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Friday, September 08, 2006

Formal Application

Well, everyone, I did it...today I sent in my application. I also faxed a request to my Alma Mater (St. Mary's University of Winona, MN) to have my transcripts forwarded to UST, and I contacted my references to let them know they could send in their letters.

Now it's up to the people reading the apps. Now it's completely in God's hands because the only thing I can do is wait, and I'm not very good at that. Because I'm fairly certain they will not deny me admission, I am working to find a roommate because in order to go to school part time, I will need to quit my job. It's far too stressful and leaves me literally drained at the end of the day. I'll stay on full time if I am denied Financial Aid, but that will mean taking only 1 class, and quite honestly, I do NOT want to be on the 10 year plan. Talk about draining! That, and I am not sure of my ability to dedicate myself to my studies if I have to put in 10-12 hour days, especially when it gets busy...which is most of the year in my job. (We have only the occasional lull, usually preceeded and followed by utter chaos).

Some of you may be wondering why I'm so excited about this. After all...it's only applying for school! It's all hypothetical, right? I haven't even been accepted and here I am, planning.

You bet!

I have been the "Blue Coyote", running around doing all the wrong things ever since I graduated from college the first time around. I've done everything, none of those things being right for me. And yet again, here I am, in a job in which I have no future. It's not that I'm useless...in many ways I'm very good at my job and have a lot of potential...but in many other, more fundamental ways, I do not have the needed qualities for longevity. I often look at the business model of my company, the practices, etc., and while I really see nothing outright ethically wrong, I still don't like the constant drive for profit, for which they are going so far as to sacrifice the working environmment. It was different when I started, but with the focus going to statistical data and off of the reality of the job, there has been a definite shift...and I've almost quit more than once.

Managers everywhere, take note: your bottom line, or lowest ultimate cost does not matter if your employees are overworked, stressed out, and unhappy. If YOU cannot control the workload, then hire more people, even if it affects your profit. If your employees are dropping like flies, that's usually a sign that something is wrong. Take a hint.

OK, off my soapbox. I don't work for a bad company and it's not a bad job..it just isn't for me. It's there for now, and God put me here and kept me here for a reason, and I'm getting to that.

I think I've figured it out, and God's designs are all over it. Every job I've had up to now has meant utter anguish in one way or another, and really, this one has been no exception. But this job has also placed me on a career path of sorts, has given me financial stability and the income which allowed me to purchase a home (townhome), and to replace my prior falling-apart car. These are good things. And of course, God's focus wasn't the job or the stuff...his was getting me to the spiritual home in which He could speak to me--and so He has.

God set me up in such a way that I am trapped, professionally. I've been looking for other jobs, but for me, there is literally NOTHING OUT THERE! I posted a resume and got hits for sales and marketing and other things similar to my job...none of which I want, none of which I am qualified. I can't go back to my original career path in social services as I left that track behind me and the only stuff I can find has pitiful benefits and pays very little--not nearly enough to cover my monthly expenses.

So how could I consider Grad school? Simple...for a long time, I didn't. I nearly gave up on the very idea, thinking I'd have to be content with my simple and useless B.A. degree. Thinking, as I watched my debt and my work position pen me in completely, that there was no way out. And it's been like this now for a couple years. Every time I'd get a handle on the debt, something would happen...like the series of weird illnesses my dog contracted in succession.

I also noticed that the financial issues occurred not only when I had thought I had a handle and a plan...but also when I was taking steps to come closer to God. I was working hard to do what I wanted to do, and still, somehow missing God's will.

Finally, this year, a series of events involving Catholic education took place..the Called the Lead Conference, constant information hitting me in random places regarding the UST Catholic Studies program, and a friend, a DRE in another state, who encouraged me not to give up on the idea of Grad school.

Then one day it struck me that I should do some searching. I've looked for jobs, I've done everything I can...the only door I haven't looked behind was the one marked "Grad School" because I discounted it before I ever gave it a thought.

(Jason, if you're reading this, then it's all your fault! Thanks for the kick in the pants!)

I tend to move quickly when I make decisions...if I don't then I lapse into inaction but if I follow a course of action, then I must continue to the end. That's apparently the way God created me. I dunno.

Anyway, I realized tonight that finally, I have let go and have put everything in God's hands, and this happened with such subtlty that I didn't even realize it! In the past, I made DEMANDS of God, I TOLD Him what I wanted and expected him to do for me, and I was upset if it didn't go my way. I decided that I was the author of my own future, me and no one else and I just expected God to cooperate.

God doesn't work that way.

So he set me up. He found me a job when I prayed for one while I was unemployed, and without other prospects, I took it. It has been a good job, but it has no future. It uses my skills, but 20 years here would be akin to a fate worse than death. I've seen no way out...until now.

And the support surrounding this has been amazing. There has not been a single person who thought this was a bad idea...even the people I expected to object have been supportive. There has been support at my parish, among my family, and among the blog community, and to all of you...thank you.

Maybe this doesn't seem like a big deal, and it's not a done deal. I still don't know that I'll get into the program, I still don't know if I'll be able to pay for it...but finally, at long, long last, I can see a light at the end of this tunne. And I can finally see and understand that Jesus has been walking with me and holding my hand the entire time.

No matter what happens, I've found hope again, I'm getting my optimism back, and I've learned that the future does not belong to me, nor did it ever. My life is in His hands, and all this is for His glory, not mine. An MA degree will not advance me spiritually, nor will it make me a better person in any way. It won't make me smarter...only more knowledgable. But what is knowledge if it is not shared? It doesn't make me superior, only forces me to step into a higher standard, a higher responsibilty.

"To whom much is given, much is expected." I only pray I can live up to what the Lord has given me already. I can't do that without prayer. I can't do it without Jesus, without Mary as my model.

Whenever I have a decision to make, or I am worried, the one phrase that comes to me consistently is "Seek first the Kingdom of God." This is what we all must do for the Lord comes first in all things. He holds us all in the palm of His hand, He loves us all very very much, and when we stop fighting Him, he is so much better able to display his glory.

My application went off today with a few stamps and many prayers, and while I am excited, I am at peace. God is in control. I must take each step, I must plan ahead while not burning bridges, and I must be patient. But it is not for me to know the future, only God...it is for me to have trust and complete faith.

So now we all wait...and let the will of God be done in all things and in all seasons.

Thank you, Jesus

3 comments:

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: You can do it! I've been praying on it.

Adoro Te Devote said...

Thanks, cathy! I need lots of prayers (which, ultimately, have nothing to do with me, but God's will). :-)

And thank you again for being so willing to look over my papers for the app! I owe you!

Theocoid said...

Good luck! I'm on the 6-year plan, myself.