As I think about God as my Sustainer, I think of these verses (and the classic campfire song, “Cry Out,” from my time at Park River Bible Camp). In my time at seminary, God has sustained me in a couple of ways, and they’ve both been through relationships.
Besides being a seminary student, I’m also a dorm assistant for the Bible College. In my now two and a half years of serving in both vocations, I’ve been shown my own weakness more times than I can count. The most stressful days of my life have been during seminary finals. Big tests, big papers, and lots of reading assignments come due by then, and even when you’re on track, you quickly feel like you’re behind when finals are looming. When discussing real-life scenarios in counseling or apologetics classes, I feel vastly unqualified to serve a congregation. I also often feel like I’m neglecting the Bible College students when I have to sacrifice time with them to do homework. Thankfully, they are forgiving just like our God. In His grace, He sustains me through their patience, and through the friendships I’ve made here amongst my classmates. God has especially blessed me through the friendship of Joe Larson. He has been a brother I’ve confessed to, ministered to, and worked within the dorm. Through those times, we’ve had many great chats about a whole host of theological, political, practical, and nerdy topics.
The other relationship through which God has sustained me is with my fiancé, Taylor Ensrude. We met during our time as campers at Park River Bible Camp and began dating in June 2014 when we both worked there. We also both attended college in Fargo, N.D., so we have always been close to each other. After graduation, she was admitted into the Creighton School of Dentistry in Omaha, Neb., and I came to seminary here in Plymouth. The prospect of a long-distance relationship was intimidating and scary, but God has sustained us both as we’ve been apart. Our relationship has only grown stronger, and we’re excited to finally be engaged and look forward to life together in marriage. There have been tough days of longing to be together for sure, and there have been many a lesson for us in patience and humility along the way. We’re also excited to see what God has in store for us together wherever He calls us to serve. Taylor’s favorite verses, Romans 8:38-39, are what we both cling to as we count down to our marriage: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Though my time at seminary has knocked me to the ground and shown me how sinful and weak I really am, God has brought people into my life in order to encourage me and help bear my burdens. I am amazed at His love and faithfulness, and I can’t wait to see where He will send me next and how He will bless me there.
Michael Onstad [FLS senior] serves as a men’s dorm assistant on campus.
Kinship is a magazine of the FLBCS. Stay up to date on the latest news, student stories, classroom highlights, and fun tidbits about life on the FLBC and FLS campus.
View the latest edition of Kinship here: Kinship Winter 2020 Edition