I must admit, it's becoming rather difficult to feel any level of excitement about anything while I am (supposed to be) working on my doctoral thesis. Next weekend I'm preaching for the pastoral anniversary of a good friend and seminary colleague. I should really be excited about that. I am also doing a leadership assessment for another pastor friend, and that's exciting. Let's not forget that my niece is due with another little girl in the coming months. Who wouldn't be excited about that?!? Yet in the back of my mind I am always thinking, "I'd enjoy this moment so much more if I wasn't so worried about my thesis."
In my heart I know that this is ridiculous. I have written two other theses (albeit for masters programs) so I know how to do this. Yes it can be hard, yes can be frustrating, but I've done it before and I know exactly what to do. Truth be told, I wrote the bulk of each of those documents in less than thirty days. I'm not bragging because I waited until the last minute, which is why I wrote so quickly. Still, I feel genuinely stuck. I think it has a lot less to do with the actual writing of the thesis and a whole lot more to do with the meaning I have assigned to it.
Ten years ago when I was finishing up my thesis-writing at Howard University, the board in my home office said, "Your dreams and your destiny await on the other side of your thesis." That is what the Lord had spoken to me and I whole-heartedly believed it as I wrote like a maniac to finish by my deadline. I produced a brilliant thesis and thesis defense, earned distinction on my work, graduated with a 3.9, and waited for God to swing doors open. It didn't quite happen the way I'd hoped. Sure, in time my life moved forward- I became Minister to Youth at my church shortly after, I started seminary a year later, and in the meantime obtained a couple of consulting projects that allowed me to use my training. These things however didn't happen right away. I spent a lot of time feeling lost after graduation and wondering what all the hard work was for.
If I'm honest, I must admit that I do NOT want to feel that again. As much as I don't want to be one of those people who stops at ABD (which is not an option because Husband would put me on the street), I also don't want to have worked like a dog to get all A's (and I do mean ALL) so I can go back to doing what I'm already doing without any new opportunities. There's so much that I am believing God to do in my life, so much that has been on hold, that it would break my heart to find that there's nothing waiting for me on the other side of my doctoral thesis. It took me some time to realize it, but this is the real reason I'm stuck.
In the meantime while I'm waiting to become unstuck, I also definitely don't want to miss out on the small joys in my life like buying necessities for my niece's baby due in December. It would be a shame to miss these important moments worrying about what may or may not happen down the line.