Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Adventures

I'm sitting here in Panera Bread taking  advantage of their free wifi reflecting on 2012.  This year has been one of change, excitement, disappointment, challenges, growth, defeat, provision, etc.  Beginning January 1st through this very moment on December 31st, this year I have experienced such memorable moments and experiences that I find myself having a greater reverence for God, but also I have a greater appreciation of myself.

This year I had great birthday celebrations, started tap dancing, went to my first Women's Retreat, participated in an 8k race, gone on road trips, went to Great Wolf Lodge and Bush Gardens, withdrew from The Art Institute and enrolled in Oral Roberts University, had WONDERFUL going away parties, moved from Washington, DC to Tulsa, OK, wrote non-plagerized papers, completed a full semester as an on-campus student, had multiple speaking engagements, lived by faith for four months with no job or steady form of income...  The list really does go on and on with 2012 experiences.

I'm a little sad to see 2012 leave honestly, but I'm pretty excited about what 2013 has in store for me.  Stay tuned folks cause my 2013 ride may get bumpier, but it will be exciting and victorious nonetheless.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Grades Are IN

My grades from the semester have been officially posted.  The best part of this semester has been overcoming lies that I've embraced like "Your really not smart enough" or "You can't write papers, so why try" or better yet "Your too old for on-campus learning".  The hardest part of this semester has really been social engagement.  I missed home a lot.  I missed seeing people that I know and care about (and who care about me).  I missed my routine.  I missed being comfortable and not having to worry about certain aspects of life. It's funny because even though I missed a lot of things about home, I wouldn't give up this journey for anything.  Oh, back to the grades, this is what I got:

B - Beginning Sign Language
B - Christian Worldview & Culture
A - Composition 102
D - Hebrew
C - Health & Fitness
A - Spirit Empowered Living
P - Whole Person Assessment Lab/Lecture

Beginning Sign Language: I missed getting an A in this class by .0046!  That probably hurt the most, but I deserved the B based on my test scores.

Christian Worldview & Culture: This was a hard B, I mean really hard.  The books we read and papers we wrote were intense.  But my Christian perspective hasn't changed but is more defined.  Like I have a worldview and know what it is.

Composition: I have failed other composition classes four times throughout my collegiate tenure, but not this time!!  I worked EXTRA hard in this class, not giving up on any paper.  I even got an A on my research RESEARCH PAPER (I had to raise my hands to Jesus on that one).

Hebrew: This was the class that I struggled with the most.  I put a lot of study and tutor time in with this class, but it was like my brain just couldn't grasp it.  I've actually decided to take the class over again, but since it's only offered in the fall, I have to wait until Fall 2013.  The great thing is that I will continue going to tutoring until that time, so I should do a lot better when I take it again.

Health & Fitness: what can I say, the tests were really hard?

Spirit Empowered Living: This was an interesting class to take.  The content was invaluable as biblical concepts were cleared up for me.  It's like, I now have a resolve in areas that I was still questioning.

Whole Person Assessment: This is not a graded class, but because I am on scholarship, it is a class that I  have to pass and do well on the three papers that we have to submit (which I did).

My GPA was 2.82 (would have been 3.12 with that A in Sign Language).  Not fantastic, but not horrible either.  Nonetheless, I'm proud of what I've done this far.  My Spring Semester has been solidified as of today and it is intense, but I know that I can do it and do it well.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Can I get a witness....

I am apart of a bible study that meets on campus every Thursday at 7pm.  Before the last session concluded, we were challenged to witness to one person every day while on break.  I was pretty excited about it and secretly thought, "Oh, you got this Rochelle!  You'll get a check in the winners column for this one!"

I considered break as starting officially Monday morning and to date, I have not parted my lips not one time to share Jesus Christ with anyone.  As the days go by, I kinda hold my head down in shame further and further because I have engaged with a boat load of people....why haven't I shared anything?  Sharing my faith with people I know is not as hard because I kind of have "street credit" if you will.  But with a perfect stranger, they don't know me and I don't know them.  I think my biggest challenge is I don't want to be classified as a weirdo.  You see other faiths share their faith without hesitation to any and everyone.  They knock on your door or stand at the street corner to boldly declare to anyone willing to listen.

How about you, regardless of what you believe, do you share it with other people?  The bible is clear that we all have been commissioned to go and share the gospel with all men so that they may know the truth and be set free through Jesus Christ.  It can't be done in our own strength, however, the Holy Spirit has to empower us to speak what needs to be spoken in the lives of people we come in contact with.  There is still more time today to change my track record, here we go!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Am I Poor?

In a casual conversation with a friend last week, I made a statement, "OMG, I have never been this poor!"  She quickly refutes my statement in a reply, "You are not poor, there are plenty of people way poorer than you!  All you have to do is make a phone call and your needs will be met!" 
I agreed with her and left the topic alone.  I guess I'm not poor I declared to myself....."but am I?"  For the past couple of days I've been left pondering poverty, what it is, what are its impact, what are the its criteria, etc.  Google says that poverty is "the state or condition of one having little or no money, goods, or means of support or lacking usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possession."  I also found out that the United Nations (UN) finds it difficult to clearly define poverty as the criteria for poverty in America is not the same as poverty in Zimbabwe.

So, am I poor?  Yes and No.  Yes in that I am no longer generating income nor able to provide financially for myself without the support of others.  But the answer is also no, I'm not poor, because I have a roof over my head, running water, electricity (now that it's turned back on) as a result of the financial support of others.  I struggle with being in a position of depending on others for my livelihood though.  Everything that I have in this season of my life is as a result of others doing for me.  Giving the shirt off of my back to someone in need has never been my struggle; although, accepting the shirt off of someone else's back because I needed a shirt has been.  What I have to do is change my perspective!  My dependency is not on what someone else can or can not do but as along as my dependency remains in Christ providing for me, all will be well.  The path to purpose will never be easy or completely laid out.  There will be hard days and difficult situations, but I'm convinced that weeping my endure for a night, but joy WILL come in the morning!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Difficulties Out of Obedience Produce Greatness?

Over the past 16 weeks my experiences have included the combination of great successes and great failures.  Yesterday I decided to live in the great moment of successfully completing my finals and enjoyed a delicious dinner of hamburger helper (not delicious to some, but I enjoy it).  What I didn't want to deal with was the electrical turn off notice I received on my front door or the promise of an impending car repossession or the eviction notice I received since I haven't paid December's rent yet.  Cable/Internet are already off, bank accounts are negative and the gas in my gas tank is low again.

