Thursday, November 12, 2015

Goodbye, Comfort Zone

Lately I feel like I keep getting inspired (or pushed, if you wish you see it that way) to keep moving forward. This is how my inner monologue occasionally goes:

Me: Okay, God. I think I got it -- why I was being tested. I understand. I'm okay here. Wait... are you pushing me out of my comfort zone again? But I like my comfort zone. Can't I get a break? Please? Not even for a little bit? I shouldn't settle? Yes, I know You're right but... Huh? I need to keeping moving forward? Alright. No, I'm not complaining. I just really love my comfort zone. However, if you want me to keep going, I will. Your will, God... not mine. Yes, I trust in You even though I have no idea what's going to happen in the future.

While the above applies to different areas of my life, my biggest focus has been on my past academic comfort bubble. Coursework these past couple of weeks has been rough for me. I knew grad school was hard but I wasn't anticipating it to be this time consuming. Two books in particular were read ridiculously slow (way too slow for me) because of how complex and verbose they were. The general consensus amongst my fellow classmates (and even my professor) was that the books were not easy to grasp. It wasn't that I was a total dunce (though it occasionally feels that way listening some of my classmates; my goodness, they will do amazing things for the Church). I just had to take my time and try to get through it all as best as I could with a little help along the way.

I'm currently finishing up my first paper, a week after it was originally due. No, it's okay; I had an extension due to the time lost post-accident last month. I didn't want the extension, to be honest. I wanted to meet the original deadline. Remember when I wrote about having academic pride earlier this year? I was dangerously close to going there again but this paper helped me realize it early enough to stop it. I had to humble myself and rein in the pride that wanted to pop up again. Old habits die hard, you know? No, I was not going to have it easy like I'd had in previous years. I was going to have to work harder than I ever had just to finish that paper.

When I accepted this, I talked to the right person and was able to get an extension. Did I want it? No, but I knew I needed it. Sometimes things take time and hard work. This paper was a beautiful reminder of not only that but that it's always best to trust Him. As I got closer to the deadline (prior to receiving the extension) and saw that I was nowhere near being done I said: "If I don't finish this paper, Lord, and if it makes such a difference that it will put me in jeopardy of potentially having to leave the program (side note: paper worth a good chunk of my grade)... it will be because You have something else planned for me. I will accept it. I put my trust in You." Maybe He doesn't want me to give up yet because, despite the stress I put on myself to meet the deadlines, I've felt an overwhelming peace about being in this program. Hard work isn't fun but I do love it. I've never enjoyed myself in an academic setting as much as I have recently. I can't get enough of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas (for Philosophy) nor anything that's been assigned in my Theology course. Am I still behind (in general)? Of course... but I'm willing to work harder now that I'm learning to adjust to my new schedule (which includes thrice weekly sessions for my back and a whole lot of taking public transportation).

The quarter ends in less than a month. I have two more papers and a lot of hard work ahead of me. I might've lost a majority of the first half due to circumstances beyond my control (as well as horrendous lack of time management with a dash of procrastination) but that doesn't mean I can't catch up. I can... with God's help. I hope that by Thanksgiving Day weekend I will be all caught up. That is my hope but only God knows if I'll be able to meet that goal. If not, it won't be because I didn't try. For now it's all about trust and hard work.

There's another area in which I feel God is inspiring me to move forward but it may be too early to tell. For now trust, prayer, and resigning myself to His will is all I can do. Oh yeah, and I need to be patient. As independent and (occasionally) stubborn as I may be, I know that His plans are much greater than anything I could ever plan for myself and I can't wait to see what's in store for me next.

Your will, God... not my own.

Anyway, that's all I wanted to share with y'all for now. I have most of my paper done but I want to add a couple more things to make it flow a bit better so I'm going to go do that. :)

I hope y'all are well!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

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