The Waiting

It has been quite a week…

Friday morning I got an email with news that I have been waiting for for about 15-17 years.

Now, truth be told the first 6-8 years was me waiting to turn 18 so that I could actually graduate from high school, attend college, and then start this dream.  But I still count those years because I knew back then that this is what I was meant to do.

The next 5 years or so I spent working through the educational requirements necessary to get to this point.

But then I was ready and there were no jobs, and no one could give me a chance, and I couldn’t find a way to demonstrate that this is where I’m supposed to be.  I started to second guess myself.

I wondered how I could have been so wrong for so many years about my purpose in life.

I wondered how I could have completely misread every sign or direction indicating the path that God had for me.

I wondered why God had given me such a strong passion for this field if this wasn’t where I was supposed to be.

I prayed that if this wasn’t the course God had for me that he would make it obvious.  That he would take away my desire for this course.  That I would discover something else I was passionate about, that I was also good at.

When none of that came, I doubted myself.  I doubted my faith.  I doubted my belief in God.

What kind of God lets you pursue something passionately with seemingly great success until the final moment and then rips it all away from you, leaving you with no purpose?

Why wouldn’t God reveal a new purpose for my life and give me something to be passionate about when I begged for it?

I asked myself those questions a lot, and since I was unemployed and essentially homeless except for my parents generosity I had a lot of time to sit and ponder those questions.  I couldn’t find an answer.  And then my 16-year-old cousin died in a horrible horrible tragic accident.

I still feel myself go numb when I think about how he died.  My hands and forearms tingle and I can hear the blood rushing in my head and I can’t bring myself to think about it beyond that point.

My cousin was a phenomenal athlete, he was passionate about going into medicine, he was funny, he was kind, and everyone in the tiny town he lived in knew that he loved Jesus.

I wondered how in the world I could be alive when I clearly had been wrong about the purpose of my life for so long and I didn’t know where God wanted me.  I didn’t feel useful and my sweet cousin who was only 16 and loved Jesus and was a shining example was lying in the ground.

As I’ve moved forward from all of that I’ve found myself feeling ambivalent about God.  I’m scared to turn away, but I’m scared to trust and I’ve been in limbo for a long time.

I have been trying hard over the last year to reformulate goals for my life without the main one I have always had.  I realized that I have been a sort of one-dimensional person and that I planned to use that path to fulfill everything.  I’ve focused a lot on what kind of person I want to be if that door is never opened.

I think the hardest part for me has been that as I’ve formulated  a plan for how I will serve and who I will reach and what I will do, I haven’t been able to move past the desire for the path that I’ve always wanted.

I’ve prayed hard for God to take that desire from me.  If that’s not his will then he should just take that desire.

But he hasn’t, and I’ve continued to struggle over the last year with that voice in the back of my head that reminds me of another course.

In December a door opened for the path I have always wanted to pursue.  In January, when my supervisor died, I found myself torn between thinking that I should stay where I am and that I was forging ahead trying to force something to happen and wondering what Frank would have done differently if he had known he was going to die the day after his 53 birthday.

Even as I’ve waited, and submitted forms, and waited some more I have been praying that if this isn’t God’s plan that he would prepare me for that, and that he would take away this desire.

I cried on the phone with my mom because I wanted to be able to get the news that this door was closed forever and say “It is well with my soul.”  But I couldn’t.  I knew if I got the news that this door was closed, I was still after all this waiting going to be absolutely crushed.

Then on Friday while I ran on the elliptical I got the word.

The answer was yes.

I jumped off the elliptical and literally ran through the lobby of my building so that I could call Homie to tell him the news.  I was pacing in circles in my tank top and shorts in front of the building and it was much too cold for those clothes, but I didn’t notice.

I cried in the shower wondering how I can even begin to thank God when I had stopped believing that he had a plan for me.

I wondered throughout the day if I would get some word that actually there was some sort of error or problem and that I actually didn’t get this position.  And maybe the moral of the story wouldn’t end with after waiting and struggling to trust these last 3 years it all paid off, but that actually the story would be that after waiting and struggling I got a yes but then some mistake had been made and I actually got a no.  Maybe my story would be how I responded to that last bit of devastation.

I sound paranoid.  Clearly Doubting Thomas has nothin on me.

Those thoughts ran through my head though.

I think it has just started over the last day or two to sink in that this is for real.  This is happening.  This is the course I will take.

In 11 days it will all be completely official.  In 17 days I leave for almost four months of training.

The whole entire wait is almost over.

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