And how many were opened for me.
Apartment: In spring of 2006, I put in applications to both graduate housing options available on campus but could not get into either.
Shortly before school started, my mom suggested the idea, "why not try University View Apartments?" So we did and here I am. It is very close to the computer lab (10 min walk) and to Hornbake (15 min walk). That has made it possible for me to meet with students throughout the week for my TA work and to get homework done on campus in the lab since I do not have Excel.
Teachers' Assistant: Though I had been told that I would make a good GA/TA, I was not offered a position when I started last fall.
This forced me to work as a student worker (undergraduate level) at McKeldin. Though I felt kind of frustrated, this job gave me exposure to grant-writing that I used to get through a challenging class this past summer. It also gave me the time to bear up a large burden of work my first semester in graduate school for the IT class. Then, in February, when a TA spot for IT opened up, I was able to take it because I had both the time and the course experience. This is how I have come to get half of my tuition paid and thus stay in school.
Worship: One fall Sunday morning, I waited for the campus church's bus to come pick me up. But it never came.
Either it was not running or else I was at the wrong spot. Either way, this is how I was later free to accept an invitation to come to UBF Sunday worship. Then later I joined in Bible study, Friday night worship, winter and summer conferences, and early morning prayer. We have studied Luke, John, Hebrews, I, II, and III John, and many other passages very intensively. I have learned how to chew on the word and my faith has been refined.
Employment: When I started school, I was assigned to the wrong advisor.
I emailed two advisors who were assigned to tech services (as that was my interest at the time) and Dr. Soergel took up the request. He is the one who has helped me to find my first job!
Truly, when a door is closed, another (a better one!) is opened. Thank God!
It reminds me of history in general. Though the garden was closed to Adam and Eve by the sword of the cherubim some call Etriaph, a new hope and plan was given to them - that of a better kingdom and the adoption as children of the Most High God.
Now, I am wondering what doors will be closed and what doors will be opened in the future. I only want to do what is right. Yet, there is no simple formula - no mold - that you can follow and call it complete. Every life is different and walking with God is a personal experience. He is a shepherd and he knows and guides each one of his sheep. Each one has different gifts with unique power to help, to heal, to renew, or to lead. What are the gifts given to me and to what use can they be put? What is the right thing for me to do?
Even though I feel washed up, alone, and pressured on all sides
Even though it seems so unclear
Even though fear weighs on me like the rock of Sisyphus
there is no doubt that God will continue to lead me.
That is what faith is.
Faith is knowing even though...
I have the evidence that God has guided me in the past and I have confidence and know that He will continue to lead in the future. The pillar of fire and cloud moved step by step. This is why they call it 'walking' with God. It's not easy, but it is sure.