I am in planning mode today. I have spent the better part of the past week resting from my hard work of delivering my final chapter of my dissertation. I think I did well, though I know I will need to rewrite chapter 4 and some of 5 before this whole show ends. Nonetheless, I am confident that I am now ready to graduate, and that come next week, I will receive confirmation and potentially a “defense” date so I can book my flight to VA. It will be bittersweet in a way to think that I will be at Regent University for one of the last required visits. After my defense, I will return only to graduate with my fellow classmates. My prayer is that I can finish strong, and that I can enjoy the blessed freedom that comes with earning another degree.
So with planning comes the thoughts of moving. There are two parts of the moving process, there is the plan and then the physical move. But, in truth, there is also the hidden part of moving — the mental ascent, the agreement, and the momentum — to move. Therefore, when considering moving, even with all the plans, we must remember that the “thought” of moving constitutes a greater portion of the actual event. You must consider moving, think about it, ponder it, in order to really be prepared for the actual move when the time comes. I am in this thinking stage. I haven’t made any movement, physically speaking, but I am thinking, spiritually, about moving. I am moving in my mind, and in this way, I am imagining what it will be like to move, to physically land someplace else. In this way, I am preparing myself for the actual “move” date, which will be when the Lord opens that door, and I am offered a full-time job that requires some relocation.
For now, I am content to “think” about moving. I am content to consider it, imagine it, and to wonder about it, but I know that the Lord desires for me to be ready when the time comes for Him to up and move me. This means that until He does, I am content to simply “think” about it. He will determine the timing. He will determine how to go, and the details or logistics of such a move. Until then, I rest. I wait on Him, and I trust Him to make my path — my move — smooth. He knows what I need to have in hand to actually make that move, and He knows that right now, I am lacking sufficiency. I need a job that pays a living wage so I can move forward. I need enough money to be able to relocate and settle down in a house. I need transportation costs from here to there, and all the various little expenses that come along with moving. Mostly, I need to know that this is His next step for me, and once I am certain of that desire, then I will know what to do, where to go, and how to get there. I know He will help me, clear my head of the fog, and make this new way possible. He goes before me. He is my shield and my buckler, and in His defense, I am safe and secure. I am good. I am in a good place this day, and tomorrow and on into the future, my days are accorded to me, and yes, they are so very good too!
Steps in the Process
So step one in this process of moving is to receive a job offer. Right now, I have applied for a number of positions, but nothing has really happened on any of these fronts. I have some local positions in play, and frankly, I doubt I will see these come to pass. I have my application in at Regent University, but already, I feel that is a closed door. I have my application in at UW-Superior, the job I kind of hope will come to pass, despite the fact that the location is so close to the North Pole (LOL!) I like the job a lot, and I like the opportunity to develop curriculum. This job calls out to me, “Hey, Carol — take a look at what I am offering!” The job doesn’t pay well, and it is located in a pretty far north location, but it is online, and praise God, that is a good thing. I just don’t know if relocation is mandatory. I would be okay with moving to Wisconsin, but not to the Minnesota/Canada border. Oh, brrr! Still, perhaps the job would permit me to work online from here in AZ. Now, that would be sweet! Other than these few options, I am looking at the Hireredjobs.com board, and there is nothing in AZ to speak of at all. There are oodles of jobs in California, the Midwest, and even in the Northern states, but other places…not so much.
I am in His merciful care when it comes to jobs. I can pick them out, but He is the one to give me blessing and favor. He has to say, “Yes, you may have this one,” and then move to make the hiring manager, faculty team, and whomever say “Yes” to me. He can do it, of course, but I have to choose the right job, the job of His preference (if He has one) to ensure everything works out as He desires it. Until that time, I keep looking, praying, and I keep an open mind. I am willing to work for less than I think I deserve and move to a place that is not on my radar. I am willing to go where He opens the door — even if it is frigid and cold — or steamy and hot. I am open, I have to be, because it pleases my Father in Heaven for me to be this way.
My prayer today is to rest and let the job search up to the Master Recruiter, my Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. I know He will move me where He wants me to serve His people, where He wants me to impact and influence the lives of students and faculty, and where He wants me to live, to settle, and to be planted.
Once I have the job offer, then I have to figure out how to get from here to there — without any resources to speak of — and how to manage my life in Phoenix and my new life someplace else. It is a challenge, but I believe God will go before me, lead me through these steps, and then make it possible for the transition from one place to the next to be seamless and easy. I am ready to go, ready to make this move happen, but again, I cannot move until He makes it possible for me to move.
Last, after the plans are enacted, and the move begins, I have to follow through and that means stick to my guns and actually go. I cannot imagine I would flake out and not go, it is more that I have to screw up my courage and take my hand and my heart and move on. I have to make the difficult good-byes, and then I have to pursue His plan for my life. I have to put Him first, and I have to be convinced, confirmed, and absolutely committed to His plan that I follow Him. I feel that I am ready to do this now, but I know that in time, I may struggle some. I am trusting for the grace to say good-bye to Phoenix and hello to my new life. He will help me; I know He will help me.
So it is Friday, February 3rd, and that means that in less than a month, I will probably be well on my way to defending my dissertation. I never believed I would see this day, yet here I am so close I can touch it. I never believed I would graduate with my Masters’ and well, I did it. Now I am ready to tackle the final push to graduate with my PhD, and I am giddy with excitement. It is so amazing to think that I am moving into this realm, moving into this new phase, this new life. I cannot believe that soon, very soon, I will have my own life again. I will no longer be a doctoral student, but I will be a fully-fledged professor. I will be full-time faculty, and praise be to God, I will have a role in developing a program, mentoring students, advising students, and yes, even guiding them through to their graduation day. I am excited, enthusiastic, and overall, amazed that God has permitted me this chance, this opportunity, this life. He has made this possible, thus, I have to believe that He has this whole game plan figured out. He knows the score. He knows who wins, and I simply need to do as I am told. I am to do the assignments He has given to me, and then I need to look up and let Him make the BIG MOVE happen. He is able, for sure. He is good, absolutely. And, in this way, I can take full confidence that He will make His plans, His will, and His determination on where I am to go clear to me. He will do it. He will do it because He is good, and His will is always first and foremost on His mind.