One of the things I like best about being in an academic environment is you know exactly what is expected of you and when it’s due; it’s easy to have a plan. And one of the things I know about life is if you want to make God laugh – have a plan.
I’m coming close to finishing my first semester of a Master Program in Pastoral Care, and was clear about my work for the balance of this academic year and even next. I plan to enter my first unit of Clinical Pastoral Education this summer – check; and continue with a Residency in Clinical Pastoral Education through August 2018 – blip.
Last week I coordinated an ordination discernment overnight for the diocese, and heard from one of my colleagues that the Residency program I planned to enter had completed its admission process and was full. Full? How could this be? I followed all the directions! I was totally deflated as the program included a stipend and health insurance. I wanted to cry – I did cry! But not hard because I still had another eight hours of the overnight to finish and this time was about others, not about me so I couldn’t fall apart. I quickly emailed one of the supervisors of the Residency program and on Monday he explained the closure of the admissions process. As it turns out this particular program started receiving applications last fall before I discerned health care chaplaincy was the ministry for me – a day late and a dollar short. Sigh! God must have a belly ache from laughing over this one.
The thing I know about God is when God is laughing it’s because God loves me and has a better plan and I need to step out of the way and let God do God’s thing. After licking my wound and talking with my academic advisor, she suggested several other Residency programs in Chicagoland. As it turns out there are some openings for the fall but nowhere near my home. And the long days would be exacerbated by the complexities of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Public Transportation – see last week’s blog.
Yes I do have a plan “B” – get a customer service job, continue with academics and delay clinical work until next year. Not a bad plan. But my “pre-plan B” plan is to follow Isaiah 40:31, “they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Can’t wait to see what the Lord has in mind!