October 13, 2010

The Setting Sun

I love it when the sun sets. Here in AZ, we are blessed to have beautiful sunsets and sunrises. I think it has to do with our location near the equator, and the clearness of our skies. The colors are all reds and oranges, and they are always so gorgeous.

Sunsets remind me of the waning time in your life, when you are at the end of a long journey or ready to lay down and rest for the night. This is how I feel right now, as though I have come to the end of a very long journey, and I am ready for a very long rest. God has been working overtime in my life, helping keep me balanced and on a even keel. He has transitioned me from being wholly dependent upon my husband to being wholly dependent upon Him. I am reborn as a women who strives to do Christ's will first, my husband and families second. In fact, I would even say that I endeavor to do whatever the Lord wills -- and then I consider carefully what others will for me. I am in control, but not in control. I no longer attempt to take the reins back from God because He has demonstrated to me His faithfulness and His ability to guide/lead me so well. I don't need to be in control anymore -- God is doing quite well on His own -- thank you very much!

As I begin this new phase of my life, one thing stands out to me, and that is just how much I have changed over the course of 12-18 months. I started this adventure with fear and trepidation. I simply was hanging on for dear life, fearful of everything and everyone. My greatest concern was being taken advantage of and my utmost fear was losing my security (the little I had). Over time, though, and through the Grace of God, I have come to realize that no one can take advantage of me nor will I ever lose my blessed security in Jesus' Name. No, as long as I make Him Lord over my life, then I will always be in His hand and under His care. I am contented, I am satisfied, and I am secure. God be blessed forevermore--Amen!

Right now, I have before me several options and choices. Most of these are already decided, but there are a few that are not "set" yet. Of these, a job, which now I believe is forthcoming, is still undecided. I have received a call from Phoenix College for the job I intereviewed back in September. They were checking out my references and then I was supposed to get a second interview. This has not happened yet, but it simply could be timing or slowness in their response (which is the case most of the time). I am patiently waiting to receive a call to tell me to come in and interview again.

This job would enable me to live quite comfortably here in Phoenix. It would provide enough income to cover my monthly needs, and allow me to begin saving for a second car as well as make all the repairs on my house that are necessary. Moreover, I would be able to provide for my son and not have to rely on any help from my parents or other family members. It provides enough for me so that I can be self-sufficient (under God's provision). This is what I have prayed for now since last fall, and the Lord has provided this opportunity, I believe, as a direct repsonse to that prayer. Now, I must wait for the college to respond to me. But, I can do that -- I am getting really good at waiting for His will and His timing in all things.

Second thing is that I *think* I have finally figured graduate school out. Not only am I more comfortable in my courses at Mercy College, but I *think* I know what I want to study for my PhD. I have been undecided whether or not to study literature or rhetoric. Though I have leaned towards rhetoric now for a while, I hadn't really committed to it. I like literature, but not all the periods of study. I love the Middle Ages and Antiquity, but I didn't want to limit myself to just those types of teaching jobs. So...the other day, the Lord directed me back to ASU (our local school) to look at their English program. They offer a Rhetoric degree that allows you to study two fields instead of just one. I have decided that this is the route I would like to pursue: Rhetoric and Medieval Literature. It works for me, and takes into consideration my interests. This school is doable -- it is close by (within 30 minutes drive), and is affordable (actually less than my schooling through Mercy College). Moreover, it is a highly sought program with excellent placement results. I think it will work well for me.

Third on my list is DJ (my 17yo son), and plans for his college. We have been in limbo now since divorce was talked about and have gone round and round about discussing potential schools. This has caused him great anxiety because I have pulled him left and right while I was deciding on my own college path. Now that I am set on going to ASU this means that we are to remain in Phoenix through my graduation in 2016. DJ can now attend any college and pursue his interests without thinking I might be moving mid-stream.

Last evening, he shared with me some things on his heart, and I am all the more convinced that staying here is a good idea. He has expressed interest in attending our local Christian college, and really feels comfortable with it's size (now about 500 students). I am happy to have him go there -- it is close -- within 10 minutes from home. They do not have the music program he wants to study, but they do have the ministry emphasis he has said he is interested in. I think he needs to decide whether or not he wants to do ministry, and then the decision will be made. Until then, I am trying to give him the best and keep his options open. God seems to have a good handle on this one, and I am letting Him do His thing (which is always best).

Lastly, there has been the issue of my inlaws and their on-going care. My MIL is in the hospital again, and this time we are hopeful that some outcome will be determined. They need full-time care, but my MIL has been unwilling to pursue that option. Her children see it, but we cannot do much about it due to financial issues. We simply cannot support them financially (and I cannot considering that I will be single and self-supporting). However, my SIL has offered to take them in, and I am praying that they will do this now. It is the best, everyone knows it, but there has been hestiation on both parties to actually do it. My prayer is for God to move these hearts and make this come to pass now.

In this twilite of my life, I am coming to terms with many things, many of which I cannot control nor can I predict the outcome. I am accepting of what responsibility falls to me, and what responsibility falls to others. I am also understanding that I must not bow to the pressure by well-intended friends and family members because I have done all that I can over the years, and I simply cannot do more. There comes a time when other people must step in and take over the share of the burden, and not allow one person to bear it all. I have done this too much, and now that I am in a new phase of life, with my own plans and God's leading -- I must do what He says, and not necessarily what others think I should do.

My hope is in Jesus, my prayer is in His sufficiency, and my faith rests securely on Him alone. God is able to solve all these unknowns, to bring them to resolution, and to clarify our way. May God have all the glory now and forevermore -- in Jesus' Name I ask, Amen.

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