June 2, 2012

Moving Forward with God's Plans

I am still waiting for my final grade to post, but I am for all "intents and purposes" graduated from Mercy College. My Mentor/Advisor liked my thesis, and he didn't anticipate any changes. He sent it to a second reader, which is a good thing, so now I am stuck waiting for that person to do whatever they do so I can get the "I" changed to a final grade. Sigh!

In the meantime, I am trying not to get frustrated about my path and the plans the Lord has for my life. I know what I am to do, and I know where to go -- I just don't know how to get from this point (A) to that (pointing over there) point (B). I need a bridge or transition so I can move from where I am now to where I "think" I am supposed to be tomorrow (or in the near future). I see the place, I just don't see a way to get there.

Perhaps I missed the exit? Perhaps I need to turn around and go back a ways to pick up that transition path so that I can bridge over to where I want to be? Or perhaps I really have missed the exit, and now I must drive on and wait for another turn in the road?

I am not really sure what to do, I just know that there are some things that are still unresolved, and that these things need to closed or brought to a close before I move on. What are these unresolved things?

Well, first off -- my graduation from Mercy needs to be recorded on my final transcript. I cannot be employed as a Masters level graduate without that official record. I am applying for jobs that require a Masters degree, therefore, I need to have proof of completion. I know this, and of all the unresolved items, this is the least troublesome for me. I know it will happen, and more than likely it will be really soon (within a week or two). I will graduate. I will have that conferred degree. I am good, I know it, and it is just a matter of being patient while the paperwork is finalized.

Second, there is the issue with my occupation, my daily work. I am working as an Enrollment Advisor at UOPX. It is an OK job, but it is not a good fit for my skills. I am blessed to have it, and I am thankful for God's provision. I know that I need to do something else, but I don't know what that something else is right now. I thought for a time that I was to teach. Well, I have wanted to teach now for 20 plus years, and I have this desire to do it. I start this path, then stop when I see the road blocks ahead. It is like this path is blocked to me, even though I really desire it. I think it suits me, and I see the potential of doing this job for the rest of my days (until I retire). However, I cannot do it without my Masters degree, and I cannot do it without some prior experience.

Third, there is the issue with my son's schooling. He has finally decided to study Languages (Linguistics) and he took it upon himself to look for schools. He is looking in CA right now, and while that is OK, it does conflict with my plans or the plans I think the Lord has for me. He can attend ASU and study Linguistics, but for some reason he wants to move to another state (out of the heat), and he wants me to come with him. I am OK with that as well, but not if it causes issues with my advanced study degree.

Last, there is the issue with my path to PhD. I have blogged about my choices before, and how I am down to two choices: Regent University (Online) and ASU (campus). My preference is ASU because this degree aligns with my desire for teaching (Composition). Regent is the Lord's choice, always has been, and I do love the program and the Christian Ministry emphasis. Regent doesn't prepare me for teaching, it prepares me for Ministry -- a very good thing!

If I stick with Regent (the path I am on now), then I am not going into teaching, and I need to do a variety of jobs to live while I am in school. I am OK with that too, but at my age, I would prefer one job and to do it until I retire. I don't have the energy to do multiple jobs anymore, and I don't want to live with the uncertainty of getting a paycheck. Yes, I do believe the Lord will provide -- I just mean that I really like it when my check is direct deposited and I don't have to collect money or do extra jobs at the end of the month.

If I go to ASU, I feel like I am abandoning the Lord's provision for me. Even though I know that Regent is a $40k year commitment and that while they do offer financial aid and scholarships, I will be in debt up to here (^). At ASU, more than likely I will receive a tuition waiver, and the total cost of that degree will be around $20K. This means I will have less overall debt, and that is something that I want to keep in focus.

Of course, I do believe that the Lord will provide, and I do believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthen's me. I believe that if God wants me to go to ASU, then I will go. If He wants me to go to Regent, then I will go there. I am open to either school, it is just that I don't want to let go of teaching in favor of doing odd jobs, owning a business, or going back into web design.

No, I want to teach and I want to go to ASU. I just see that path blocked. It is like when I was raising my son, and I knew I was to go to graduate school. I wanted to go so badly, but the path was blocked. I cried out to the Lord -- and all I could do was lay that desire at His feet, and let it go. I feel like I have to do the same thing now. I have to let teaching go, and accept that the Lord has other plans for me. I have to accept that while teaching will always be a part of my heart (and that it WAS the path for my life early on -- a path I chose to skip), but now the Lord is asking me to do something else.

I don't want to let it go, but I have to obey my Lord. He asked me to let go of UOPX, and I did. I didn't want to do that either, and the thought of leaving that solid job scared me. Now I see why He asked me to let it go. Things have changed internally, and I do not feel such a strong attachment any more. Sure, I like my team mates, and I will keep in touch with many of them, but I am not connected to them the way I was when I first started that job. Now I am willing to let them go, keep happy memories, but stand at the ready with hat and cloak, and walk out the door when the Lord gives me the Ok to do so.

What does this mean for me today? Well, just writing it out helps a lot. I know that God has allowed me plenty of time to think about my options, to consider His Way, and to choose to follow after Him. I know that I want certain things, things that I know align with His will, but for some reason I cannot have them. I have never been in this boat before, where I am asking for things that are within His will for me, but the Lord is not saying Yes to me. Instead, He is asking me to do something different, and it upsets me. After all, doesn't the WORD say that we are to ask, and keep on asking?

"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you." Matt. 7:7 NLT

So I am asking, asking, and asking -- yet I am not receiving. This leads me to believe that I am asking without believing that it will be given to me. I know that I believe, and I know that God's WORD is true (John 17:17b). I am uncertain why I am where I am, and I wonder what I have done to cause this confusion?

Dear Lord,

I have asked you for certain things, and yet I have not received them. I know that I have not obeyed you in going where you told me to go. I am confused now, and I want to get everything straight in my mind so that I can be moving forward, following after you, and going where you are telling me to go. Help me now to understand, to turn around if I need to, and to go the direction of your leading? I ask this now in Jesus' Name. Amen.

No comments: