When I graduated from Clemson University in August of 2010 with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, I was certain that I was ready to take on the world, especially after graduating early and devoting an entire summer to working for a physical rehabilitation center in Pomona, California called Outdoor Adventures. You can imagine my surprise when I came home, after living out my dream on the west coast for four month that the only jobs available for my degree were to be an activities director for a nursing home. Although I respect those who do that for a living, I was not convinced that I was the best one to fulfill that role. I opted to look elsewhere after spending two months job-searching like a mad woman and realized that I was not going to find a job doing what I thought I was supposed to do. I needed to look elsewhere. I applied for a preschool teaching position at a nearby child development center, got the job, and spent the next three and a half years loving every child who came into my classroom like he or she was my own.
About a year a half ago, I began to feel like my time at City Kids was coming to an end, and even though the thought of leaving my kiddos was heartbreaking, I was fearful of what would come next because I legitimately had no idea what path I would be led down. I began to pray specifically that my Father would take away my desire to control everything while He taught me to trust in His guidance, a prayer that has always been hardest to pray. I have always been a girl who loves to pray, even when I was little, but many of my prayers seemed to have something in common: me bringing my plans to the Lord and asking Him to bless them. I was well aware of this habit He had been trying for years to break me of, so ignorance was not an option. For the very first time in my whole life, I wholeheartedly placed my hands before the Creator of my every moment and asked Him to fill them with His plans, His good and perfect will for my life. That might not sound scary to most of you, but for me, it was submitting to uncertainty, something my little need-to-plan-everything self was doing for the very first time.
His providence and provision throughout the entire process of discerning, researching, applying, getting accepted into, and completing graduate school has been abundant in mercy, and it’s really hard to wrap my mind around the fact that only nine months after beginning the program for Biblical Counseling at Bob Jones University, my school is almost done. The perfect timing of the Almighty God has left me breathless more times than I can begin to count since January, and I know He’s not done yet. December is quickly approaching, and although my stress levels have been higher than normal since beginning this program, I am unbelievably thankful for the opportunity I have been granted to constantly study the Word of God as He grows my faith in Him. I have made incredible, God-fearing friends who genuinely delight in praying for the requests I bring to them, something I have never known before. Not only that, but I have also learned under the teaching of the most brilliant scholars of the Bible I've ever met, been introduced to solid biblical literature I never knew existed, and received countless challenges to live a holy life that is pleasing to God that are hard to swallow and even harder to digest.
I look forward to bringing my newborn baby boy to campus so that he can meet all those who have prayed over him for so long, sit through chapel (where he was always squirmiest), and hear the voices that he heard the whole time he was in the womb singing hymns of praise to the One who created him. This past year has been the best year of my life, but I know that I am only being prepared for the next best years that are to follow. Sure, I've cried a lot because of various situations, and my heart has broken more times than ever before, but I rejoice because my tears indicate that I am continually learning of the Father’s heart for His creation, we who are constantly running away from the God who never stops pursuing us. Though I am aware that what comes next will be the most heart-wrenching and difficult thing I have ever done, I find comfort in the arms of the Wonderful Counselor who whispers over and over to me that I don’t have to be perfect. The perfect wife, the perfect mom, the perfect counselor, the perfect follower of Christ. I will fail, and I know that when those times come, it will hurt, but thanks be to the Father that He still loves me on my worst days. In His perfect love, He has clothed me in the righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ, and that beautiful, sure foundation will forever push me to seek harder after Him, to want to know Him more, to demonstrate a life of forgiveness, to shed joyful tears. To tell the world what He has done for me.
"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."