The Lord’s Time
Last night Brinestone and I were talking, and I don’t remember exactly what she said or how it came up, but she mentioned grad school—namely, that I’d been praying about it last summer and fall and had felt that I should go and that it was the right time to apply.
But then I didn’t apply. I had just quit a nasty, horrible job, and one of the (many) reasons I quit was so that I could focus on applying to grad school. But when it came down to it, I couldn’t in good conscience spend our very precious money on application fees when we had no source of income. I guess I just didn’t have the faith.
The stupid thing is that I was in almost the identical situation exactly a year before: I had felt very strongly during the summer that I should go to grad school, but when I lost my job in the fall, I couldn’t afford to think about it. We had a baby on the way, and though we were surviving on Brinestone’s income, she was going to quit her job before the baby came. So I shelved the idea of grad school and said I’d think about it when we had the money.
You’d think I would’ve learned from the first time. I got an answer to my prayers, and I ignored it because I couldn’t be sure that everything would work out. If I’d listened the first time, I could be in school working towards a PhD in linguistics right now. If I’d listened the second time, I could be scheduled to start this fall. But now the earliest I can start is fall 2008—over a year and a half away—or maybe summer 2008 if I go to BYU for a master’s first.
All of this was going through my head over and over as I was trying and failing to fall asleep last night. Perhaps what struck me most was not that I hadn’t learned the first time around, but that the Lord had said “Okay, now!” and I had responded with “But I can’t right now!”
In the Mormon church we talk a lot about the Lord’s time, usually meaning that the blessings and answers to prayers come later, not immediately when we want them. But I think we often forget about the times when the opposite happens—when God is trying to tell us that he has a blessing for us, but we drag our feet because we don’t have the faith.
If I’d listened a year and a half ago, I’d have gotten what I wanted. But I guess I needed a little extra time to figure that out.