Not too long ago I was making myself okay with graduating in September and going on about how I didn't want to miss any of the important family moments so I was taking my time with my dissertation. Now I find myself at the beginning of chapter 5, the last chapter of my dissertation, and potentially a new chapter in my life. No I don't have any immediate plans for sweeping changes, but I do know that God always equips us for a reason and my expectation is that God has something planned for me. I must admit that I feel some fear about May 16th, the day AFTER graduation. Suppose the 16th is just like the 14th and all of this was for nothing? Suppose I've given up so much to possess very little? What if God opens a new door and I don't like what's on the other side? These are all thoughts that run through my mind several times per hour as I am trying to wrap up the last leg of this journey. At times it makes me stall out, and I have to stop and cry from the sheer exhaustion of the task and the uncertainty of what's ahead. But one thing I do know is that I cannot stay where I am and things cannot stay as they are. God has poured too much into me for my life to remain the same and I am going to have to be brave and step boldly into whatever the next season holds.
Almost as an act of confirmation, yesterday morning I learned that the DMin director at Duke is leaving to start another position at a different institution. It was kind of surreal because it was due in part to a conversation I had with him four years ago that I even decided to apply to Duke. This announcement was a gentle nudge telling me that it was time for me to move on as well. I really would have been okay with graduating in December, but for whatever reason God wanted my work finished now. I don't know why, but I am believing that it's because something great is waiting for me.