And so... it turns out my own life is riddled with PLOT TWISTS. For being a writer, I really am terrible about guessing what happens next in a story. I'm always shocked. Always. It's a bit embarrassing, really. So the fact that the same turns out to be true in my real life is no real surprise, but still a shock to the system. Something happened last week and it was a doozie. And now it's time to explain my radio silence...
Now I can finally tell you that all the cryptic blog posts of the past few months were regarding making a decision on whether or not to go to grad school this fall. I was accepted into an MFA Creative Writing program in New York City and after dozens of pro/con lists, too many sleepless nights to count, and enough tears to keep the Titanic afloat (minus the whole iceberg bit), I sent in my deposit and called it a day. I began making all the arrangements, getting in touch with anyone I've ever made eye contact with for their New York connections, taking on a second job to save more money... All the while, losing more sleep than ever.
In the middle of my vacation last week, I went to New York and visited the school. And just like that, every alarm bell in my head and heart began sounding off like crazy. I had this terrible foreboding feeling, one which I can only identify as the Holy Spirit, saying that the whole grand scheme was incredibly wrong for my life. I remember when I was deciding which regions to list as my preferences for teaching in France after graduation and having the same unsettling feeling. I chose to ignore it and then wound up in the Bomb Shelter. And I think we all know how that went! It wasn't New York, it wasn't the school or the program. It's just that there are two very important things I took away from my experience in France: 1) there is something to be said for gut feelings and 2) God knows what's best for my life better than I do.
Later that night I took my mom to Hillsong, which is the church I'd planned on joining upon moving to New York. In the days leading up to the trip, I'd been praying Philippians 4:7. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." And what were they preaching that night? Philippians 4:7. After months of inner turmoil, everything became clear and still. I had wanted so badly to make something-- granted, a good thing-- work, but it wasn't something I'd ever felt called to do. I'd wanted an out from my life in Baltimore and I concocted the most elaborate escape route possible. In my vanity, I took a lot of pride in sharing my glamorous plans with others. But one thing remained throughout the whole process and that was unrest. I had never been at peace about it. Not once. And then in the midst of a river of tears and snot (you're welcome) in the very last row at Hillsong, I handed my own selfish will for my life over to God's perfect will for my life. I still don't know what that is, but I'm at peace. There's a bit of confusion floating around to be sure, but I'm also filled with a peace and relief that truly surpasses my understanding.
So there you go! I'm still trying to process yet another life-changing decision, but... I believe God has good plans for me. Writing will always be important to me and I hope you know that I don't need an MFA to write. What I need is Christ and the path God has designed for me. As for what comes next, I got nothin'. But there's beauty in obedience even when everything else is unclear. I don't believe in Plan B. I believe in Plan A. This-- whatever this is-- is God's Plan A. I'm looking forward to it more than I can possibly say and I guess I just wanted to say... I hope you are too!
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." - Ephesians 3:20