To some, these seem like horrible conditions (actually they kinda are) and are clear signs of being outside of the "perfect will of God", but are they really?  Five months ago, if I would have heard of someone living under the same conditions I would have immediately assumed that they were doing something wrong in their life and highly advised that they change what they are doing.  Experiencing a "shoe on the other foot" moment and living what could be considered a nightmare, I think that there is more to this story than meets the eye - like Transformers. 

As a little girl I loved watching the cartoon Transformers because each appeared to be one thing, but when it was time to fight for something, they transformed into victorious warriors.  The conditions of the fight were not always ideal nor did the battle always go the way that they planned it.  But each transformer had the responsibility to fight together as a unit for "the cause"and they had to obey the commands of their leader Optimus Prime.  In my journey, I have a responsibility to fight in this battle against the enemy of our soul and to obey the commands from my leader as I fight.  All doesn't have to go the way that I planned it, but if I actively choose to trust in the Lord with all of my heart, and lean not on my own understanding in everything that I do, He (the Lord) will direct my path.  

I'm resolved in knowing that experiencing difficult days is not always the determining factor in defining how pleasing we are to God.  How we respond to those difficult days will speak to how we trust what God has spoken.  All will be well in time as I go through this process.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Put to the Test

For some, test invoke a feeling of pride as it is an opportunity to showcase what they've learned.  Fear, another emotion sparked by tests, rise up because of the need to prove oneself better than some may assume.  Christian or not, everyone will experience a test; whether in an academic environment or personal life situation, tests can not be avoided.

My finals started early this morning and conclude Wednesday afternoon.  Hebrew, the class I'm doing the worst in grade wise, lead the pack and I must say that I did pretty ok.  Either I pass or I failed.  I'm sorta indifferent because my understanding of the language and culture has increase immensely since starting the class.  I struggled, however, from the moment I cracked the seal on the book.  But I'm proud of Rochelle because a resolve developed through the struggle - finish without giving up.  I cried because I couldn't read or understand a word.  I cried because I failed tests and quizzes.  I cried because I questioned my aptitude to learn another language.  I cried just because I felt like it and that is ok.  It's ok to cry, but what you do after you finish speaks volumes about ones resolve.  This evening I completed my Spirit Empowered Living final and received an 89.18% on it (taken via web).  This class was really interesting as it challenged me to think about what I believe about scripture and how the Spirit of God functions through me.  What greatly challenged me was writing the three major papers - 2 book reports and 1 research paper (received  A's on all three).

Tomorrow I have my ASL and Comp 102 final.  ASL (American Sign Language) has been a joy because it is sharpening my skills to communicate with a group of people who love communicating with people who are willing to learn their language.  The two things that have bothered me the most with this class is the idea that over 90% of the deaf community goes un-evangelized due to the language barrier: second, that deaf children are apart of families who refuse to learn how to sign which means there is very little meaningful communication taken place in the home.  I couldn't image what my life would be like had my father not taken the time to understand how I learn and process so that he could then help me better understand things. Then in the afternoon is my Composition final.  Over my collegiate tenure I have failed multiple composition classes because of my struggle with taking information and structuring it in a cohesive manner while following grammatical rules.  Speaking has NEVER been a problem for me, but writing out my thoughts and opinion has been like cryptonite.  Not only have I failed classes over writing, I have disobeyed God on a number of things because I knew it required me to write.  BUT, I have written every paper in this class.  It may not have been on time or as well written as my classmates but I didn't allow fear or angnst to keep me from submitting something.  My professor has been enormously patient with me by taking an hour of her time every week to go over information until I get it.  I've learn how to cite others work and how to write an effective essay whether it be a narrative, analysis, evaluation, synthesis or research paper.  I get it and that's the great thing about learning, once you "get it" no one can take that away from you.

Wednesday I have to submit a paper for my Christian Worldview & Culture class discussing various Worldviews.  The book we are to use makes no sense and I'm pretty frustrated, but I have to turn in something!  Do you know that once I submit that paper, I would have turned in every paper that has been assigned to me this semester?  I HAVE NEVER EVER EVER EVER done that, EVER!!  In order to maintain my scholarships I have to receive a 3.0gpa or higher.  I don't know if my GPA will be that high, but here's what I do know...when we are tested, we can either pass the test or fail the test.  Passing the test does not always mean you've mastered the concepts, it means you've tested well.  While failing the test does not always mean you have not mastered the concepts, it could just mean that you don't test well.

Some concepts I've mastered and passed the test while others I'll have to repeat.  Either way, my pride is in what Paul says to the church at Philippi, "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work you [Rochelle] will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving ...

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and although I'm pretty reflective everyday, on Thanksgiving nearly everyone reflects on what they have and are more grateful.  This year, 2012, has been way more eventful.  I've come out of that stuck phase of life to a phase that's met with adventure and growth.  The conclusion of the Thanksgiving Day Celebration is the beginning of the Holiday Season - Christmas, New Years and Birthday.

The Holiday Season traditionally brings stress to purchase the perfect gift and make everyone happy, but not this year.  This year I'm going to be intentional in receiving and embracing the gift that God has given me (and you too).  God sent Jesus Christ to be born for us to atone for our sins.  Jesus was/is a love gift that allows me to fellowship with God even though I sin and do things that I shouldn't do.  I don't have any money (literally) and I'm not super smart, but I can share my love gift.  There are 31 days until Christmas and 38 until the beginning of the New Year.

What can I do for the remainder of the days left in 2012?  I have to be extra creative since money is out of the equation.  Hummm....

Monday, October 22, 2012

Midterm Grades are in!

Midterm (progress report) grades are in.  I have 3 A's (Composition, Spirit Empowered Living and Whole Person Assessment), 1 B (Beginning Sign Language) and 3 C's (Elementary Hebrew, Health and Christian Worldview & Culture).

The A's
I'm gonna have to work really hard to maintain these grades.  In composition, there are three more major assignments that could really impact this grade.  In Spirit Empowered Living, I have to nail the next two papers.  Whole Person Assessment is a class that we all have to take but does not count towards our GPA, but it does impact my scholarship.  All of my assignments have been submitted so this will remain as is.

The B
This is a solid B.  I've submitted everything and worked hard.  The kicker...tests.  I've gotten B's on the test so it's impacted my overall grade.  I'll keep practicing and studying and hopefully keep progressing.

