Amanda Borchik Builds Another Sandcastle
“This journey of vocation often feels more like sand in a child’s hands than something certain and sure,” says Amanda Borchik, a 2014 Campbell Divinity School graduate. “One hour you are a castle, the next hour, eroding to flatness with the ocean rushing past, pulling you to a new place.”
A product of a broken family and a painful childhood, Amanda has always known that there is a better life for her. With hopes of being born again, she accepted Jesus at the age of twelve and came to fully understand her commitment to Christ at youth camp a few years later when she made the decision to answer God’s call and pursue a life of ministry. Though the decision cost her plans she had already made, she says, “I kept hearing God call me that night, so I trusted, received this call, and prayed and asked God to help me find the way forward.”
Despite some resistance concerning her newfound calling, Amanda continued to follow God’s direction as she spent the next summer serving as a missionary in Myrtle Beach with the North American Mission Board.
When she returned from the trip a series of transitions took her from her Southern Baptist church to a Methodist church and then to a nondenominational church where she began leading worship. Amanda calls this network of churches the “village” that raised her. She says, “I had many sets of surrogate parents, friends and mentors who came to love me in a way that I had only seen from a distance and never experienced before.”
Owing to the motivation and support of her teachers, pastors, and friends, Amanda graduated Summa Cum Laude from Charleston Southern University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Theatre. She then spent a year serving in Chicora, a neighborhood in North Charleston, SC, through AmeriCorps, and finally ended up in Cary, NC, “waiting for the next step to fall into place.”
The next part of her journey led her to Campbell. Amanda says, “I came into my first year of divinity school with an unnamed calling, wandering from class to class, searching for answers to why God led me to this place.” She soon came to realize her reason for joining CUDS as she devoted herself to courses in everything from pastoral care to biblical studies to theology.
Amanda found joy in the Clinical Pastoral Education program about which she says, “I was a natural fit in the hospital setting, walking into sterilized rooms that held loss, but possibility, just like my own story.” The time she spent ministering to others through the program helped her realize even more the gifts she has to share with others. While some experiences along her journey tried to discourage her from pursuing her calling, others pointed out her unique gift for ministry. She says, “I have always felt different. I have struggled to fit in. I have spent my years of adulthood trying so desperately not to be different. But if there is one thing CPE gave me, it was an appreciation, a redemptive love of my ‘differentness,’ my own uniqueness.”
Amanda says that her friends have proven to be both an encouragement and a chance to encourage. She says, “When they seek out my input, it reminds me that I have something to give to others and can find rest in knowing that I have loved well.”
After graduation, Amanda said, “I will continue to be open to where God leads.” She plans to continue serving as the pastor to adults at Connections Church in Raleigh, and hopes to have more opportunities to exercise pastoral care. Amanda says, “I hope more than anything that I learn to embrace the fullness of the sandcastle seasons and the seasons that bring waves washing away the structures on the shore.”