One of my cohort is finishing her dissertation already. She took her exams in the fall, and she plans to graduate in May. I cannot believe that she is almost finish, but then again, she did work very hard to complete everything in the shortest time possible. I plan to finish mine in December, but that doesn't mean that I will graduate. I hope to write my dissertation proposal in March and April, and then give a defense of it in May or very early June. Then, Lord willing, I will write through the summer, and defend it sometime in October or November so that I can "graduate" in December. This is my plan, anyway, and of course, it is only through His effort, guidance and grace that I can even hope to accomplish it.
I am feeling the pinch today of time slipping away from me. The funny thing is that I am not nervous at all. I mean, last week, I was so undone, so tense and stressed. This week, I am like, "Oh, okay, so now we have to go through the fire...I will put on my fire suit and walk on!" I mean, God has given me this super sense of peace. It is not that I feel absolutely certain I will pass or fail, but rather it is like I feel I will do well, but that the process that remains will be challenging for me. I know what lays ahead is difficult. It is just that I am not panicked or fear-stricken. I am like "Okay, Lord, let's do this and get it over." It was kind of like when I confronted my ex-husband to agree to the divorce. I didn't want to do it, but then again, I did. It needed to be done, and I knew it. I had to pull up my bootstraps and go and do the "deed." The longer I avoided it, the harder it was to focus, to move past it, so in the end, I prayed, and I took a very deep breath, and I just "did it." The Lord gave me His grace, and well, everything went well. This is how I feel now. I don't want to spend two days writing exam answers from memory. I don't want to sit in a chair in a lonely little room with no one to keep me company for 16 hours, but I must do it. I wish I could have my notes, my books, or access to the computer, but I cannot. I have to do this by memory, and my memory is just not as sharp as it used to be. Lord willing, He will stand in the gap, stretch between my deficiencies, and in the end, I will hear His words to me, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." My prayer is that come February 26th, I will hear similar words from my professors when they say to me, "Congratulations, Carol, you passed!" Praise be to God, I do hope I hear those words!
My hope and my prayer is that today and tomorrow are used to finish up my studies and to bring this matter to a close. I am ready. I am as ready as I can be. Of course, my issue is that I cannot remember all the details of the theories I chose nor can I recall their exact order, but I am going to do my best. I feel most comfortable writing about history and theology of communication, which I consider to be my two strongest subject areas. My weakest is theory, though that is just because the nature of the assignment is to discuss 14 theories as they fit into their respective traditions. I haven't tried to write on Family, Crisis, Leadership, Organizational and Church communication yet, but hopefully, I will do okay when the time comes to write about these subject areas.
Today then is a good, good day. I will go and teach my students how to begin a causal analysis, and I will rest today. I will return home, and I will sit down and write another essay tonight. If possible, I will try to write two essays, Lord willing. This gives me the freedom to review tomorrow, write my final two essays, and then rest. I will review my notes, study what I can, and then let it go because Wednesday is simply a day when I will need my rest. I will need to rest well, and wake up refreshed and ready to go come Thursday morning. My prayer, of course, is that I will miraculously receive His grace so I can do this thing. God knows me, my end, and what I can and cannot do. I release all my work now into His marvelous hand, and I wait for Him to "show up" and do this thing. Yes, Lord, let's do this THING.