The Hard Work of Dreaming
By Lainey Nix
During our kickoff retreat for Season 15 of Capital Fellows, our director, John Kyle, said something peculiar (at least, to me) during one of our discussions. He said, “What would you do, where would you land if you let yourself dream a little this year?” and I know this word for word because it struck me enough that I typed it into the notes app on my phone.
“Dream a little?” I thought, “Figuring out my career, personal development, and learning more about God through seminary classes, sure – but dreaming? These aren’t areas we dream about and, if we do, weren’t we supposed to leave that in college?” I am not a natural dreamer, rather a stick-with-the-program type. But dreaming, we are. Etched into our programming – our volunteering, our work, our group discussions, and, yes, our seminary classes – is the call to dream and the space(s) to go do it.
One of the ways a Fellow is called to dream is through the call to think; whether it be collaborative or independent, you will not leave this program without having thought long and hard in light of what feels like boatloads of rich information taken in during classes and discussions. Seriously. Even if you think you may have escaped thinking about confusing or hard or “beautifully complicated” (a John-Kyle-ism) things, you sit with your own thoughts for three hours on a silent retreat!
“Do I actually enjoy the kind of work that I say I do?” “How do I affect those around me?” “What does it mean to hear the voice and calling of God – have I ever heard it?” “What really delights me? What really disappoints me?” “Why do I do that? Why is that? What’s under that?”
These are just a few of the things I have felt called to think about in this program, and thinking through them as they come up has been helping me dream about my next steps - the life that could be after Capital Fellows. Reflecting on the 23 years of self that I have built up and ruminating on God, who formed my inmost being, is equipping me with the boldness to ask Him what the life He has in mind for me looks like, and if it’s different than the rough drafts of my life I have sketched out, what am I going to do about it?
This is where the real, hard work of dreaming comes in. If I begin to understand, even partially, the answers to the kinds of questions I listed out above, what will I do in light of that understanding? Where might I land? I’m nearly ready, though a little afraid, to dream about the answer to that, but this most important work is waiting, and I’m thankful that God has placed me in a program that has given me the support and the space to go do it.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
Forget the former things: do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
Pictures from the Week
Flipping pancakes for McLean Pres. Student Ministries breakfast!
Friday night girls’ dinner. Somehow we got invited and ended up in a beautiful apartment in the Watergate complex?!
An awesome MPC family hosted us for dinner after work. Beyond delicious dinner, dessert, and games!
Become A Capital Fellow in 2022-23
We are now receiving applications for Season 16 of the Capital Fellows program!
Most fellows work in the marketplace - for companies, nonprofits, government offices. Three Capital Fellows work at our church each year as well. For these roles, we are looking for a worship fellow, a children's ministry fellow, and a missions fellow. These are special Capital Fellows opportunities because the Capital Pres Family not only pays your salary, but also pays your Capital Fellows program fees!!
The Season 16 program year runs from late August 2022 through mid-May 2023. If you are a college senior or recent graduate - or know someone that is - we would love to hear from you!
Click here for the Capital Fellows program application.
Pray for the Capital Fellows
Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
Each week, the Capital Fellows serve at Cornerstone Schools of Washington DC. They are there to help teachers in the classroom with needs identified by teachers themselves. Please pray for the Fellows as they form relationships, listen and learn, and serve to the glory of God and for the good of the students, teachers, and others involved with Cornerstone.
Want to pray for the Capital Fellows throughout the year? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.
Benefits of The Fellows Initiative
You probably already know that Capital Fellows is one of 32 fellows programs in The Fellows Initiative network. Capital Fellows benefit from our affiliation with The Fellows Initiative in many ways. One of those ways is that all Capital Fellows alumni receive a 33% tuition discount at Reformed Theological Seminary for 5 years. For more information, please contact us.
If you know a church in the US or Canada that would benefit from joining The Fellows Initiative by launching a new fellows program. Please contact TFI by visiting their website.
Want To Read More?
Signup for the Capital Fellows blog email! Emails are sent weekly during the program year. An unsubscribe link is provided in every email.