I have a countdown for graduation on my google homepage. For a long time, I’ve seen it as a beacon of hope for my escape into the real world. Once that timer went off, I was going to live somewhere else, have a job, and have a plan.
Now, my countdown has begun to taunt me. One month and seventeen days until I am no longer a student, no longer qualify for student health insurance, no longer can live in university housing, no longer can pay for food with student loans. One month and seventeen days until I need to know what I am going to do for money, where I am going to live, how I am going to take care of myself when I’m sick.
We’ve had these decisions in mind for years and have been trusting that God would come through. First, we were really attached to the idea of moving back to Des Moines. Beautiful Des Moines with its free parking downtown on Saturdays, its plethora of movie theatres and restaurants, its non-college-towny feel, its crowds of family. Then, we realized that obedience might take us to other places. For a while, we wanted to go to Korea. We were always “open” to the idea that God might keep us in Iowa City.
Two Sundays ago, Dexter and I prayed, read scripture, and made lists, concluding that maybe it really was God’s will for us to go to Des Moines. I excitedly sent out letters of interest to school districts around Des Moines.
But as soon as we started telling our house church what we thought God’s will could be, I did not want to leave. I wanted to stay in Iowa City with my church that I knew and with people that I knew would encourage me. At some point during the week, Dexter talked me down from my violent rejection of the idea of moving to Des Moines.
Yesterday, Dexter and I prayed, read scripture, and made more lists. We concluded that maybe it was God’s will for us to stay in Iowa City. Dexter would have a job at Capanna, I could substitute teach, and we could keep our close relationships with our spiritual brothers and sisters. We spent the afternoon looking up apartments that would be available this winter. Maybe by August there would be Capanna business to be done in Des Moines and an ESL job there for me.
Today I got a call from the Des Moines Public Schools asking me to interview for a substitute teaching position. I have an interview next Monday. I’ve heard that “getting your foot in the door” can be a surefire way of landing a job when one becomes available.
I keep reminding myself of Psalm 107:7, which says, “He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.” I believe that our considering these different options is a step along the path God has laid for us. Even though I feel like I am being jerked back and forth by different ideas, I know that God knows every step in the process and sees each step as step forward in his “straight way.” I’m praying that God’s straight way includes us knowing where we should live by the time we graduate, and I’m praying even more that I would trust him even if it didn’t.
Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” So, if you have any wisdom to share, my ears are open.