Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Yesterday I received some news that completely threw me for a loop.
As many of you know, I've been diligently preparing to begin an accelerated nursing program in January - taking all of the prerequisites, figuring out finances, making sure my application was in order.
I heard from the nursing school yesterday. I've been accepted. But. I'm on the waiting list.
What does that mean? It means that it's possible - even likely - that I may not be able to start in January. It means it's possible this wasn't even God's plan for me even though it was mine. It means I will look into other options. Now I know that I am going to be a nurse. I feel very passionate and even called to that. I can't say I ever felt passionate or called to this particular school, but it just made a lot of sense and it's really the only school in the area that does.
Initially, I felt sad. Confused, even. I have a great GPA, an incredible recommendation, all the prerequisites I needed. It shouldn't have been a problem. But as I just found out, apparently some wait on the waiting list for up to 2 years.
So after that initial shock, God quickly and mercifully covered me in peace and reminded me that He's in control after all.
When talking with my mom about it, she reminded me that there have been a lot of odd, out-of-the-blue obstacles in my life that have taken me for turns or taught me lessons I never would've planned. Maybe you can say the same? I think that's just life with God. It's an adventure after all, isn't it? Some of the twists and turns in my life have been there to teach me patience, perseverance, trust. Others have taken me on a completely different path.
For example, as a sophomore in college, I had a traumatic incident at my college in Texas where I had planned to stay for all 4 years that caused me to reconsider staying... which led me to Moody... which made me fall in love with Shawn... and fall in love with Chicago and urban ministry. Looking back on my dark days at the other college, they were almost unbearably painful and I'd never want to experience them again. But I would, because now I know that's what it took for God to move me in a new direction.
Now there's still the chance that the Lord is just saying, "Wait on me in obedience" instead of "Give this up." It's still possible that I may be able to start in January if enough people don't accept their spot and room opens up. When God asked Abraham to kill his one and only son, Abraham travelled to the place where he would sacrifice Isaac, placed Isaac on the alter, and had his knife raised. He was intent on obeying God. But just before the knife came down, an angel stopped him. God was only looking for his obedience - for Abraham to give up the thing he held most precious in the world - to show that he trusted God.
At the same time, He could also be asking me to give up my plan to go to this particular school. Inviting me to take His hand and join Him on this adventure. Begging me to renounce comfort and trust Him. Somehow, I feel like that's what He's got up His sleeve.
And you know what? That's just plain exciting! It could mean a new school, a new city, a completely new adventure with the Lord.
I firmly believe, as our pastor said on Sunday, that God's will is not a razor sharp edge. If you don't follow a very specific pathway, you've missed it. God's will is a wide open field, and we should run until we hit a fence.
Maybe this is a fence. Perhaps it will open. Whatever it is, it's not going to stop me from running.