who I would minister to, where I would go, what I would do.

But the idea of waking each day and working at a place whose sole mission was to further the Kingdom of God just always gave me goose bumps.

Now, I am fully aware that we as followers of Jesus are to further His Kingdom no matter where we work or what we do.  But God does call those who are drawn into full-time ministry.  And I am fully confident that all my past experiences have led me to this new opportunity.

I will be the assistant to the campus pastor at Buckhead Church.  The position is a perfect mix of my administrative skill set and my relational bent, all thrown in with some blogging, some social media, some special projects, and so much more.  Truly, God scripted just the right job description in just the right environment.

I am so excited.

And those 4 words really don't do my excitement justice.

It is one more way God continues to restore my life through yet another "life unexpected" moment.  I wasn't even looking for a new career path, yet God dropped it in my lap anyway.

For all my Brenau family, please know my departure has no reflection on my affinity for my alma mater and the countless relationships God has placed in my life there.  It is certainly bittersweet to leave a place that has had a profound impact on my personal and professional development, starting way back as a soft-spoken, shy freshman over 12 years ago.  I left Brenau the first time as a graduate compelled to give back to an institution who invested so much in me.  I leave Brenau a second time with those exact same sentiments.  Thank you.

I believe Psalm 40:1-5 sums up my heart so well:
"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare."

Dearly loved, and always a Brenau girl,


  1. Congratulations on following your dream, Melissa!

  2. Congratulations, Melissa! I'm so proud of you for stepping out and excited for you, too! I hope that we'll run into each other at BC soon.


  3. Congratulations! I know you will continue to be a blessing to so many! You will be blessed as well following God's plan for you. Stepping out in faith is a wonderful thing! Keep us posted on what is happening at BC!

  4. Wow! So excited for you! You continue to inspire. :)

  5. Amazing. Beauty from ashes. God is using you for remarkable things!

  6. Melissa, I've been busy with the kids and my elderly mom who broke a hip and out of the loop lately. Just found out about three weeks ago about Brenau--when of course, I called to ask you a question, LOL. You will be missed greatly. God Bless You! I wish you all the very best and have been praying for you over the last week. Follow your dream, and take care of you. Valerie Hegwood