Wednesday, May 11, 2011

March 26...When Dreams Came True

I'm obsessed with dates. Not the fruit, not the social kind, but the ones on the calendar. For that reason, I can remember the exact date that things have happened, and from now on, I will stop and smile whenever March 26 rolls around.

March 26, 2011. It started off as a normal Saturday. I was up early...typical because try as I might, I have inherited the "wake up early" gene from my Dad. My sweet roommate, Martha, doesn't have the "wake up early" gene, so by the time she was waking up around 10, I was contemplating a nap, but when she mentioned she was hungry, I realized I hadn't eaten so we decided to go out for breakfast. We picked a girly brunch place and enjoyed catching up on the events of the week. A true treat.

When we got home, I noticed that the mail had come. A little odd because the mail usually didn't run until late afternoon on Saturdays. As I pulled it out of the mailbox and took a glance I realized that, for once, something important had come in the Saturday mail. A letter I had been waiting on.

At this point, I should probably back up to say that a few months before, after much prayer and research, I had decided to pursue my dream to get my Masters of Divinity from Beeson..a dream that I have had since high school. I filled out the application, wrote the essays (it's a wonder I didn't die during that process), and went for the interview. I pretty much did it all with only a handful of people knowing. As much as I wanted to get in, I figured there was no chance that it would happen, so there was no sense in telling people about it only to have to tell them a few months later that I didn't get in.

As I held the letter I realized that things were about to get really interesting. I remember looking at my roommate and showing her the letter as I fumbled for my keys to unlock the door. She just laughed...probably because she had just asked at breakfast if I had heard anything. I held the letter in one hand and noticed that it was heavy...that must be good, right. Martha assured me that it was...more papers, and things to return. Still, I wouldn't let myself get too excited. There was always a chance that it would say "sorry...but here is a brochure for some other options."

After what seemed like 15 minutes, I finally got the door unlocked and we sat on the couch to open and read the letter. I found myself reading and rereading the first paragraph because I just couldn't believe what it was saying...I had been accepted. My roommate, on the other hand, had already gotten the chance to read further down and was noticing that there was more to the letter than just a congratulations, you're in. She asked if I knew what it meant and I said, "I think this means I'm going to school." She said yeah, but keep reading!! I got to the next paragraph and about fell off the couch when I saw that not only had I been accepted, but I was selected to receive a scholarship. Not only had God fulfilled my dream to go to Divinity school, he had totally exceed it!

I got teary then, and I still get teary now when I think about it. God is so so good.

Needless to say, finding out about school changed my weekend plans because now I knew I had to go home to see my parents. For those of you that know me, you know that I don't make it home too often. In order to make sure that I didn't scare them to death with a visit, I called my sister, told her about school, and got her to agree to come up to Brewton so I could tell my parents that I really wanted to see my niece, so I was going to drive down for the day and they were going to drive up. I wouldn't be able to go down until Sunday, so I spent the rest of the day in thankfulness and awe. It was actually kind of nice to be able to reflect on all that had happened to bring me to that point.

I got up early the next morning and called my parents to let them know I was on my way. My Dad went on and on about how this was a waste of time and money, but I just kept my mouth shut. I knew that I wanted to tell them in person, so a down and back trip was really the only possible solution. As long as I live, I will never forget that drive down to Brewton. What would they think? Especially since I hadn't even told them I had applied. How would they react? What would they say? Heck, I wondered how I was going to tell them. To say I spent my drive praying would be quite the understatement.

I made it into town just in time to go to meet them at church. I did my best to act normal and enjoyed chatting with lots of people I hadn't seen since Christmas. We went home to a little mini-feast my mom had whipped up and I finally decided that I would tell them over lunch. Well, I guess it was more of a show than a tell. You see, on the way down, I decided to just show them my acceptance letter and let them read it. I figured parents-to-be did that with ultrasound pictures, so why couldn't I do it with my letter?!

Like I said, I didn't really know what to expect, but their reactions were priceless. Mom's mouth dropped wide open, and after about 5 minutes, Dad asked me if I was going to actually go. Well, yes, Dad...I do believe I will. :) I did my best to answer all of their questions and apologized for not telling them about it sooner. After all the questions had been answered, both seemed eager to tell their friends, so I knew then that they were happy.

After we chatted, I didn't have much time before I knew I was going to need to get back on the road, but there was one other person that I had hoped to tell while I was childhood Pastor, the one who prayed the sinner's prayer with me and baptized me, and one of my all-time favorite neighbors, Brother John. I walked across the street sat on the same couch that I had sat on almost 18 years ago to the day and given my heart to Jesus. Yes, I cried. It was such a blessing to be able to thank him for all he had done for me, and then to have him pray over me was more than I could take.

It's been a little over 6 weeks since I opened the mailbox to find a letter that would change my life. In that time I've gotten to share the news with so many, some that have prayed for this day for years, so it has been a delight to thank them for those prayers. I have been reminded yet again how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family and friends.

As for school, classes start in August...August 29 to be exact. More than likely, it will take me 4 years. I am incredibly nervous about having to write theological papers...I'm not a theological thinker in the least...but, I am super excited to learn, and I know that I will get through it, and be a much better person because of it. When I graduate, I will have a Masters of Divinity, and for now, I feel that the Lord is calling me to use what I learn to work for a church as a Girls Ministry Leader....sort of like a youth leader, just for the girls. I have always had a heart for high school and college aged women, and I can think of no greater joy than to be able to do life with them daily.

So there you have it. Pretty much the reason I've been so quiet on the blog has been because I have wanted to say all of this for the past 6 weeks, but couldn't because I haven't been able to tell my current boss. You see, I really wanted to tell my boss in person, and since I work from home, I wasn't able to make a trip to the office until now. But, as of today, the office knows so I can now shout it from the rooftops...or the blogtops as the case may be....I AM GOING TO BEESON DIVINITY SCHOOL!!!