Friday, February 3, 2012

where did He go?

so, there's this girl i took some of my upper level physics classes with while i was finishing up my undergrad studies. she's finishing her undergrad right now and is looking at grad school for the fall, getting acceptance letters and faced with making the decision of where to go. i'm incredibly happy for her, don't get me wrong. she worked really hard and definitely deserves to be choosing where to go to do her graduate work.

the thing is, at the same time i'm reminded of where i was a year ago--and how much differently my life is right now than i had planned on it being.


i finished my undergrad with a pretty good GPA. not the best it could've been, but then again i was a non-traditional student, married, with two under 4 at home. my overall GRE score was pretty good--the math side was about average, but the verbal was way up there. i had good recommendation letters (i think--never actually saw them or anything, but i'm pretty sure the professors who wrote them for me liked me. or at least were ready to get me out of their hair, maybe!). surely all that stuff would work together to get me where i wanted to go.

except, it didn't. 

and instead of choosing where to go to school for my graduate work, i was trying to figure out what to do with my life.

i watched an episode of castle the other day (one of my favorite shows, although i'm a few episodes behind right now. need to fix that...)where his daughter found out that she hadn't been accepted to stanford.

she was crushed.
she had spent her life working hard to make sure everything would work out the way she wanted it to in the future. now, here she was, being told she didn't get to go to the college she chose.

she feel apart.
if this wasn't going to work out, what had she spent her life working toward? had it all been a waste of time?
(in case you're wondering, castle isn't the type of show where everything always "works out"--she didn't get a second letter telling her a mistake had been made or anything like that.)

a year ago, that's where i was.
after a struggle to figure out what i thought God had planned for my life, i had settled on medical physics. i took all those physics and biology classes i mentioned before so that i would not only be prepared for grad school, but also so that i would be (i thought) a competitive applicant. my family spent a summer camping in an apartment in toledo so i could take part in a research program in medical physics--something sure to get me in for school there the next fall, right?

when i didn't get in, i fell apart.
the difference was, i was married with two kids under 4 at home. 

if it hadn't been for that, if i had been, say, 21 like i would have been if i had gone straight into physics after high school (gulp),
i don't even want to think about what would have happened to me.

there have been multiple times that my life has been flipped upside down, things i'll probably get into later but that would make this already lengthy post waaayyy too long. in all of those times, i've looked around me and wondered where God went. it would make me feel really good to be able to say that a year ago i wasn't asking that question, that i had learned enough the other times to not have to.

the thing is, i apparently hadn't learned, and once again i was looking around trying to figure out where God had gone.

now, with a year of distance between me and this particular life-flipping moment, i can say that He was there. He hadn't gone anywhere, i just wasn't seeing.
(picture by my sister, Sarah)

in fact, when i look back at all of those moments, though i still don't understand them, i can see where He worked in them---for me.

i'm in a totally different place today than i was a year ago, in so many ways.
physically, mentally, emotionally, and probably any other "-lly" word you can think of.
don't get me wrong, i still can't see what God's plan is for me. i'm still struggling with that (and with coming to terms with the fact that i'm not the one making the plans for my life), but i am learning to see Him in the midst of my storms and struggles.

there is a song by Casting Crowns called "praise You in this storm"
i'm not very good at it yet, this praising thing no matter what's going on around me.

but i'm learning.


  1. I've always thought that if I knew what the future was supposed to be I would screw it up. Ah, but when I look in the rear view mirror, I smile. I can see God all over that. Praise His Holy Name.

  2. Wow. So relating to you today. Thanks for sharing!! Praying that His plan is revealed soon. I know being in limbo and trying to figure things out can be really hard.


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