The C's
I just had a conversation with my Hebrew professor regarding my understanding of Hebrew.  I get it but don't.  I study, I have a tutor, I make flash cards, but the content in not sticking yet.  She said that it will come, but my issue is I don't want it to come after grades have been submitted (lol)!  The only grades we have in health are the midterm and the labs.  I haven't really done any of the labs because I don't have the book yet so I understand that grade, just not sure how to change it just yet.  I will have a conversation with my professor tomorrow though when I go to class.  Finally, Christian Worldview & Culture is a C now, but won't remain a C.  On my midterm I got a 65 out of 135 and my Professor said that I can submit the additional sections that I hadn't submitted which will take my grade up completely.

I know that worrying is counter productive and contrary to what the Lord wants us to do, but knowing my grades has me a little worried.  I need to maintain the A's, improve the B and raise the C's.  The challenging C?  Hebrew cause I don't know what else to do.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

MTT in full Effect!!

Last night was long and this morning came really early.  As a result, I'd like to officially label today as, "MTT" or MidTerm Thursday.  This is what I had today on my plate today:

Health/Fitness - MidTerm
Beginning Sign Language - MidTerm
Spirit Empowered Living - MidTerm & Paper (response to the chosen optional reading book)
Hebrew - MidTerm and Presentation
English - Paper (analysis to Eugene Peterson's Pastors & Novels)

How did I do, your wondering?  I think that I did well on everything.  Wait, I take that back, I didn't do well on my Hebrew exam.  I have to really practice and study the vocabulary.  I can read the words, I just have no idea what they mean (that's kinda important in understanding any language, right?).  My papers were good and my teacher said that I did really well on my presentation.  There is always areas that we can improve, but I am really proud of my work.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Heart for Missions

I love people.  More than just loving people, I love talking to people.  Life for me is having the ability to talk and share concepts that roll around my head and hear things that other people may be thinking about.  I love it!  It's in communicating that we grow and understand various topics better.

This week the list for all of the school sponsored Missions Trips was distributed.  I am so excited about it because we are all called to go and make disciples and it gives me the opportunity to TALK!!  There are one week trips during Spring Break and four week trips during Summer Break.  The choices are pretty exhaustive giving us the opportunity to build, speak, plan, play, etc.

During Spring Break, there is a trip to Sacramento, CA that I'm really interested in.  It's for women only where we connect with other women who have struggled with various forms of abuse and neglect.  I am no one's healer, but I do have a relationship someone who has the ability to heal every wound and hurt that may has been experienced in life.

During Summer Break, I'm torn between Tokyo, Japan and Johannesburg, South Africa for missions.  I really think that it will be Tokyo, Japan though.  Another option on the floor  is I have the opportunity to go to Jerusalem for three weeks for a Historical & Geological Studies of Christ class.

Regardless of the chosen trip, they each require support (financial and emotional).  I know that the money will come because I have a heart for missions.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Now I'm mad!!

In the matter of 15 minutes, I think that I just had the most racially/physically discriminating conversation that I've ever had in my life. Context: Because of my learning challenge, I receive extra time on all tests and I have the option to take tests in quiet room to avoid distractions that are inevitable within the classroom.  My HPE (Health/Fitness) midterm is this Thursday and I needed to submit some paperwork to my professor so that my test is taken to the appropriate location.  He was not in, but I gave the form to his assistant who felt the need to chat me up and "share" a few thoughts with me.

"You people have great aging genes" - this is actually complementary, but it was the "you people" that rubbed me the wrong way.

"You know, if your more than 10lbs overweight, your a candidate for diabetes.  Who in your family has it?" - ummm, really?

"Your ankles and knees have to hurt" - my ankles and knees don't have to hurt because I'm overweight.

"There is no way that you can pass the field test because of your size" - lady, you don't know who you are talking too, my name is Rochelle Juanita Elizabeth Barnes and when I put my mind to something, no one can stop me

"Once you loose 20-30lbs, you'll be so proud of yourself and everyone will say you look so good!" - honestly, I'm not sure how to respond to that one...

There was more said that will just stay there in the office.  Part of me wants to say, "ohh, it doesn't matter!" but that would be lying because it does matter.  Assumptions about a person are made on the physical exterior of a person.  Before a word is uttered, we've been sized up and judged.  How large or small we are, how our clothes look on us, our style, our hair...all of those things are used to decide who we are but consider taking time to know a person minus what they look like.  Here there are tall people, short people, skinny people, fat people, deaf people, blind people, dancers, writers, musicians, theologians, thinkers, talkers......we all are different and unique.  Embrace it.  Yeah, I may never be a size 10 or I may never be a confident writer, but I can be the best Rochelle that God created.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Not winning my battle :(

Fear.  It's my arch nemesis.  The same way kryptonite paralyzes SuperMan, fear seems to paralyze me. I may experience victory over it in one area, but if I'm not careful (or aware) it tries to grip me in another area.  I would almost call fear a driver.  It drives the decisions and choices I make.  It turns me left, right or even stops me from moving all together.  There have been times in my life where I clearly saw fear operating, wanted to do something about it, but didn't.  

Today I'm really struggling.  Really!  I'm fighting because I don't want to give in to the control that fear has had over my life.  If you've ever fought, physically or spiritually, you know the battle can be intense and can be won or lost in moments.  I'm not winning right now, but don't count me out cause the fight isn't over.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Is it Pride?

Over the past few days, the idea or word "pride" has rolled around my head the same way clean clothes uncontrollably roll around in a hot dryer.  What is pride?  How is it demonstrated?  What's the opposite of pride?  Is pride rooted in my heart?  Can I be permanently free from pride or is it something I will potentially struggle with for the rest of my life?  The questions go on and on as I ponder the word.  
Wait...pride isn't all bad, it can't be.  I've been thinking of it from a negative aspect, but that's not healthy.  I had a paper due today and after some help, I submitted a really good paper that I'm proud of.  It's the achievement of continuing to conquer my fear with the help of the Holy Sprit that I'm proud of and that's not bad.  Maybe God and my community are proud of me - who knows.  That's the positive perspective.  But pride can be negative.  Pride keeps us from acknowledging our need for help.  Help spiritually in needing a Savior to redeem us.  Help naturally with the ups and downs of life.  After thinking about it more, I can see how pride can be displayed spiritually, naturally, physically, emotionally, etc.  In every area of our life we can walk in pride.  My pride has really kept me from asking for help.  I don't wanna appear needy or dependent so rather than ask, I keep my mouth shut because I can handle this by myself.  I just said to myself, "Well that's stupid Rochelle!"  

