My life has been changing drastically over the last year and a half, and it seems only fitting that this blog does, too. The major changes in my life have been these:
1. My mom and her sister both have breast cancer. Mom has stage iv metastatic breast cancer, and she is doing well right now. Her older sister has (I think) stage II or barely stage III and is undergoing treatment but is doing well so far. Our lives will be forever changed.
2. I'm engaged to be married in June, and cannot wait. I love my fiancee, I love his family, and I am so excited about starting a new role in life as his wife. Even now, in the 3 months since he proposed, I have seen myself long to be his helper. I am just beginning to understand God's purpose in designing marriage and marital roles, and am so excited about helping my fiancee in all parts of life.
3. After my aunt's cancer diagnosis, I finally made the decision to stop the PhD. I informed my committee and the head of my department, as well as my boss at the current university. I think my advisor has disowned me, as he hasn't said one word to me in almost 7 months now. Everyone else was supportive. I truly feel that God is leading me to other paths that don't include finishing the dissertation. He kept shutting those doors and opening my heart to other desires and goals. So while I am teaching this year and have applied for a job at a community college for next year, I will no longer be a PhD candidate. I made it through comps and orals and some research, but I don't see myself ever trying to go back and finish. It just isn't my priority. All I want now is to contribute to our family's financial well-being once we're married and to take care of my soon-to-be husband and (God willing) any kids we'll have.
I'm not sure how well I'll do at keeping this up, since I seem to be bad at writing much these days, but I see this turning into something else. I really feel like I need to be talking more about the amazing God I serve and His love and instruction. So while I'll still talk about life and teaching sometimes, I'm hoping that this can become a place to consider the wonders of God's word. I just pray that God would speak through me and keep me in wisdom and understanding.
So just to start off, I'll share one of my spiritual goals this year. I have slowly been becoming part of a women's ministry called Living Proof Ministries. I've gone through two of the bible studies the ministry has put out, and they are wonderfully grounded in scripture (which makes me love them). This year, beginning January 1st, they put out a call for women to pledge to memorize 24 verses this year - two per month, on the first and 15th of each month. I immediately wanted to take part for the accountability. So here is my first verse of 2011:
"God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind. Does He speak and not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?" ~Numbers 23:19
I was drawn to this verse partly through having read the allegory Hinds Feet on High Places over Christmas break. The Shepherd tells Much-Afraid that He is not a man, that He should lie - He would never lie to her. She responds, "Even if you did lie to me, I would still follow you." Oh, that my heart would respond in such a way - even if you did deceive me, Lord, I can do nothing but follow you. I love you and can only choose you from this point forward!
I also wanted to start my scripture journey this year with a reminder that He is truthful, faithful, and will never deceive us. How can we trust His Word if we think He is like man - lying, deceitful, sinful? One of the first steps in really delving into the Word is acknowledging in faith that God is not a man that He could lie, nor a son of man that He could change His mind. From that starting point, Scripture is a glorious, awesome, and challenging insight into the heart of God.
1. He will not deny what He has promised.
2. He will not change the rules half-way through your life.
3. He will not forsake those who love Him.
4. He will never act in a way that contradicts what He says about Himself in scripture.
Trust in this! Even if you don't trust mankind, if you have been deceived and pained and betrayed, if you have built up so many walls not even a nuclear bomb could penetrate your defenses - know that you can trust God. He is faithful!
Oh, Lord, that we might trust you and what you say in your word, and that 2011 might be the year that we as your children finally allow your Spirit to fully dwell within us and work through us to glorify your name!