I am often tempted to skip the devotional because it can’t be read aloud to me. However, I ALWAYS get a new perspective or just encouragement from the devotional. Not to say that I don’t from scripture but the devotional has seemed like a chore in comparison. Todays devotional discusses David knowing that God would give him the strength that he needed when he needed it. I’m going to be discussing my journey to finish this doctorate again… because it is the current challenge I am facing. It is like a steady cloud, somedays dark, somedays the sun peeks through but nevertheless it remains.
Over the weekend we celebrated my son’s 1st birthday out of town and although I am supposed to be writing daily. I didn’t find time to write this weekend so I found myself panicking on our drive home. As I found my thoughts spiraling out of control I decided to talk it all out with my husband. He always seems to provide logic when my emotions get the best of me and we had plenty of time and opportunity to talk. So I went through my fears and I questioned whether or not I could do this, had I set myself up to not finish in my desired time period (this semester). Is this realistic, will I have time to spend with my family, will the house look like a mess all the time?
Then I remembered, this time last year I was battling my proposal. The proposal is traditionally the first three chapters of a dissertation. It consists of an introductory chapter that provides reasoning for the study and its necessity. The second chapter includes all of the pertinent literature to support the study and the third chapter is what methods will be used to actually collect and analyze your data. Now that you understand a bit about the dissertation pieces, I’ll continue. The proposal battle, had been discussed and called “a beast” by my colleagues, peers, and even my advisor. I was prepared for the battle with the “beast” because I didn’t have a choice but also because I knew I had to make this step happen so I could finish. I worked on my proposal for the latter half of my pregnancy vigorously in an effort to finish prior to having my son. Unfortunately that did not happen and I found myself with a newborn attempting to battle the “beast”! I was exhausted and I had to battle negative thoughts and really call on the Lord for strength because I was finding it hard to eat and sleep consistently, so the idea of writing complete and scholarly sentences left me overwhelmed. I prayed for help and for strength because I needed to finish but I also had to be able to leave the house and not worry about my son. My husband was helpful in getting the baby at night so that I could rest and then write but I needed more time with the “beast”. I talked to my husband and we were able to have my sister-in-law and my best friend/sons Godmother come stay with us for as long as they could. I was able to leave the house during the day and battle the “beast”. When I returned not only was my son happy, he was surrounded with love AND dishes and laundry were done! My heart was filled with joy and I on those days I was able to see the sun through the clouds. The Lord provided me the strength and community I needed to prevail.
In the car with my husband, I reminded myself that I had been here before. The Lord provided me with the strength to persevere and I battled the beast and won. My advisor has let me know that chapter four. (Chapter four is the findings chapter, I will be writing about what the participants said during the interviews by creating narratives of the participants lives.) is an even larger “beast” than chapter two. Although, I have overwhelming feelings, I know that God has provided me with the strength before and I know that he’ll do it again. I have stopped referring to the “ beast” as a chore but as a choice and I choose to work hard, know that I am equipped to beat the “beast” this semester.
If you are facing a battle or you are wondering where your help will come, be diligent and know that god will provide you with the strength to get through every battle of your life. I have to admit, I didn’t expect to have so many connections and epiphanies within the Old Testament readings but it also reminds me that I don’t have any control over what messages God will use to speak to me. I am grateful for this journey.
Have a wonderful Monday and a spectacular week!