And So the Journey Began

It all began with my mom developing an addiction to iTunes Podcasts. With her love growing, so did her list of listened to Christian preachers. Eventually she came across a man named Bill Johnson. He is the preacher of Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Through podcasts, research, and conferences her knowledge grew.

In the summer of my freshman year my mom sent me to Curitiba, Brazil on a mission trip with Randy Clark (a dear friend of Bill’s). The trip changed my life. It was the first time I saw God’s radical healing power, spoke accurate words of knowledge, and watched people physically move in their response to the Father. After those essential two weeks I knew that I needed an alive God. I needed a red, hot God. I needed a passionate God.

Junior year came around and the reality of higher education set it. There was a shift in the air. All the students realized graduation was coming and coming fast. The life-planners ahead of the game with enrollment in ACT Prep classes, college visits, and extracurricular-activities. Me, being the avoider that I am, avoided thoughts about the future. I felt no tug on my heart to follow in the footsteps of my father, sister, or older best friend. Ohio University had no appeal. University of Cincinnati was a definite no. Ohio State University sounded nice…I guess. I had no desire.

As a family, our interest in Bill Johnson and his friends grew. We found out that both Bill Johnson and Randy Clark have supernatural ministry schools (check out definition number two!). With Randy Clark’s school in Pennsylvania and Bill Johnson’s school in California the decision arose of which school should I apply to? After research, research, research I decided I want to apply to Bill Johnson’s school, Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM), because it seemed more unconventional and I figured I could use some of that.

I went on two different trips to visit BSSM and fell in love. I loved the school, I loved the town, I loved the speakers. My heart was officially there. In the middle of senior year I began the application process. I sent in the application, had my references send in their referrals, and I scheduled my phone interview. Dreams, visions, prophesy, and words of knowledge all pointed to me being at BSSM. I thought BSSM was happening. I was ecstatic.

Along came interview day. The woman called me early, I was prepared. I answered all her questions to the best of my ability. The woman ended the call basically saying I was going to get in and I would hear within four weeks. Later that night as I checked my email I received my least favorite email…of all time. It read as follows: ❝After interviewing you and praying over your application for the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, our team felt that your life experience and your present spiritual season better qualified you for our sister school called, ‘Bethel School of Supernatural Discipleship❞

Tell me you are kidding.

They weren’t. With tears streaming literally gushing, I went to my kitchen and choked the words out, “I didn’t get in”. My future plans crumbled within a mere three hours. I had nothing.

My parents refused to back down so easily. They called our pastor making sure he did indeed recommend me, which he responded with “of course”.

There are two BSSM admissions people. My pastor called one out of concern and a friend at BSSM contacted the other. We attacked this with God on our side. The way it all happened was totally God ordained and I began to feel a sliver of confidence knowing that all these people were willing to fight for me. I felt beyond loved in a situation that seemed to be Hell’s equivalent.

Eventually we found out the reasons I was not accepted. In my opinion they were silly. Basically, they were misunderstandings. At the same time we began looking into this new school, Bethel School of Supernatural Discipleship (BSSD). After speaking with BSSD’s advisors, looking at their website and praying for God’s will I began to feel that maybe BSSD is actually a God thing. It took sign after sign to fully convince me but I felt peace over closing the BSSM door and stepping into this BSSD thing.

I have officially been accepted to BSSD and I am so excited. I wanted unconventional and that is what I got. I got the unexpected. I had my plan written out and it got scratched out by the author of my story. I am now okay with that. I had to deal through bitterness, acceptance, and submission.

And this is where I am now. In the beginning of real life, my real life, just trying to stay within the words God has already written about my destiny.

>><<

The view from Bethel Church in Redding, CA.
The view from Bethel Church in Redding, CA.

5 thoughts on “And So the Journey Began

  1. Hi Miranda! I found your blog via google when looking for info on BSSD. As a fellow Ohioan who is considering BSSM/BSSD, I would love to get some insights 🙂

    ~Hosanna

      1. I’m having a hard time finding you. If you want, you can find me by searching Hosanna Rebekah Joy Swartz

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