A Year of Refinement - Jordan Sattler
Our manager always asks us to describe our current state in one word. As silly as it is, since we’re asked that a lot, I still have a word for my current state, which is refinement. The fellowship itself is a year of refinement. You refine your spiritual, emotional, and physical self. I’ll be honest, it’s harder than it sounds but in a wonderful way.
Spiritually, I have been tending to my relationship with the Lord. We have a covenant that as a fellows class we create together and uphold to it throughout the fellowship. One of the sections in the covenant is physical. In this section we all have a year challenge, which mine is reading my bible in the mornings. In the beginning, I was thriving. I was reading my bible every morning and really digging into what I was learning. As time came on, there’s been a morning here and there I forgot to read my bible or I read it but I’m not truly letting is seep into my soul. Moments like these are when refinery come. I learn what grace means when I mess up. More importantly, I recognize that I’m reading the bible just to follow the covenant and I need to examine why I’m not reading it to want to learn more about God. In this moment, my spiritual refinement is reevaluating why I read the bible and its importance, not just a book to read, but to be in awe of who God is.
Emotionally, I have been challenged to face my weaknesses. One of my biggest fears going into the fellowship was I’m going to have to face my weaknesses and truly deal with them. In the beginning, I didn’t have to as much, but as the “honeymoon” phase ended, I realized my weaknesses are not only going to be shown to myself, but to my whole fellows class. It’s scary. I struggle with being vocal and communicating before conflicts arise, which eventually creates the conflict and makes it bigger. For a while, I put it off because I was scared to refine it. I’m going to show ugly sides of me to people I live closely with. As I kept avoiding addressing people in conflict, my frustrations towards them got worse, which created bitterness, which resulted me to gossip about it with others. That’s straight up sin. If this is a year of refinement, I’m going to need to put the work into it. I started confronting the guys about my frustrations with grace. They received the confrontations well and we continued on. Wow, that was simple. My relationships with the other fellows have grown so much stronger because I’ve learned to confront them in the moment instead of let it fester in me to create sin. I’ve had many conversations with my other fellows confessing my frustration that led to internal judgement and gossip towards them and they lovingly reconciled with me.
Lastly, I’ve been physically challenged to keep active. Yes, I’m moving around more outside of work, but I’m also being challenged to not be lazy at work. It’s easy to be assigned a task and grunt how it’s physically draining. What does the complaining do though? It makes the task way worse. I’m constantly catching myself complaining at certain tasks because they involve a bit more movement and strength. I’m still struggling with this, but I am recognizing it, so I’m currently taking it to the Lord and trying to find the root of why I’m complaining. I love work, don’t get me wrong, there’s just some tasks that you dread more than others. But you do that at any job wherever you go.
Overall, all of my challenges I’ve expressed has been on display for all of my fellows to see. As daunting as it is, I’ve learned how important it is to rely on my other fellows to help me in my refinery. Being open about my weaknesses allows the other fellows to come along side of me, point out when I’m failing, and then help guide me back on track. Refinement is not easy work. It’s hard, it’s challenging, and at times frustrating. Because I’m allowing myself to not quit at the hard times, I’m growing in areas that I’m weak. I am beyond thankful and blessed for the opportunities to be refined. With full confidence I can say I’ll be leaving this program better than I came in.
- Jordan Sattler