September 24, 2010

Sciatica Pain

Yesterday, I had an attack of sciatica. Oh my goodness, does it hurt! My pain comes on after standing long periods or twisting funny (like getting in or out of the car); and, then it seems to be a week or two of off/on pain. Lately, instead of just pain, I get this nerve twingling sensation, like someone has electrocuted my leg. The nerve just vibrates up and down my leg, and the pain is intense. Last night, I had one attack, and slept poorly afterward. I got up around 5 a.m. and took some extra strength Ibuprophen which just knocked me flat, but it did seem to help eleviate the pain. I am hoping that another dose of the pain medication will help me tonight. I have a 3-day shift at Macy's beginning Sunday, and I need to have this pain done-with.

One good thing about pain, if there is a good thing, is that often it helps to put everything into proper focus. I mean, you cannot really concentrate on much of anything else when you are in the throes of a pain attack. For me, it simply was a reminder that working at Macy's is just a PT, temporary thing. I know for certain that I cannot work in any capacity where I have to stand for long periods of time. I am planning on a career in education, but I can sit most of the time, which is now a key component of any job search.

And, as far as my job search is concerned, I am at the point where I am done seeking full-time employment. I have committed myself to follow what I believe are the Lord's plans for my life, and that means focusing on my education, and working (no pun here) towards the career of His choosing.

I am currently enrolled at Mercy College in NY (distance learning). I just started, but I hope to graduate in May of 2012. I have 10 courses to complete (2 in progress), and a thesis to write. I would like to take 3 classes next Spring 2011, followed by 4 in Fall 2011. That will leave me with my Masters Thesis course and my thesis work in Spring of 2012.

My goal now is to attend the University of Texas at Austin for a PhD in Philosophy. This is a recent development, more of a prompting by the Lord, and a definite redirection for me. I am finding that I enjoy philosophy and literature (combined) more than I do straight literature
studies. UTA has a very fine program, and it suits my interests well. It is a combined program, partly under their Classics Department and partly within their Philosophy program. This means that I can study Classical Philosophy, which is of interest to me rather than 19th century German Philosophy (which seems the more modern trend at most Universities).

Moreover, UTA offers language intensive study programs so I would be able to learn both Greek and Latin during condensed semesters. I know it sounds impossible, but this is how I was told to study these languages some 20 years ago. My professor then, a Greek studies teacher, told me to find a University that offered 10-12 week summer programs and to take my language requirements right when I was working on my PhD. At that time, the only schools that offered these summer sessions were far from where I was living (in CA).

The Lord directed me to Mercy College, and now He has directed me to UTA. He has made sure that each school offered to me exactly what I needed, and that my time in these programs would not be wasted. Graduate school is expensive, and every unnecessary class costs $2-3K. It is vitally important to be prepared as much as possible, and then to follow a very closely prescribed course of study so that you graduate on time. The Lord knows this, and He has thought of everything.

Furthermore, I had asked Him if I could teach after getting my Master's Degree. At first, I thought I would seek CC jobs, but He kept pointing me towards University jobs. I knew that most major Universities only hire PhD's, and that my only chance for teaching with a Master's was at the CC level. Well, lo and behold, UTA hires Assistant Instructors who posess a MA degree. WOW! And, to top it all off, the Lord assured me that next year, I would be able to be hired as a teaching assistant through Mercy College. I thought this would be great, but then I thought -- "How can this be since I am taking courses online?" The Lord seems content in this, so I am trusting Him to provide for me. One note, to be an Assistant Instructor at UTA, I need to be a TA for one semester. Something tells me that the Lord is doing this for me, and that while I cannot see it coming to pass right now, that simply doesn't mean it will not or cannot happen next year.

So what does this mean for me? Mostly, it just confirms to me that the Lord's plans are without any flaws. They are never incomplete. They are always full, and always consider every single need and option. I can rest in His plans knowing full-well that everything I need to be successful in this new career is in process, it is already planned, already purposed, and already coming to pass. God is So GOOD to me.

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