Thursday, November 8, 2012

Next Steps

I'm sitting here, with a blank 'Notification of Intent' Form lying next to me.

To fill it out, attach $100 and send it in...? That is the question.

I've officially been offered a spot in the Master of Arts in Counseling Program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (about 25 miles north of Boston) to begin after the new year. I've also been offered a spot in a house off-campus that's a few steps away from a beach off Mackerel Cove.

Beautiful, right?
It's the cool kind of beach (at least to me). The kind where it's rarely too hot, the kind where you can wear jeans and a sweatshirt and it feels just right. A New England beach, with rocks and trees...the kind that entices you to eat seafood even when you don't think you like seafood.

It's a sweet opportunity. All of it is.
But, I'm scared to sign the paper. I've been scared to make this decision for a while, but up until I was actually accepted into the program, it wasn't a decision I had to make.

I think this is one of those times that I don't necessarily know what my next step should be and so it paralyzes me. It's one of the times where I want God to audibly confirm my plans so I can feel assured in taking a risk. It's probably one of those times where I just have to go forth confidently and faithfully, trusting that it's okay to not always know.

It's tricky because while becoming a licensed professional counselor/writing is a dream on some level, there are also many more dreams. How do you know which ones to let go of and which ones to press further into? Can I somehow do them all simultaneously? Perhaps I'll try.

I think my biggest fear is pursuing something and missing out on something better. In fact, I think it's a fear that haunts me in all other areas of life, not just with this. A fear of commitment. A fear of saying 'let's do this' and having a different, better opportunity come along. It keeps me from committing to marriage, to a job, to Friday night plans...

But I can't stay here in this land of limbo, living a transient life-style with no income or stability. Some part of me thinks if I could, I would...but some part of me is ready to dive into something new and different. Some part of me is ready for a new adventure, a new community, a new world of possibilities... even if the reality of what that means is actually somewhat terrifying.

And so I'm going for it.
I may not know what this next step will unveil for me, I may not know what other possibilities will come along... but right now, it doesn't matter.

Good things are in store, of that I am sure.
I will walk blindly into this next phase in life...entering back into a realm of academia, trusting that I haven't completely forgotten how to take tests, write papers and study. I will find a church, a part-time job, a close network of new friends in which to share life with.

But above all, I know this decision has eternal significance...that pursuing this dream is a part of something greater than just me. The end goal seems worth it.

So I guess you'll find me on the east coast for the next few years.
No more running, no more indecisiveness, no more fear.

I hope you'll continue to join me in this journey as I remain engaged in this online dialogue with matter where I am and no matter where you are. And may we mutually encourage each other as we strive to live lives that are no longer about us, as we hope in the second chances possible through Jesus Christ, as we serve the Living God.

I hope, if you're up against any sort of decision right now, that you'd be willing to take a plunge with me... even if you don't know everything that it entails.
May we take risks, dream big... and trust Him to take care of us in every regard.

I'm signing my name to this form... I'm unwilling to miss out on this opportunity.
All in.

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  1. AWESOME. I am cheering for you, Debbie! I know you can do this, and I know you are going to rock at it! I'm jealous that you'll get to have seasons and photogenic opportunities up in New England. Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

  2. I can kind of smell the sea, feel the breeze, and my heart is leaping a little in nervousness for you. This is huge! But whether the experience ends up good or bad... well, it will be good because of God's love for you. God is with you, and He is everything we need. So... don't feel like you are missing out on anything. Part of a bible verse I was dwelling on today: "having nothing, yet possessing everything." You're not missing out.