It is so easy for me to forget this! I guess it's not necessarily that I "forget", but I guess I just don't consciously think about it or remember how great our God is on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it takes great "ah-ha!" moments for me to fully remember and embrace this thought and feel a warmth of a reminder in how powerful it is. I had one of these moments the other day. It's a small "ah-ha" moment, but it is a reminder, all the same.
It all started on May 8, 2008. That is the day that Stephen and I got engaged. We were engaged for an awfully loooong time (we got married on Oct. 10, 2009) and it wasn't because we couldn't decide on a date or that we loved being engaged. There were lots of different factors that kinda forced us into prolonging our engagement, one of these was the knowledge that when we got married we knew that one of us would be moving. I had an eery feeling that the person who would be moving would be me. The prayer between the two of us for those long months of our engagement was that God would lead our paths and make it evident to us where He wanted us to live.
I have to admit, I never had a STRONG, loud gong-like feeling that I must move to Chicago. I never said, "I'm moving to Chicago and I know that I'm supposed to move to Chicago." Stephen, on the other hand, had a different experience, and I think that I felt peace about the decision (sadness and sorrow aside). Now, since we've moved, I've had many moments where I think God is showing me that we did follow where He wanted us to go (again, sadness and sorrow aside). One of those, I'm going to share with you (it's small).
In Kentucky, in order to keep your teaching certification, you are required to obtain your Masters degree. You have 5 years from graduating from undergraduate to start and 10 years from graduation to finish. My clock was ticking and regardless of where I lived, I was going to have to start a grad school program. Here's the difference between me and some other teachers in KY: if I'm going to pay to get my masters, I WANT and DESIRE to learn and grow and become a better teacher. This wasn't something that I was going to rush through and get over with because I had to. I WANTED to go through a program that would strengthen me as a teacher in my weakest subject to teach: READING.
So where was I going to go to school? Well that depended on where I lived. When I knew I was moving to Chicago, I did what any normal person would do: I looked up all the different universities and colleges in the Chicagoland area and checked out their tuition. As you would expect, a public university was the cheapest out of the group. That's where UIC (University of Illinois, Chicago) came into play. Now, don't get me wrong, they had something else going for them, they offered a program that sounded really appealing to me; they offered a certification program to become a Reading Specialist. This wasn't a program where I would get a reading and writing endorsement (like a lot of the grad programs in KY), No, through their program, I would become a certified Reading Specialist (what that means is for another blog). So, I applied.
I got accepted. I attended (and completed...YAY!!!) my first semester there as of yesterday. Here's the part where my "ah-ha" came in. When I would go to class, I started to get glimpses of how awesome this University was for my particular needs, but it was solidified when I had a conversation with a girl from class one night. This girl asked me why I had decided on UIC (she is a 7th year teacher who knows her stuff). I was simple and honest in my explanation: I had to go to grad school and UIC was cheapest and matched what I wanted. Her response, "You couldn't have picked a better school to obtain your Reading Specialist certification; there are so many amazing professors here that are doing amazing things." And she's right. There are professors after professors that teach at UIC that have written reading curriculum and books that schools across the country use....THESE ARE MY PROFESSORS!
God knew what He was doing. God knew what I was doing.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."