"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." Proverbs 16:9
Sometimes things don't work out the way you thought they would. If you didn't know that already, I'm about to inform you of another example.
I'm not going to college this fall. Well, unless God does a really big miracle up his sleeve that will present itself within the next seven days. I don't think He will, though, because I can clearly see why He's having me do this.
No, I am not okay with this. Not completely yet, anyway. I'm still mourning this loss, of sorts. If you ask me about it, I will probably cry. Not sure when that will end.
You see, when I first started looking up colleges in the spring of 2012, I found Moody Bible Institute pretty early on. I made a pro/con list with MBI and three other schools, trying to decide where to apply. I ended up only applying to Moody. When I was working on my application at the beginning of February of this year, I had to print out a picture of the plaza and hang it above my desk. I couldn't stop thinking about how badly I wanted to go there. I'd never actually visited the campus, but I just didn't see myself anywhere else for those four years of school. When I was about to send off my application at the end of February, my dad suggested that I pray over it. So I did. I prayed that those that determined whether or not I would be admitted would make the right decision. I didn't pray that I would get accepted to the Chicago campus (there are multiple ways to attend MBI, so I was determined to be content with whatever way the Lord wanted me to go), just that I would go where I'm supposed to.
During the whole month of March and most of April, while waiting for the admission decision time in mid-April, I figured I would, if anything, be accepted into the FYOP (First Year Online Program), where I would spend the first year here, at home, working and taking classes. Instead, though, when I checked the mail on April 18, like I had every day for a solid month, I had two letters. Um. What? Which did I open first?! Was it an acceptance letter, and then a "whoops we made a mistake jk" letter? When I figured there was no good way to determine which letter should be opened first, I just opened one. It mentioned something about "Chicago" and "undergraduate" and "GAP program", but I wasn't sure what campus this was for, so I opened the other letter.
"We are delighted to inform you that your application for enrollment at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago has been approved for the fall semester of 2013."
REALLY?! I probably read that first sentence twenty times for the first 48 hours, making sure all the things I wanted were there. "Chicago", "approved", "fall of 2013". Yup! I was ecstatic. I did not expect to get into the Chicago campus the first time. I reread the other letter, and it explained to me that "your grade point average and/or testing scores would not have ordinarily qualified you for the Chicago undergraduate school program". So my grades sucked. Not a news flash to me. It went on to explain how GAP (Gaining Academic Proficiency) was D.L. Moody's idea. "He wanted to train 'Gap' men and women. These were ordinary men and women, believers in Christ, who were passionate about ministry. We believe your testimony and references indicate you are that type of person." Well, they sure got that right. I was glad my essays had made sense! So I told people. My mom first, then my little sister, told my big sister to call me, and told my dad after my mom called asking if I had told him yet so she could post about it. Then I told people who filled out the recommendation forms for me, then some other people, then we made it public.
"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her." Luke 1:45
This was a big deal for me. I had tried to avoid posting where I was applying just so that, in the case that I wasn't accepted, not too many people would know right away.
So, over the last three months and 25 days, I have been posting how many days left. I went from over 120 to nine. NINE. Yesterday marked nine days, and it was also the day I truly accepted that the likelihood of me adding 365 days was not so slim anymore.
But, but, Lord! This can't possibly be what you want! I already bought bedding! I already have my schedule! I've practically memorized my classes and where they're at! I knew the campus map before I even finished my application!
But, alas, it looks like this is exactly what He wants. Moody is not an expensive school to go to. The tuition, about $4200, I think, is covered for a maximum of eight semesters (ten for a certain major, I believe) for undergraduate students. Enough time to get your degree. So that's $4200 each semester that I don't have to worry about. Then, with the room and board and the other fees that we have, it actually costs each student about $5500 a semester. REALLY cheap for a school in DOWNTOWN Chicago. And when I say downtown, I mean like ten blocks from the lake. The location is crazy good! But, I just don't have that money. MBI isn't a fan of loans, not that I was able to get one anyway.
So, here I am. One week from the move-in day, without the money for it. Now, I haven't given up hope yet. Last night my dad asked me if I would go if, say, the money showed up by Monday. Well, yeah, I would. BUT, I just don't think that will happen. Yesterday a lady from church took me to go hang out at Sonic and we hashed over this. It hurts, yes, but I hope that, a year from now, I will be able to look back and see that it was for the best, that I didn't go because I needed to say this one thing to one person. When I got back home I made a list of the "fun" things I'll be able to do this next year that I wouldn't have been able to otherwise, all while keeping my eye on the prize: going to Moody next fall. The number one goal, though, is to save up enough money for a year of school. Hopefully even more! Like many Moody students, I'm going to have to go to school and work for my four years there, but, for now, my job will be just to make money. I'm not sure exactly how yet. I hope to do a lot of different things, because I don't want to worry about money. (I hate money. Just look at my twitter account.)
"Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you." Psalms 86:11
The part I don't want to think about, though, is that things could change in a year. I don't know what could possibly come up in the next year that would prevent me from going to Chicago in the fall of 2014, but I know that I'll be content with whatever it is (a little bit sad about not living the Chicago life, though, of course).
I'm not really sure what the next step is now. I need to call Moody to see about deferring (is that the right word?) for a year. I know I read somewhere about what the policy is on that, but I cannot remember what it is, or where it's located. I need to somehow see about not completely withdrawing yet, because it would be a lot of hassle to do that and then, somehow, get the money to go.
Pros of not going this fall:
- I can make money...hopefully. I don't usually make dumb purchases, but I also usually don't have money...so...we'll see.
- Back in June, when the room assignments went out, I was placed in overflow. Today or tomorrow they were possibly going to have to change double occupancy rooms to triple occupancy rooms to fit the overflow students. Hopefully next year I'll request either a specific roommate or floor, and therefore I'll have a room before this point.
- Ummm, I have time to read some more books?! (clearly there are not many pros...I was pretty much mentally prepared to go).
- Another year of homecooked meals. I can dig that.
Cons of not going this fall:
- I miss Chicago.
- The little sister and I already switched rooms, so she has the bigger room. Hmph.
- I miss Chicago.
- I bought my bedding! And it's cute! And I don't want to use it except for my dorm! And I hope nothing gross gets in!!
- I miss Chicago.
- I'm going to have to get my license.
So that is what is going on with me. If you see me, feel free to ask me about it, but know that I may cry and walk away. I don't like crying in front of people, so I won't.
(p.s. if you read this all, high five!)
(p.s. if you read this all, high five!)