None of us can operate in this life alone, that's why we develop relationships - to support and be supported.  If all we do is support, then that's not beneficial, it's harmful.  If all we do is look to get, then that's not advantageous either because others miss out on receiving our gifts and talents.  I have to repent because I haven't done a good job of balancing pride and humility.  

I can have as much faith as I want to have, but silently griping certain lies can kill me.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blessing in Vulnerability

I was in class today and had this overwhelming desire to talk to my dad.  When class was over, I give him a call.  He was in the gym and I tell him that I'll call him back.  He says no, let's talk now.  We have the best conversation ever!  I was honest about my thoughts and how I was feeling (I'm not normally that honest with him because I don't want to bother him with my world).  He spoke life to my soul.  He challenged me to trust God regardless of how things look and what others may think and then prays.  It's like what I needed to hear today.

Exposing my vulnerability today both encouraged & blessed me.

Disappointing Day

Today I was scheduled to interview with at a company (name excluded) as a Customer Service Representative.  I spent all day Saturday (well two and a half hours) completing the interview, assessments and the call center simulation.  I must admit, I did pretty good.  I was excited about the interview because all of the information that I read said that the hours were flexible and they were looking for people around the clock.  In my eyes, that's perfect because my class schedule doesn't allow me to work traditional 9 to 5 work hours.  I get to the interview 30 minutes early (I believe in being early) and fill out paper work.  One of the papers said that as an employee I couldn't request leave for 90 days.  In my head I thought that that is a long time not to go home.  But, I need a job so I complete and sign all of the forms.  The receptionist gives me a piece of paper that lists the hours that they are looking to fill and to my dismay, I need to be available Monday thru Friday from 9am until 7pm.  I was then told that they don't work around school hours and they would hold my resume on file for 60 days.

I drove home in silence not sure what to make of my experience today.  All last night and even early this morning an idea ran through my head.  This is TOTALLY not going to make sense based on our culture and how we function, but what if I'm not supposed to work while I'm in school.  The bible is clear that if a man doesn't work he doesn't eat.  But there are plenty of other scriptures that support the notion that when doing the work of the Lord, one does not have the time to continue their profession and the Lord provides.

IF that is the case for me, then faith has to supersede my fear.  Fear of what?  Fear of being homeless and hungry sleeping behind a building with no one knowing where I am.  Fear of having to depend on someone's help in order to survive.  It kinda sounds like pride too, huh?  Faith is the substances of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. I'm still praying, but I guess I have a decision to make, huh?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Job Interview

I must admit, as September goes on, I get more and more concerned with how to pay my bills at the end of the month.  I've applied and applied to various positions to no avail.  No follow up calls, no interviews, no offers.  This is foreign concept for me as I've never struggled this hard to get a job.  Earlier in my working career, temp agencies use to call me their "super star".  I wouldn't stay too long at one place in hopes of finding something "bigger" or "better".  But the honest truth?  I didn't know who I was and I wanted to identify with something.  My mom's death was still really fresh and recent at the time.  I didn't have a husband or kids, but I could have a work history like hers.  She didn't stay places long at all.  But she was good at what she did and was an employee that most employers wanted.

Wednesday I have a job interview at 11am.  I really hope that it works out.  If not, I know something will (and that's not me trying to convince myself).

Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekend Activities?

Thus far, each weekend has been filled with a giant ball of nothingness.  Friday after class I'd go home.  Saturday I wouldn't leave the house.  Sunday I'd go to church and then come home.

But boy oh boy is this weekend going to be different.  Tonight, I am going to a movie night with my classmates from my Beginning Sign Language class.  Saturday, I'm going to a poetry reading jam and then hanging out with a few people from my english class.  Sunday, I'm trying out a new church called GUTS and have been invited to dinner with a new potential friend.  We've talked off and on, we both like artsy stuff and usually we go to church together on Sunday.

I'm trying to keep my cool, but I'm really excited.  This will be the most engaging weekend to date.  I'll have to give a status update after each days festivities.  Ohhh, I was talking to my english teacher yesterday and I told her that I needed a table for my tv to sit on (right now it's on the floor) and she's giving me her folding table tomorrow too!!

Isn't this great!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Yesterday I said that I would be intentional today and have a conversation with someone in each of my classes; and, I DID IT!  It was absolutely great too.  They weren't fake or superficial conversations, they were authentic and totally me.  You know what else?  It felt GREAT!!  Talking is not just something to do.  For me, it is a necessity and when I don't do a lot of it, it impacts my mood (it's probably why I have been as sad as I've been).

This is how the day went:
Beginning Sign Language - I initiated with two classmates
Spirit Empowered Living - I had great conversation while walking to and from class
Hebrew I - I initiated a conversation with a guy who I hadn't talk to before.
English - I initiated with a classmate who I spoke to, but today it was a good conversation
Spirit Empowered Living Discussion Group - one of the guys in my class is from DC and we talked about the Redskins game (so great!).  At the end of class my professor said, "Great discussion today.  You have wonderful ideas and concepts...I hope to hear more from you." In my head I said, if you only knew.
Health/Fitness Lab - I was the comedian of the class before it started (I guess I was feeling loose by this time).  Until today, I hadn't parted my lips in this class other than to say, "here!"

When I got home I was greeted by the smell of overly ripe bananas, so I decided to cook something with them.  I made banana bread for the first time from scratch.  It turned out pretty good, but I think I need more sugar or something.

Today was a great day

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Honesty rests in our stillness

When I'm asked the question, "how are you, how are things going?" my response has been, "I'm doing fine, things are ok".  Someone called me today and asked the question and I gave my answer, but her response sent a shiver up my spine.  She said, "YOUR LYING!"  Long story short, I start crying (in the library no less, but it's good that I was in a secluded location) because I'm not fine.  I haven't been true to me.  I've kind of withdrawn into a tortoise shell to escape everything happening around me.  My home is my refuge now.  As soon as class is over, I bolt home because it's there that I'm in control over what happens. I don't have to wonder what someone thinks of me, I don't have to make friends, I can just be.  But I didn't travel over 1,300 miles to be withdrawn.  I have too much life within me to remain silent just because I don't have any friends or can't control every situation.  That never stopped me before, why is it stopping me now?

