February 24, 2017

It is Finished!

Happy Fri-Yay! I received an email this morning with confirmation that my dissertation is approved for defense. My second-draft of my chapter five was approved today, so that means that I am set to defend my research on March 13, 2017! Woohoo! I cannot believe that I am on the road out of town, so to speak. Just two weeks ago, I didn't know if I would even graduate, let alone finish my dissertation this spring. Now, I am ready to defend, and while I still have work to get my document ready for presentation and defense, the hard work, the real work, is done. I am finished. My research is completed. God has been so faithful to me. He has provided everything I needed to complete this work, and in the end, He will receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory. I am so happy to be done. I am so happy to be finished. I have worked hard the past two years to get to this point, and in doing so, I have completed my studies with a 4.0 GPA, passed my comprehensive exams, and engaged in scholarly work that has resulted in a finished dissertation.

In so many ways, it is surreal. I cannot believe that I have done all this work, AND I have managed to work almost full-time for the past four years. Yes, He has sustained me. He has given me insight, wisdom, and focus to complete this work, and I am in awe of Him right now. I mean, I am sitting here at my computer, feeling nothing -- literally nothing -- other than peace. I am at rest. I am at peace. And, praise be to God, I am in this wonderfully safe, warm, and completely healing space. I feel as if I have just scaled the biggest and baddest mountain, and as a result, I am right where He desires me to be.

Can it get any better than this? I am sure it will -- I mean -- I have to defend and then finish the particulars in order to walk in graduation, but for the most part, I have left the hilly terrain and mountainous regions behind me. From this particular vantage point, the skyline looks beautiful. I am in this amazing place, and it is all because He said to me twelve years ago, "Carol, will you trust me?" I, of course, said very tentatively, "Yes, Lord, but only if you will help me to trust you." He has been faithful to me. He led me through some difficult storms, and He sheltered me when I felt so lost and alone. In this way, He was a Father to me, a Husband to me, and a Friend to me. He held my hand, gave me hope, and encouraged me to "keep on keeping on." He receives the praise today. He receives the glory today. He is my King, my Shepherd, and My Rock. In His name, I give Him all honor, and I rejoice with the psalmist who said,

The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; 
And exalted be the God of my salvation! (Psalm 18:46, NASB)

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