Again, if this blog is to make any sense, you will need to read two previous ones:
- No Longer a Pastor
- The Story Continues
My second international interview for a Ph.D. scholarship/salary was this last Thursday. It went great. I thought it did. Maybe it did or maybe it didn’t. Whatever the case may be, Friday the dreaded, yet all-too-common, email came. The sentence that began with “Unfortunately” crushed my heart and made me physically weak for the next three hours. Finishing work that day was extremely difficult. I know one thing. Through all of this, I will never again underestimate the power of disappointment in someone’s heart. It can be brutal, cold, crippling. I will have more compassion and thus be more like Christ in the future because of the disappointment and heartache that my wife and I are having to walk through on our way to the door that we STILL BELIEVE God is going to open. One day. Some day.
For now, I will continue to read, study, think, and redraft my proposal. This is what God wants. The ONLY THING IN MY HEART is the desire to get my Ph.D. in philosophy. How can you quit pursuing that thing which fills your thoughts during worship, helps you get up in the morning, and occupies your thoughts multiple times per hour? I can’t. I hope you will not.
After the powerful and near debilitating news Friday, my wife had the chance to talk with one of her best friends. Yesterday I had the chance to talk with my dad in the morning and one of my best friends later in the day. As a family, we went out of town and had some fun. Life keeps going. The dream is not over. The one thing I cannot shake that keeps me looking and moving forward is that I believe WITH ALL OF MY HEART that this is God’s will for me. Well, and there is one more thing: my wife hasn’t given up on me either. She dreams with me. We dream together. My Ph.D. topic has become something we are passionate about together. We will share it. We are in this together. She is a dreamer. We are dreamers.
This morning I read the Scripture, “Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” I had this thought: This last decline was a manifestation of God’s love and faithfulness toward me and my family. Only his will matters. That is it. That is all. I do not want any idol in my heart that blocks that authentic, embodied confession. This decline must mean that God is not ready yet to open that door. In other words, this particular door at this particular time would not have brought him the most amount of glory.
So here we are.
I fell short again. Or did I?
Maybe God simply exercised his providential sovereignty.
Maybe, just maybe, Romans 8:28 still rings true.
Maybe this is not all about me. Us.
Maybe Daddy wants a deeper trust, a deeper dependence, a deeper reliance governing my every breathe.
Okay Lord. Here am I. Here is my family.