Of all the words I could use to describe the Fellows Program, “easy” is not one of them. Some of us ran across the finish line, while the rest of us army crawled our way to the end. Nevertheless, the 2017-2018 Charlotte Fellows graduated.
We are almost filled up on spots for women for the 2018-2019 year, and we are looking for more men to experience the Charlotte Fellows program! To focus in on our male applicants, we asked three men connected with the Fellows program how they have been transformed by the Gospel in their work. Enjoy!
Growing up, I watched cartoons every Saturday morning. My favorite was The Jetsons. With a flying car and a robot to do everything, it seemed like they had the good life on demand. At the time, 2018 was a lifetime away, and yet, here we are with more robots than we realize and our needs met at the touch of a button.
From The Jetsons to the twenty-first century, our lives and professions have advanced at an alarming rate. Yet one aspect of our daily lives remains unchanged.
This post was written by Connice Dyar, Director of the Charlotte Fellows.
This fall marks the start of our eighth year of The Charlotte Fellows and the first year with an all female class. While not the traditional make up for the program, we’ve already seen how the Lord has orchestrated this unique opportunity.
Despite the unusual make up of the class we are being reminded of the same timeless truths of the Lord’s character. He takes the unexpected, the unknown, and the unpredictable and uses them to demonstrate his sovereignty. In the Fellows program just as in our daily lives we have certain expectations of what a situation should look like or how a relationship should be, or of our job/vocation. We use up our energy and emotion trying to orchestrate our lives to fit our expectations and desires. And then we fall short with feelings of frustration and anger or the all too common anxiety that comes with craving control. Our default question is so often, ““God, I’ve done XY&Z for you. Why is this happening?” rather than “Lord, I believe that you see me, know me, and love me. I trust you. Your will be done”. While this might seem like obvious biblical truth we as a group continue to see how this questioning of God’s character and our circumstances asserts itself into every area of our lives.
As we spend this year in internships, professional development, seminary classes, mentoring and volunteering we know the Lord will faithfully continue to pursue us to trust him. His gospel beckons us to come to Him with all of our anxiety and frustration. In exchange He promises to give us a hope and a future. We pray that our “gospel lens” will grow as we trade in how much we do for God and exchange it for what He’s done for us. As we grow in our understanding and embracing of God’s Grace for us, it turns us from performing for God (and others) to desiring to serve God and others. This abundance of grace is the deep well we pray to live out of as we recognize that our service to God flows from a heart turned toward Him.
It’s a truth that we want our fellows to grow in and live from as we learn the same. Our program verse for this year is from Colossians 3:12-17
“As you walk by faith...Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
Please join us this year in praying for these Fellows and for yourself that we will continue to walk by faith through grace, and that our lives and endeavors will be characterized by the above verses.
Another Fellows’ year completed...our 7th year. I look back to when we first started in the fall of 2010, and I'm overwhelmed at all the wonderful memories of God’s provision and the hard and beautiful ways He has worked in our Fellows’ lives.
It reminds me of the quote from A Tale of Two Cities: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." There were probably times this year that I’m sure the Fellows were thinking the same thing.
But isn’t that how all of life is? Wonderful things happening alongside painful and hard things. But it’s walking through both that grows and strengthens us.