January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year 2014! It is hard to believe that it is New Year's day, and that 2013 is now put to rest. So much has happened during the past year. My life has changed radically, and I am walking on a completely different path than I thought I would be on last New Years day. I have had a good year, with lots of highs, and not so many lows (praise God!) I am feeling good, looking good (on my way to losing some more weight), and thinking positive thoughts. The future looks bright, hopeful, and filled with possibility.

Last year at this time, I was working at CVS Caremark as a Communication analyst. I had started that job the previous September, and I believed it was the position that God wanted me in, at the least, for the foreseeable future. I wasn't crazy about the job, but the people I worked with were nice, and I was getting used to the kind of daily work I was doing. I didn't like some of the business decisions the company was making, and I certainly didn't see trouble coming down the pike.

In January, my son had an accident with my Kia Rio, and the car was totaled. I had to find a new car, and I didn't know how I was going to pay for it. A friend suggested I contact one of the salesmen at Pinnacle Nissan and I did. In late January, I drove home in a 2011 Nissan Sentra (best purchase ever!) God provided enough income (thanks to CVS) and a boost in credit score to enable me to purchase a pre-owned car.

In January, I also received word that I had been accepted into Regent University's PhD in Communication program. I passed my interviews and the committee selected me as a student in the program! I was ecstatic to think that God had moved in such a way to open this door for me. Of course, I was concerned about completing a doctoral program and working full-time, but I felt confident that the Lord had a good plan in mind when He facilitated my acceptance.

In May, I started my coursework at Regent. I felt confident going into the program, but once I started the actual Introduction to Doctoral Studies class, my heart sank, and my lip quivered. My feet started to run for the door because I was in shock regarding the expectations for workload, reading, study, and research. What had God done? How could He think I would be able to manage this program and work full-time? Was He crazy to open this door for me?

In June, I attended the required on-campus week, and I fell in love with Regent University. It exceeded all my expectations, and I literally "felt" the presence of the Holy Spirit on that campus. I have never experienced that sort of feeling before, and it was overwhelming to me. I sat deer-eyed in the class, barely completed the assignments, and wondered (in awe) how I would ever complete this program.

I came home, and promptly made the decision to look for other work. After all, things were going down hill quickly at CVS Caremark, and the future there looked bleak. I was overwhelmed thinking that I had made a mistake in taking the job, and that somehow I had read the signs incorrectly. Didn't God want me at CVS? He provided this good job for me --  certainly He would work things out and give me a way to stay put.

I began interviewing for jobs in late July. I took a class at UOPX during the summer months off from Regent (so blessed and glad that I listened to the Lord on that one). The class helped prepare me for research, and I learned so much practical skill, especially in using APA style, and in conducting research.

I interviewed for two jobs -- one at Northcentral University in Scottsdale and one at Grand Canyon University. The first was for an academic advisor position, similar to what I did at UOPX. The second was to be for an adjunct teaching position, but turned out to be for an Instructional Assistant position. I was offered a second interview with Northcentral, but I turned it down in favor of the IA role at GCU. Crazy as that may seem, there was something God-like, in the interview at GCU.

I had gone to that interview thinking I might be hired to teach Literature courses. I walked out of that interview hired for an IA role. The plan was to complete one semester as an IA, and then teach adjunct in the Spring. God moved. He moved, and I was hired on the spot for a part-time teaching role. The money was low, but the future prospect was hopeful. I took the job in faith, believing that God would open a door for me to teach full-time.

In August, I left CVS Caremark amid great scandal, upheaval, and a bloodshed of good people (resigned to either give up or in). I walked away from a good paying job, albeit one filled with drama, for a low-paying gig as a graduate assistant (hourly wage).

With gusto, I jumped into GCU, even though I was dismayed over their lack of organization, training, and professionalism. I walked on campus, and once again, I felt a great sigh of relief. I felt like I was in a good place, a place where I belonged. The lack of planning, organization, and general control was difficult for me to tolerate. I was overburdened with grading assignments, and I felt used.

In October, well into the semester at GCU, and halfway through what I would describe as the hardest semester of my graduate education (to date) at Regent University, I left the school to take a full-time position as a Business Analyst at NurseWise in Tempe.

I jumped ship because I was upset over the way I was being treated, and I was afraid of the low pay and the responsibilities I had to care for myself, my parents, and my son. I gave up on God's plan, and I walked away into the safety and security of a good paying job.

It took about a week for me to realize I had made a horrible mistake. I was in the wrong place, doing the wrong kind of work, and I was miserable about it. I spent three weeks on that job before I chucked it in. I was in agony every day, miserable, and feeling that I had let God down. I had not been resolute in faith, believing in Him and trusting Him to provide for me.

I took a leap of faith one rainy day in November, and I emailed one of the teachers I had worked for at GCU. I asked her if there was any chance I could teach in the Spring. She replied with instructions and told me to contact the Assistant Dean right away. I did it, and the next thing I knew I was hired as an adjunct instructor.

Once again, God showed up, and moved mountains to make it possible for me to restart my life. He opened the door up for me, and He gave me the grace to go back to GCU. The good news - I was hired as part-time instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences. The bad news - I only had one class to teach in the Spring.

Money worries, financial stress, responsibility -- these things plague me, and I worry about them all the time. Yet, somehow, this time around, I was willing to trust the Lord for His provision. I accepted the job, gave my notice to NurseWise, and I walked away.

I finished my semester at Regent with a bang (PTL - keeping my 4.0 GPA), and I rested the rest of the month. I have had four weeks off, four wonderful, lazy, precious weeks to recoup, to restore, and to refocus my attention on the Lord's work.

So here I am today, January 1, 2014, and I am thinking that God has miraculously worked in my life to bring me to this point in time. I am an Adjunct Instructor at a major Christian University. I am well into my doctoral program, and looking forward to completing my first year. I am good, so very good. I am whole, and I am focused on what He wants me to do. I have a sense of peace that says everything will be alright. I am not worried. I am not anxious. I have some doubts, always some doubts, but generally they are fleeting and they don't take over my thoughts. I am consumed with the thought that He is working in my life, moving and changing things to the point where I am able to rest completely in His sufficiency and sovereignty. I am blessed, no doubt about it, I am blessed. God is good, all the time, He is good.

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