I'm sitting here on my bed and the room feels still (excluding the clicking of the keyboard keys as I type).  In our stillness, we get clarity and direction.  The clarity for me?  Be true to who you are Rochelle.  Talk, socialize, fight for what's right.  I may not know every step to take associated with this journey, but I can't stop moving all together.  Tomorrow I have six classes.  I'm going to have a conversation with someone in each one of them and let you know what happens.  Pray with me.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

One Month In Tulsa

Tulsa has been my home for the past month.  The journey to get to this place took courage, faith and boldness. The Lord really wanted me here because doors opened that I totally could not open.  I was accepted into school, I got an apartment, utilities turned on and financial resources to support the journey.

My Plan
Before I came out here I started the process of applying to jobs so that I wouldn't experience a lack in financial resources while here (that's responsible, right?!).  Not only did I apply, but I received a verbal agreement for a job.  I felt great because it seemed like all of my "ducks were in a row".  Traveling out here was full of adventure and excitement because I was taking steps of faith to obey what God has called me to do.  That's actually a boat load of excitement!!

A month in and this journey has proven to be harder than I thought it would be.  Did I think that everything would be easy.....honest....I kind of did.  I thought that maybe there would be challenges here and there, but not to the degree that it has been, because God said "GO" and I "WENT".  Being obedient has to have some perks right?  Yes, but not the way that I thought.

God's Plan
I was at Target getting some kitchen stuff and I started pouting because I needed a toaster, but that with groceries would be too expensive and I said, "..this sucks!  God how come I don't get anything that I want?"  LOL, that was really extreme and unappreciative because I do get things that I want.  When in the thick of things, it's easy to focus on the negative aspects of the situation.  But that is not living in truth.  Things may not work out according to my plan, but God has made everything work out.  The finances associated with school have been taken care of for this semester.  My bills were paid up through September, I've been able to put gas in my car and I have not had to skip a meal.  He has supernaturally provided through every challenge

The 15th is a few days away and October bills will be due.  With no job, I don't know how it's going to come together.  But Friday I came to terms with the fact that through this journey, my confidence is in God's plan and not any plan that I could develop for myself.  I'm off to write a paper that's due tomorrow on Les Miserable.

Monday, August 27, 2012 it real?

HECK YES!!!  Is that how I've been feeling lately, HECK YES!!  Being homesick is defined as experiencing a strong desire for one's home environment while being absent from it.  I have been here for 20 days and it's not a bad place at all.  All of the establishments that I'm familiar with are here (excluding Uno's Pizzeria, my favoritest place to think), I've learned how to get around and my routine at school is being more familiar.  So I have to be honest with myself and ask the hard questions, "Rochelle, what are you desiring most?  Why do you feel that longing or sadness inside?"

Truth?  I miss seeing people that I know.  I miss being in an environment where I count/matter.  I miss just being present.  Here, no one knows my name.  The bible is clear that in order to get friends, you have to be friendly, but I don't know what to do to get friends here.

That nagging question rolls around in my head, "Rochelle, did you really hear God and was this a good decision?"  With tears in my eyes and a stuffy nose cause the tears won't stop rolling down my face, I have to declare that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be.  At home, I can depend on other people when there is a need, but here, I can't do that and that's hard.  Growth hurts.  Separation hurts, but they are both necessary. Ok, I'm putting myself to bed so I can stop crying.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Paper Victory

Yesterday I submitted my first Oral Roberts Paper and got it back.  Look at what my teacher e-mailed me
"Your paper is awesome!!  I will be reading a few things from it during our class discussion.  Great job!"

Do you know how great I feel?  I could yell it from the mountain top "VICTORY"!!!!

Score: 1 for Rochelle, 0 for Defeat

First Week of School & Two Weeks of Tulsa

Wow, I can't believe it, time is moving fast and slow all at once (is that even possible).  I have been in Tulsa, Oklahoma for two weeks now, classes for one complete week and things are coming together.  There is so much to say, but I'm not sure what to say at the same time.

My house is coming along.  I have a bed, a few kitchen things, a lamp, a tv (that's currently sitting on the floor), a rug that is still in the plastic and a folding chair.  My September rent, utilities, car note, insurances, etc are all paid up.  I have food in the fridge and a full tank of gas.  God is providing!!

I have all of my books (except for two that I am still waiting to receive), met with Student Resources so that I get help when needed, requested a tutor for my Hebrew I class and have made two new friends.

Now the churches here in Tulsa are a LOT different than First Baptist Church of Glenarden or Zion back home and boy do I miss them. As a part of the church covenant that I declare at communion service, I give my word that I will re-unite with another church where we can carry out the spirit of the church covenant.  So, I'm going to a church this Sunday called Church on the Move.  Apparently it is one of the largest here in town and a lot of people speak well of it.

For as much as things are going well, I miss my community and would love it if I could pick my apartment up and put it in the middle of Bowie.  Want my address so you can write me a letter?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Day of School

You wouldn't believe was FANTASTIC!!  Like UBER FANTASTIC!

I washed my hair this morning because I wanted to look extra nice for my first day of school.  I still haven't been grocery shopping yet in my new house, so I couldn't pack my lunch.  But I grabbed my prepared water bottle, strawberry pop tart and pre-packed book bag.  My first class started at 7:50am, so I was out the door at 7:25am which gave me plenty of time to get to campus, park and walk to class.  I had a total of five classes today - Health & Fitness Lecture, Beginning Sign Language, Spirit Empowered Living, Hebrew I and finally Reading/Writing Composition 102.

Ok, here I go again, I'm letting you into Rochelle Land.  There were a number of fears that I had that prevented me from taking on-campus classes, wanna know what they are?

1.  I will be too big to fit in the seats - FALSE

2.  I will monopolise the conversation and everyone will hate me - FALSE

3.  My ADD will be in full effect & I won't hear one word that the professor says - DOUBLE FALSE

4.  I will be the oldest in my class and looked like the grandma - True/FALSE (I was the oldest in everyone of my classes, but how about my classmates thought that I was in my early 20's!)

