My husband is going to walk and get his diploma on Friday. And I’m going to scream. By God’s grace (and frequent kicks in the pants), he did it.
We have felt every single day of the last five years drag on by, yet here we are, suddenly at the end. Wow. God brought us all the way through… all the way through a lot more than just school. My husband tried giving up, like, with real effort. He actually dropped out of school intending to flee in another direction. We looked for alternatives, other places to live, other jobs to get, other open doors, anything to get out of this mess created by what were, in retrospect, foolish decisions.
But God didn’t allow it. No doors opened. Nothing budged. Every time we had money, it was sucked up by a bad month. Every potential job lead was snuffed out. Literal physical pangs of homesickness for our (cheaper, freer, friendlier) prior living conditions plagued us. We’ve watched our debt grow and grow. We couldn’t have more kids because only my irregular self-employment was keeping us alive. Our marriage would tank and then thrive, tank, then thrive again. Health problems, mental health problems, and hospital visits peppered each semester. Threats of expulsion for poor performance or delayed tuition payments were events we came to expect at least twice a year. So many late nights, bad days, bad weeks, isolation, confusion, failure.
And somehow we’re here, planning the party, gap and gown hanging in the closet.
God knows and provides what we need in every season. The blessings He’s given us over the last five years didn’t fully harmonize with our ideas and desires, but I can’t help but acknowledge their value, for we wouldn’t have had these things otherwise: Our closest friends were made while living here. Pastors, professors, counselors, and mentors have surrounded us in our struggles. Spiritual growth has been a huge boon for me. I am absolutely not the same person I was at this time five years ago. In many ways, my husband isn’t either, for which I am beyond thankful. We’ve been geographically close to our families (from which issues are not absent, but God may use those for good someday too). We’ve gone on some great road trips. We’ve watched our beautiful baby grow safely and healthily into a beautiful child. God brought me through my own schooling in His perfect timing and has allowed my work to sustain us for over three years now (and the educational experience from this alone has contributed to much maturation and growth).
There’s a quote I pinned on Pinterest a while back that has run through my mind frequently:
“If you think you have blown God’s plan for your life, rest in this:
You, my friend, are not that powerful.”
We could have accomplished the same goal a different way, but to me our path has been clear — weird and exhausting and risky and crooked, but clear. God will make the next step clear too (hint: He Himself is always the next step). We have some pretty big hopes for the next stage of life, but His ways are not our ways. For now, this week, in spite of stress and work and fatigue and friction, I will take time to reflect and celebrate and express gratitude.
- Go to bed early; wake up early :: I’m about ready to give up on this. Everything feels out of control.
- Finish Matthew commentaries :: Haven’t gotten far this month.
- Read three chapters of Scripture per day :: About halfway through Ezekiel.
- Fill up prayer journal by end of year :: I’ve spent more time in the journal lately. Pressing needs are driving me there.
- Keep phone away from bedside; spend less time on social media :: Definitely negative progress here. Today the hubby and I are not friends. NOT friends. Everyone is posting romantic “coupley” things on social media, and I am so done.
- Openly share more spiritually-directed thoughts with my hubby and with others :: Oh, boy, do I ever have some thoughts to share!
- Daily yoga at home :: Nahh.
- Spend more time walking/hiking outside (summer camping trips are right around the corner!) :: Nahh.
Save up my pennies for some hiking gear
- Eat more strictly paleo, larger emphasis on daily bone broth and vegetables at every meal :: Food and feeding people is such a stressor right now. I am not eating poorly, but it’s not “healing” by any means. But now I have doctor’s orders to feed my daughter a certain way with fancy supplements and all this stuff. Really? Now?
- Coffee enemas 1x/week :: I missed last week but will go for it in a couple days.
Career (aim to complete by May 2018):
- Register for and earn RPR certification :: Nahh.
- New business cards and rates sheet after RPR certification :: Nahh.
- Finish self-directed software training :: I started ONE self-training video. Does that count?
- Improve audio recording setup
- Attend online classes/seminars for CEUs and realtime training
- Start realtime reporting
Attend FPU with the hubby and apply its principles :: We sort of are. If you’re talking long-term big picture, yes, we are saving money and working on the debt snowball. But at this time we have to save up everything extra for a potential cross-country move, so the debt snowball will be stalled for at least a few months.
- Overhaul our financials and money management :: The hubby has been taking more initiative in checking on the budget and planning for the future. The spending is still somewhat unhinged, but progress is progress. And I’m over here struggling to find both the time and money to shop for actual needs like clothes and shoes…
- Help hubby find a full-time job after his GRADUATION in
FOUR THREE TWO ONE MONTH TWO DAYS :: One opportunity has presented itself over the course of this last year that we have been cautiously pursuing. We doubt this company will offer a salary high enough to accept, but the Lord’s will in this regard will reveal itself probably later this month.
- Get pregnant with Baby #2 after that job is found!
- Find a new place to live and finally close this chapter of our life!
*(These are contingent on lots of things beyond my control, but they’d be the most fun to cross off this list.)