Since I was a sophomore in college I’ve had some plan to go for a higher degree. For a long time that meant a PhD in history to be a professor. Somewhere along the way that changed to a Master of Theological Studies.
I narrowed my options from six programs to two schools in town. They had already been my top two, but I needed to stay in town for financial and personal reasons, at least for the next year. So I sent in all transcripts, got all the recommendation letters, and submitted the applications. It was just a matter of waiting to see where I would be attending in the fall.
Then one night as I browsed the website of my top choice school (where I happened to be eligible for more money), I quickly realized I had missed a form.
The form was separate from the online application, and I had missed it. This form was the red X on the admissions status I had emailed the school about on multiple occasions.
This meant my application was a month and a half late…and I was no longer eligible for scholarship.
Without scholarship I was not attending grad school.
Without grad school I had no plan.
My backup plan was a gap year of work to save money, but this school requires two years between applications…
Cue panic attack in the parking lot of my favorite coffee shop while a group of sorority girls looked on.
Cue disconnect from friends who couldn’t meet me where I was emotionally.
Cue the shame of going back to professors and pastors who had written my recommendation letters.
I gained some peace in the time after. I turned in the form, and someone said they would put it through. It was out of my hands, and I figured I’d spend some time floating for a while.
Then crunch time came as friends got jobs and my future seemed increasingly bleak. As I prayed and prayed, things only seemed to get worse. I saw a long year (or two) ahead.
A shrinking, fading light on the horizon.
I’ve spent the past month looking into gap year programs, internships, volunteer coordinator positions, entrepreneurship options, and other barista/service jobs to pursue. Every option I liked fell through. I was left only with options I either hated, wouldn’t pay the bills, or both.
I’ve dealt with serious stress and feelings of a lacking purpose. It was hard to not feel numb toward the future, and if I felt anything at all it was anger (toward myself and God).
I made a meeting with my advisor for Tuesday morning to talk about other options now that divinity school and other jobs were off the table.
Monday afternoon God showed up.
I got into the dream school. I received a scholarship that put it within my reach.
After making alternate plans and resigning myself to a bleak couple of years, it still does not feel real days later.
It is not set in stone, as I have to figure out some financial details. But it is doable. It is within sight and real.
In prayer recently I asked God “to do something good here today.”
I immediately felt Him saying, “I am good. I am present. Of course, the result will be good.”
He is incredibly faithful even when I am not.
He is so good even when I am not.
He shows up in the midst of my doubt and anger and loneliness.
He may seem hidden or absent, but He is moving and working all the time.