So ya see, every fear that prevented me from going to school was false (except for age) and in hindsight, kinda silly.  Wanna know the biggest challenge now???  BOOKS...dun...dun...dunnnn... (did you hear the music follow the word books?)!!  Books are expensive.  Even with all of my creative web searching, my books for the semester are totally over $300!  Does anyone have any creative solutions to get around this since I only have a budget of $130 for books?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ball of Nerves

I'm sitting on the bed absolutely amazed.  Today I paid my balance of $584 (plus an additional $50 for my parking pass for the year) which allows me to start classes TOMORROW!  I knew that this day would come, I just didn't know how everything would work out.  I smiled through every process I had to go through today, look - - >

Can I tell you something?  I'm probably more nervous that exited.  It's like that anxious nervousness.  I've packed my book bag twice, looked over my schedule three times today, reviewed the campus map so I have an idea of where to go and picked out my first day of school clothes.  Like my stomach is hurting!

(deep breath......) Ok, I'm ok and everything is going to be ok.  Talk to ya tomorrow about how fantastically awesome my day was!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I didn't know who to talk to about my outstanding balance of $5,200+ for the school year, but I knew that I needed to speak with someone today so that I could complete my enrollment process.  In order for me to attend classes on Thursday, I needed to pay $2,600+ for the semester.  Paying that balance would leave me with absolutely no money so I needed God to work something out.

I went to the financial aid office today to see what could be done to help with the gap amount.  I spoke with Justine and he told me to sit tight and wait for a few minutes.  He comes back and says that the financial aid committee is reviewing my file and it should take about an hour for a decision.  After 3 hours of sitting in the computer lab, he comes back and asks has anyone spoken with me yet.  I told him, "No, I'm just sitting and waiting".  He goes and checks everything out and comes back with news.  He says that they have given me an additional $4,000 dollars for the year, which makes me responsible for a little over $1,100 out of pocket ($500+ per semester).

Do you know how GREAT that is??!?!  I can handle that.  I nearly leaped out of my chair in celebration and gratefulness to the Lord.  He has provided for me again!!  Things did not look good at all, but my faith in what He has said has not changed.  If He has called you to do something, OBEY!  He will provide.  If I haven't learned anything else from this journey thus far is that God is faithful to His word and He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us.  My word may not always be good, but His is!

You won't believe it!

I can't say anything just yet, but I feel like I am about to burst from the inside out if what I think just happened, happened.  For now, I'm just waiting for the final confirmation.  More to come shortly!

Need more money!

Yesterday Pastor Jenkins challenged everyone at the 12noon service to rise up early to seek the Lord for one solid week and watch what He does in your life.  I decided to accepted the challenge.  I set my alarm clock for 6:15am (that is totally rising early for me) and wondered if I would hear the alarm.

I wake up and am ready for quiet time only to's 3:15am!!!  Is this even healthy to be up this early in the morning?  I decided to stay up and I'm glad that I did.  It helped me be prepared for the disappointment of the day - still no additional financial aid funds.  I received a notice that my bill has to be paid by Thursday in order for me to attend classes.  I felt a little sad because I don't know how it's going to work out, but confident because I know that God will work something out.  For a split second I asked myself, "Did you make the right decision?" but it was literally a second because obeying God is always right, ALWAYS!  When Abraham was walking up the mountain knowing that he was about to slay his son, I'm sure he asked..."Are you sure?" but it was literally a split second question because he trusted God more than himself.

Tomorrow I have an appoint with the financial aid office.  Stay tuned for how the Lord will work this out...I pretty excited!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Welcome to Tulsa, OK (kinda long)

For years, I prayed that the Lord would give me a new beginning.  I’ve made a boat load of bad decisions and choices of which I’ve had to suffer the consequences for (just because we may be a believer, it doesn’t mean that we are exempt from consequences).  Over the past two weeks, I have had parties and farewell celebrations with family and friends as the date to leave the DMV (DC, MD and VA area) swiftly approached. 

Monday there was so much that was still left to do, but once again my family and friends came to my rescue.  They not only helped me finish packing, they then packed up my car so that I could get some sleep.  The plan was to leave at 3:00am Tuesday morning.  It was hard to sleep because my phone rang off of the hook.  I wasn’t upset though.  I was honored that so many people wanted to talk to me see be before I left.  Although our feelings are real, a lot of times our feelings are not true.  Earlier in the day I said to myself,  “You know no one really cares about you, right?”  In that moment, that was my feeling, but it was the furthest thing from the truth.

Tuesday morning I woke up at 2am.  I had to clean the bathroom, wash up and double check that I packed everything up.  Before leaving my room at 2:40am, I gave it a once over.  At that moment, a wave of sadness washed over me because that was the last time that I would be living in that room in that bed watching that TV having access to that bathroom.  It was the last time that I would live with May, Anthony and James and that made me a little sad.   There was a pleasant surprise for me when I got downstairs though – FRIENDS to see me off.  Now that is love – when someone gets up out of their bed at 2something in the morning to say goodbye. When Daniel arrived, we hit to road.  The fog was dense and the car weighted down by all of my worldly possessions that would fit in the backseat, trunk and roof; but, the breeze was cool and the company great! Our first stop was in Morgantown, WV.  We drove through West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri to finally arrive in Tula, Ok.  The trip took about 19 hours.  We stopped a few times to get gas and a bite to eat, but we kept in moving.  I did get pulled over at one point because I was doing 85 in a 65, but again God’s grace spared me from getting even a warning.

– We spent the night in a hotel because it was too late to check into my apartment.  Although I was grateful we arrived safely, I was not ready to get started with the day.  All I wanted to do was sleep, but there was too much that needed to be done.  I was able to get the keys to my apartment and check out the place that I would be calling home for the next few years.  When I opened the door, my jaw dropped to the floor in disappointment.  How do people function in spaces this small was the only thought rolling around in my head.  I’m so glad that Daniel was with me because he offered some perspective and I got over my disappointment.  The Mission: Make my space work!  We unloaded the car and ran errands.  We had to get cleaning supplies and basic stuff.  While I cleaned, he lined the shelves.  The day ended with a great dinner from Joe’s Crab Shack and awesome conversation.

Thursday – Daniel’s flight was at 5:52am, which meant he had to be at the airport around 4:30am.  When I hugged him, I nearly begged that he would stay, but he said “NOPE, you’ve got to do this!”  I slept most of the day away because I was so tired, but there was one thing that had to be done – look for a bed!  Mission accomplished, I not only found a bed, but also was able to have it delivered today.  I was just so happy that I wouldn’t have to sleep on the floor for one more night!  I found the Apple Store and decided to have it fixed.  There were no more appointments, so I scheduled to take it in on Friday but me being the great conversationalist that I am ended up chatting up the manager.  I shared with him that I applied online a few weeks ago.  He told me to expect a call from his general manger.  Do you know how great that would be, especially since it seems like my job with Macy’s has fallen through.  I don’t know that as fact, but considering I keep calling, leaving messages and have yet to hear back from anyone speaks volumes to me.

