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April 24, 2017

I have been under the impression lately that the Lord is teaching me about His sovereignty and how much I really accept His authority.

I received a phone call from a restricted number one afternoon while at work. It came immediately after an email from the graduate school to which I applied, so I picked it up on the second ring. I was told I could not come in for an interview as my application was incomplete; my third reference letter had not made it for their review. I insisted I had posted it myself weeks before the deadline and she gently but just as firmly reiterated that I would not be considered for selection. Desperate for her to stay on the line I almost shouted hysterically that I had sent the letter via paper mail. There was a pause and some rustling papers before she reluctantly said the letter had been found. Instead of saying the professional equivalent of “just kidding”, however, she said she would need to discuss her findings with the committee and would let me know what they decide. One whole, agonizing day later I receive an email stating the receipt of all components of my application and my continued candidacy. But that moment in the stairwell after that phone call was when the million dollar question punched me in the gut:

“Even if after I am still ‘in the running’ I am eventually not accepted to the program, where will my heart be then? Is God still good; is He still on my side?

The obvious answer is yes, God is inherently good and has only the best in mind for me. But His promises do not say He will grant every wish, and although He wants His children to prosper and flourish, our sanctity is more important. So where should my heart be, then, if I were to be a good daughter?
It would mean submission. Complete and utter surrender. This time it’s different because it means laying down my hopes and dreams, my time and effort both past and present, and all my sacrifices and saying it’s okay to turn on the shredder. It means giving everything up. It means dying. Yes, I mean it. Death. There is nothing I have clung onto more tightly than my aspirations to be a healthcare professional. It is an idol because if it is taken away from me I would be entirely lost and purposeless. I have been warned and lovingly reminded many times, but now I am put to the test.

Let’s forget the application anxiety. That question is still applicable in my singleness. Lately that has been challenged as well. (Why all of this at once?!) Is He still good when things don’t pan out the way they were “supposed to”? Again, the obvious answer is yes, but come on, really? I would begrudgingly say this, at best. When every back has suddenly been turned on you the only one left in the room will be God. Is He still good? Will He be enough? Better yet, will He still be good and sufficient when people begin to enter into my life again? How easily swayed my heart has become. How foolish I have been to trust in my own intuition.

Love is enacted. God did not just promise His people’s redemption. He followed through with the deliverance of a substitute, but not just any random being; He sent His son. I have been bought at the highest possible price. How dare I insist on having my own way. And yet, it is so hard for me to be told I cannot have what I want.

He is teaching me, and I am still learning.