Hey, everybody! So, I had a Zoom meeting with my grad thesis advisor yesterday and…we have a winner! He has signed off on my 71 page thesis! And now the other member of my committee has it and is proofreading it. We are praying (won’t you join me?) that he merely reads for grammar/punctuation type errors and returns it to me by Thanksgiving. If it turns out more is required, I will do my best to make the changes without complaint and with an understanding that it will only improve my work!
I have a 1 December deadline to turn in the bound, official copy!! I am beyond excited to have reached this point in the process!!! I came across a Facebook post from NINE years ago this morning, stating that I was thrilled that my prof from my old graduate school, (where I took half my classes online while Sean was still active duty and we were moving every couple of years or less), had given me 2 extra weeks to turn in some assignments and take my final exam. I had to ask for the extra time because we had just moved to Virginia so my husband could then deploy to Afghanistan…Silly Lynda. I thought I could keep up with classes in the midst of a move and Sean leaving me for 15 1/2 months…Anyway, this reminded me that I began this journey almost a decade ago and it’s coming to a close within the next month. There have been some highs and lows, including not just Sean’s deployment, but a few months after his return, sending our son off on his first deployment to Afghanistan as a tank platoon leader. His dad had just taken command of 1st Armored Division at Ft. Bliss and I was an emotional wreck on many levels. So I asked the Dean of the graduate school for a Leave of Absence until at least my son returned or his dad was no longer commanding a Division. Well, it was granted! And I was relieved and very grateful.
Then we unexpectedly got pulled from Bliss to head to III Corps and Ft. Hood after only a little over a year with “Old Ironsides.” I foolishly decided, after about 4 or 5 months there, that I could begin my distance studies again. I took one class and it just about killed me. My schedule at Hood was just too unpredictable to have specific times each day/night to study. So I told CDU that I was going to quit for a time. No request for a LOA this time – just quitting.
And then, after Hood we headed to TRADOC and Ft. Eustis so Sean could be the Deputy Commander there. That would only last about a year and Sean finally retired! I was ready, frankly, before this. His last deployment during our time with III Corps just about did me in, I’m not gonna lie. But we kept going a while longer and then, after some interesting decisions by my Soldier and the Army, we were done. Just shy of 37 years for Sean; just shy of 34 for me as an Army wife.
Then he decided to accept a job in California! Wait. What? California? Why not take me to the moon? We’ve never been stationed in California! And he was going to a civilian job so my main job, as a professional volunteer for so many years, was not waiting for me there. What would I do?! Well, I got out here and learned about the Franciscan School of Theology. It’s a graduate school and was just making the move to become a part of the University of San Diego. I had no idea what that meant. But after some prayer, and a ‘wait and see’ attitude, I applied. FST accepted all but one of my completed graduate courses. I felt I had to attend and finish. It’s been 3 semesters, 7 more classes, and one thesis but I can see the finish line! I have a final oral exam on 9 December for my class, Gospel of Luke, which has been amazing, and I’m waiting for my other committee member to proofread my thesis. But other than that, we’re almost there!
What a long, (but not) strange trip it’s been. It was more like an adventure! I am grateful beyond words to a God who, through His Providence, sent us to California and presented me with this amazing gift. I will not squander the gift I’ve been given. I will use the things I’ve learned, the knowledge I’ve acquired, my faith that’s been strengthened, and go out to do whatever God asks of me in the coming days, weeks, and years, if I am given that time. It’s all for the glory of God and to advance His Kingdom. That’s been my prayer for years now and always will be while there’s breath in my body.
Sorry this is so long, but after 9 years and a LOT of study and struggle, I’m pretty darned excited and wanted to share. If God gives you something to do, do it. That’s my advice. And always be thankful for the gift, even when you’re in the valleys because it’s all part of forming you into the person God meant you to be. Something I say all the time is, “If you ask God a question, expect an answer.” So, listen, my friends. Pay attention. You will hear the Lord’s voice through the voices of other people, through the written words or the sung words of others, through a peace in your soul that only God could put there. But if you pay attention, waiting to hear what God’s will is, you will come to know.
And then, say “Yes!” Always say “yes” to God. Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus, is our model here. She said “Be it done to me according to thy word” to the angel Gabriel and our world has never been the same. All God wants is willing hearts. He will equip you, empower you, give you wisdom, words to speak. When God is with you, it’s all good, truly. So, I’m stepping off my soapbox and putting it away for another day. If you have any questions, send me a private message. I’d be happy to talk to any of you about anything. God bless us, every one! And for any of you who ever said a prayer for me or wished me well, thank you for your support and love!