Friday – The goal was to unpack as many bags as possible.  I must admit - I did pretty well.  I did have to do some shopping though.  I needed hangers and other odds and ends around the house.  I spent most of the day in the house however.  One of my biggest concerns has been storage.  I went back and forth on should I or shouldn’t I have a dresser.  If I got one, were would I put it?  If I didn’t get one, where would I put my stuff as it couldn’t reside on the floor.  The conclusion?  I used my linen closet!!  I don’t have much linen, so the different shelves are for different things.  This solution is creative and cost effective.  The only thing that I did have to get was a basket for my socks & tights. 

Saturday – I woke up at 5:15 am with a runny nose and chest congestion.  Great, I can’t afford to be sick on an importantly huge day.  Today was New Student Orientation and Move in.  Although I was not moving in, it was important that I complete my registration process and just be apart of the festivities.  All I wanted was my bed in Maryland!  But since that was not possible, I went back to sleep for a few hours.  Because Oral Roberts has a dress code, I put on a dress so that I wouldn’t look like the odd man out.  I get to campus and you won’t believe it – everyone has on t-shirts, shorts and flip flops!  Not only am I older than everyone else, I’m TOTALLY overdressed.  To top it off, my financial aid does not cover all of my tuition so I have to come up with an additional $2,600 by Thursday in order to attend classes.  With a runny nose, upset stomach and a headache, I headed home and put myself to bed.  God is my ultimate provider and it doesn’t take Him much time to work, but how is this going to work out?  When I woke up, my eyes were running and it was official – home sickness is starting to set in.  I had been having problems setting up my WiFi, but I didn’t care what it took, I was getting it setup and I did.  Finally, I have the ability to connect to “my community”.
Sunday – I was able to watch both First Baptist and Zion Church services online and it was great.  It was like I wasn’t far at all.  I decided to go on a mini road trip to see Tulsa first had.  I drove up E.71st Street into the mountains and saw dude ranches, cows, lama’s and my new community.  I also drove into downtown Tulsa.  It wasn’t what I expected.  I’m really glad I live here I live. 

My first couple of days in Tulsa, Ok have been filled with some ups and downs.   Even though it’s not comfortable, I know that this is the beginning to my “new beginning”.   Let’s see what the Lord does!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The time to respond is...NOW!

I found this old devotional.  What are your thoughts?

"Lord, let me first go and bury my father."  Matthew 8:21 (NKJV)

In Bible times, Jewish people were expected to do the honorable thing by caring for their elderly parents until they died.  So when a group of would-be disciples pledged their allegiance to Jesus, one man's family obligations immediately began to compete with God's call on his life.  When He said, 'Lord, let me first go an d bury my father' Jesus replied, 'Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead' (Matthew 8:22 NKJV).  Was Jesus being insensitive or uncaring?  No, He knew the man's family situation and no doubt had a plan to take care of it.

Usually our dilemma is not deciding whether or not to do God's will, but when to do it!  It is easy in theory to commit to following Christ and doing whatever He asks of you; but timing is everything!  When God tells you to do something, it is usually a call to respond immediately.  Jesus said, '. . . those who want to be my disciples must . . . follow me . . . And . . . the Father will honor them' (John 12:26 NLT).  God-given opportunities generally come with a limited shelf life; they can be lost if you do not respond when He speaks.  When Jesus called His disciples, the Bible says that 'immediately' they left their nets and followed Him.  Didn't they have responsibilities?  Sure, but none more important than this!  So, if God interrupts your schedule today and tells you to pray for somebody, or call and encourage them, or help them financially, stop whatever you are doing and get in sync.  When He speaks, the time to respond is - NOW!

Another Last

Today is my last day as an employee working at First Baptist Church of Glenarden.

When I woke up this morning, my head was pounding and my stomach hurt.  I laid for a while trying to figure out what in the world was going on.  But I get it.  With today being my last day, it makes things more real.  I have worked here for over 15 years in different roles and capacities and this will be the the first time in my adult life that I will not be connected to FBCG from an employee aspect.  I'm nervous but confident at the same time...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

...are you EXCITED??

That question is the million dollar question right now.  The answer is a surprising no.  I'm not really excited because although I know that everything happening is real, it doesn't feel completely real.  I signed the lease to my apartment yesterday, the electric is on, my mail has been forwarded, internet is waiting to be installed, I have insurance (renters and car) for my Oklahoma address and I am about 70% packed.

After I received my acceptance letter to ORU, I became focused on getting everything in order that I could so that the transition could be as smooth as possible, while wondering slightly if I would really go through with it.  There have been a number of challenges that I've had to work through, with the most recent one being funding.  My funding has not worked out the way that I planned, so now I am about $6,200 short for the school year and my job has not been secured.  Am I worried about it - YES and NO.  Yes because who wants to be in a not good financial situation?  But absolutely NO I'm not worried because I'm not confident in my ability, but the Lord's ability to provide when we obey.

Faith without works is dead.  I believe and know that God spoke and told me to go to Oral Roberts University, I have been accepted into Oral Roberts University and I am leaving Tuesday morning at 3am to go to Oral Roberts University.  I'm not excited just yet, but I am very confident!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Being confident of this very thing....

...that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.  That scripture (Philippians 1:6) has been rolling around in my head since I received the phone call I've been waiting on until since 4:00pm on Thursday, June 29, 2012.  And the verdict on the scholarship?

I received $6,000 for the Whole Person Scholarship.  The maximum amount that one could receive is $20,000.  I was honestly anticipating the full amount, which would have eliminated a number of my financial concerns in this whole journey.  Am I disappointed, absolutely.  Am I discouraged from pursuing what I know God has spoken, absolutely NOT (although I did ask some questions).  Within the next few hours I should hear about the apartment.  More to come.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Another HUGE week

This coming week is going to be a HUGE week in my "obeying God" transition as I will find out about a few things:

1.  The Whole Person Scholarship
For clarity, I have already received the Whole Person Scholarship because I attended the scholarship event in July.  The assessment and interview is to determine how much money I will receive as a transfer student.  Tomorrow I will find out the results of my interview and assessment.  The maximum amount being awarded is $20,000 which is essentially a full scholarship.  The desire is to receive the maximum amount.

