Tuesday, September 21, 2010

nothing wasted

It's been a strange week.  Researching doctoral programs has absorbed virtually all of my study time.  And in the morass of administrative details (due dates, requirements, fees, policies, recommendations, procedures, and an unrelenting volley of emails with admissions departments all over the country) it can be hard to hang on to the joy that has characterized most of the rest of this journey.  Spreadsheets, checklists, and surfing the web have replaced the hours I usually spend reading, translating, and thinking.  It's not that I'm not detail-oriented, but PhD handbooks just can't hold a candle to the Bible!

This is a necessary part of the journey.  One of my mentors reminded me that the time I'm spending on it will not be wasted.  Someday a student will be sitting in my office asking me about PhD programs, and I will actually know something about schools other than my own.  So while my sights are already set on a place to study, I'm pressing on because it's the wise thing to do and because I hope it will one day be useful to someone else.  God doesn't waste anything.

There's an immediate payout from all this preparation, too.  As I've worked on my resume and written my life history I've been reminded of the tangible ways that God has used my experiences to shape me.  The language I studied in high school turns out to be a modern research language.  My friends from college have been instrumental in connecting me with all sorts of helpful people at other schools.  The book I read this summer will be a key component of my ability to articulate my research interests.  The professors who have invested deeply in me will launch me into the next stage of my journey by writing recommendations.  And my weekly meetings with Jehovah's Witnesses have been a constant reminder of what is at stake in the study of theology.  Telling my own story has helped me find my voice again.

Even in the event that every door is closed to me, I trust that God will not waste this season of preparation.  I do think it's possible to waste your life.  But in a life surrendered to Him every little thing, no matter how insignificant, can bring Him glory.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! I've been meaning to comment on your blog for months now...but I never have gotten around to it. So today I am taking a moment to tell you how much I appreciate your blogs! I have been a silent follower for months. Your new blogs get posted in my "google reader" and I love taking time to sit down with a cup of coffee to read what you have to say. I don't know if I have ever even met you before, but I know Danny from high school and pray for your family regularly. I love your insight into the word of God, your practical suggestions and stories on motherhood, your passion for missions and those who don't know the Lord yet.

    I'm sure, as you are knee deep in applications and swallowed by laundry and all the things that come with being a mom, often you might not realize or be aware that your writing, musings of motherhood and insight into the Word of God, really is making a difference in people's lives. God is using you. I wish we were closer, I would love to spend some time actually talking someday. God has gifted you greatly and I just wanted to encourage you today...because often you unknowingly encourage me.