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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Never a Mistake

I applied to the doctoral program yesterday. It's kind of ironic, 2 years ago when I started the MA I had my sights set on a PhD as the next step on the road. In the past year I've found myself weary of the academic world and itching to travel, experience life, and have my time belong to myself again.

Then I applied to the PhD program. In less than 24 hours, I started the flurry of scholarship requests, recommendations, and all those mundane things that are so necessary yet tedious. I meticulously calculated my finances, created an exhaustive list of pros and cons, and counseled with trusted mentors and family. It seemed like the right thing to do, all of a sudden.

Tonight I re-ran the financials. Something seemed wrong but in the excitement of it all, I hadn't been able to find it. It was no longer hiding though; I'd forgotten to deduct Uncle Sam's portion. Sure enough, I would have to apply for the highest tier of GRE scholarship. I had just barely squeaked in under the old bulletin to qualify for my MA but that was 2 years ago. I was pretty sure they weren't going to honour a 3-year old scholarship for an entirely new program. Or were they?

This is one of those faith building experiences you hear about. The problem is that it can go any number of ways and none of those come with a manual specifying what action to take so I can be sure I'm following God's plan for my life. The easiest parting of the Red Sea would be the highest tier scholarship granted without question. If they chose not to grant that, I would still qualify for the second highest tier but that would require dipping my feet in the Jordan River to see whether God would provide $11,000 in funds I would be short. Or I could have a Moses and the Promised Land experience where I see but am not allowed to touch. I honestly don't know.

When I look back on my life, will I have regret or gratitude? Life here is too brief; I want to make mine count for something more than making photocopies and answering phone calls. I believe what I've said in my purpose statement: my goal in life is to obtain a right understanding of my Creator and share that with others. Right now, only my Father knows whether that includes PhD training or not and until He clearly reveals that to me, I must do what does not come easy to me.

Trust. Wait. Ps. 38:15

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