2.  Professional Judgement
When I move to Tulsa, my income will suffer a severe decline.  The Federal Government has already decided how much aid I can be awarded for this upcoming school year and they don't make adjustments to that number, but my school can and it's called a "Professional Judgment".  I've submitted all of the necessary paper work and should hear and update this week regarding it.

3.  Apartment
I applied to an apartment yesterday.  Every time I've applied for an apartment in the past, I was denied because of my credit score (I've made some not good decisions regarding my finances).  I haven't applied in years and feel slightly anxious cause........I just am I guess.  Whether I get it or not, I'm still going though.

Finally I'll be deciding how I'm getting to Tulsa and I will be downsizing!  The moving plans have changed multiple times - from renting a U-Haul, to packing my car and driving, to shipping my car and flying out.  There are so many options  that I'm just not sure what to choose, so I'm waiting.  As you can see, there are a number of things happening but this I do know:
God Spoke, I've been accepted and I'm going!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Taking a Break

Yesterday I hit a brick wall and had to come to terms with the fact that I am completely overwhelmed with this whole school/move topic.  Overwhelmed because it doesn't make sense to me how it is all going to work out.  Overwhelmed because I leave in less than a month and I still don't have a place to live.  Overwhelmed because my bank account is TOTALLY not where I'd like for it to be.  Overwhelmed because nearly everyone I know, knows and have been asking questions that I just can't answer.

I had to repent because the same God who spoke, who told me what to do and opened doors is the same God who will provide direction, clarity and resources.  Do I have plans of how to make things work....yes, kindof.  But His word is clear that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.  Trying to figure out the next move before He gives the next move will only provide frustration for me.  Thus we have my decision to be still for a little while.  Until at least July 17th, I'm taking a break from worrying and making plans.  I want to live life for a few days and enjoy my relationships and summertime experiences.  Wanna get together?

First up - MOVIE DAY with my favorite nephew in the world!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shelly's Last Experiences - Zion Church

Today was the beginning of what I'll call, "Shelly's Last Experiences".  I've been pretty somber for most of the day and I wasn't sure why.  It's like I feel something, but just not sure what it was/is.  While sitting here watching Karate Kid (I should totally be sleep but it seems like God speaks the most while I'm watching TV or movies, huh?) it dawned on was the last time that I will support a Singles Fellowship.  In a few short hours, it will be my last Sunday supporting Zion Church and I feel some kinda way about that.  I've been supporting Zion since 2005.  Before First Baptist started having services at the Worship Center, Zion Church would use the FBCG Ministry Center for Easter and Watch Night Service.  I'm not going to cry, but this should be interesting!

Friday, June 29, 2012

What is Faith??

Today I had my Interview & Assessment at Oral Roberts University for their Whole Person Scholarship.  The Whole Person Scholarship is a scholarship offered to new and transfer students for $20,000 which covers tuition costs and additional fees and is renewable annually.  The purpose of the scholarship is to recognize students who model the "Whole Person Concept" - spiritually, emotionally & physically.  The recipients for Fall 2012/Spring 2013 had already been determined, but additional money became available at the end of May for two additional Whole Person Scholarships to be made available, specifically to transfer students.  The additional scholarships being added is great for me because it is a way of financing school; also, it confirmed for me what I knew God spoke.

This morning I got up early and did something that was pretty odd.  I washed my feet.  Don't get me wrong, I wash them, but I had this burning desire to make sure they were clean and moisturized.  Anyone who knows me knows that ash and Rochelle go hand in hand on most days (not good, but it just is).  Driving to campus and riding around was beyond surreal.  I've been dreaming about this place for years questioning- what would it be like, how would I fit in with the culture, do I have what it takes to not just attend but thrive and succeed - and to actually be there... speechless.

We were put into groups and interacted with students who are already recipients of the scholarship.  Then we had a writing assessment.  When they said writing, I looked calm on the outside, but inside I froze.  Writing is like my cryptonite and I try to avoid it like the plague.  But, I had to do it.  We were given a blue book (a booklet with a blue cover and pages inside) and a pen to answer nine questions within an hour timespan. While instructions were being given, I could only pray.  I prayed that the Lord would give me the words to use, that I wouldn't leave words out of my writing (when I write, my thoughts are going so swiftly that although I have a complete thought in my mind, what's in my mind is not always reflected in my writing) and that my spelling would be comprehendible to the reader.  When it was time to start, I actually started with number 8 and worked my way up.  This part may seem weird to some, but every time I got stuck and wanted to put my head down, I literally heard the words to write down.  It kindof weirded me out at first, but then recognized that it was the Lord honoring the prayer that I prayed only moments prior...that He would give me the words to use.  It blows my mind that God is so faithful to me, like really blows my mind!

Then it was the interview.  I met with one of the professors in the history/government department.  She was a really sweet lady.  She started the conversation and I ran with it.  I shared my story - the why behind why I wanted to attend ORU.  We talked about community/support and the need for it.  We talked about how God speaks to His people and our responsibility when He does speak.  It was honestly a great conversation.  At one point I stopped talking and asked her if I was talking too much.  She laughed and said that statement reminded her of one of her favorite students.  We talked for so long that they had to come get me because we ran over time.  We then met with advisors, payed enrollment fees and went on our marry way.

I left campus today feeling defeated and settled.  Those seem contradictory, right? I know, that's what I thought to.  I felt settled, because I know that's where I'm supposed to be.  Like no question whatsoever.  I felt defeated (maybe that's not the best word to use) because all I can do is wait, like I wasn't able to solidify anything - housing, financial aid, work, the overall transition.  If you've had to wait for anything, you know that waiting is harder than accomplishing a difficult task.

But, that's faith!  It's being confident in the God of the universe and His ability to orchestrate the circumstances of our life in the best interest of "us".  You can't have faith regarding a matter and doubt God's ability at the same time.  If you doubt that God has the ability to do something, then you don't have faith.  As a matter of fact, in Hebrews chapter 11, verse 6 says that without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  I know God is going to do some supernatural things through my obedience.  The housing and multiple financial aspects of this journey have already been worked out.  I just have to WAIT while enjoying the ride.

By July 16th I will find out how I did today.  Even if I didn't do well, I know three things - God spoke, I've been accepted and I'm going!