All You Need to do is Follow Him

Discerning God’s will: How Isaiah 55:8 and prayer helped me go back to school.

Did you ever have a God-sized dream you never thought would come to pass? A deep desire to do something, but, in your mind, it seemed so big maybe you even thought it was “farfetched”, you kept it to yourself? Maybe you even put other people’s needs before your own, and said no to opportunities because you didn’t think it would turn into anything? Yep, that was me. Although the desire was always there, I always seemed to put school off, because I couldn't financially afford it and always had to work full-time.

However, the Lord knew it was a desire I had in my heart. Since he is a GOOD, GOOD Father, he always comes through! “ My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8, CEB)

I started a new job February 2017 in a completely unfamiliar industry than what I was used to. My new manager at the time encouraged me to look for a program/degree in which I had interest. When she proposed continuing my education, I knew I wanted to:

  1. Go to a Christian university
  2. Study Project/Organizational Management
  3. Take online classes (because I am a full-time employee)

She encouraged me to take a few months, do my research and get back to her by December 2017.

After that conversation, I talked to God. I remember being so honest and specific with him. I said: “Lord, if you are calling me to go back to school, you will open the right doors. I ask that your Holy Spirit leads and guides me through this process. Show me which school you want me to apply to.”

After I prayed that prayer, I remember goggling “Project Management degree, Christian university”. A few schools came up, CCU was one of the three I jotted down. I reached out asking for information on the program. In the following two days I submitted my application, received an acceptance letter and selected which courses I would take. My enrollment counselor helped me every step of the way. 

I was so in awe of God! I remember going back to my manager and telling her “I enrolled in a program and I start May 1 st.” She was stunned and said, “Wow, you’ve been here for two weeks. I gave you until December and you’re already enrolled! I’m impressed!”

As I mentioned, another stumbling block to continuing my education had been financial concerns. For years I felt pressure to help my mom who had gotten a divorce. As the oldest child , I felt a weight on my shoulder, feeling like I needed to put my degree to the side in order to help her as best as I could. This went on for years. I didn’t want to take out any loans; I hadn't seen the value of my degree outweighing accruing debt.

So, when I prayed about going back to school, I said: “Lord, if you are really calling me to go back to school, you’re not only going to show me which school to choose, but you will somehow provide the finances. I will go back to school, but I won’t take out a loan. If you want me to go back, you will make a way for me to pay out-of-pocket.” That was a genuine, faith-filled prayer I prayed. I didn’t want to have the burden of loans on my shoulders and stress about paying back money when I finally finished my degree.

I truly believed if God, the King of Kings , wants me to go back to school, why wouldn't He provide?

Well, He sure did! He provided in a miraculous way for my first semester. He provided it in FULL. Of course, He has provided for me every semester since then. This year will mark two years that I’ve been at CCU. I’ve seen His hand throughout the whole process! He has opened doors where I didn’t even see a door.

I want to encourage you, wherever you are in your journey, when the Lord calls you somewhere, He will provide every step of the way. All you need to do is follow His lead. 

Today, looking back, I see how valuable focusing my energy on prayer has been to my success in balancing my full-time job and my full-time CCU studies. I have prayed every step of the way and have truly believed that God would come through for me, and He has never failed. I prayed specific prayers and I waited for him to answer.

Another thing I have done throughout this journey, has been giving myself grace. Some semesters have been very overwhelming . I’ve learned that my journey doesn't’t need to look like everyone else’s. I have found what works best for me and if I need to take one class at a time in certain blocks, that’s okay. I would rather take one class at a time and get a good grade than overwhelm myself.

This is what the Lord has done in my journey at CCU. So today, friend, I pray that , as you get ready to enroll or continue your journey , you choose to trust God even when you don’t understand. 

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