Now, this instruction to wait had thrown me. It felt like being slapped awake after being caught sleepwalking. I thought I was doing what God wanted me to do. Did I really make this all up, telling people that that school was where I was called to go? Who was the voice in my head that was urging me on? What was I missing? Where did I go wrong? Maybe I was supposed to just wait like I heard and not go to school right away. Maybe I had some more spiritual and emotional maturing to do before I would be ready for ministry. Yes, that was it. I had the right plan, just the wrong time.
But the thought of telling all those people, who had given me gifts and were expecting me to go off to school, that I was staying home another year sounded uncomfortable at the least. I had already spent most of my money on supplies for my move, and I was itching to leave home. The weight of disappointment that I presumed stuck to my conscious and the warning I knew I heard became less relevant. So instead of waiting, I concocted a plan C. I enrolled at the school of my second choice–a small Bible college only three hours away. I remember that first school year like a wonderful dream.
My favorite classes by far were Old and New Testament Survey. We went through every section of the Bible and studied the cultural and historical context of each one. Through those courses, I was subconsciously feeding that hunger for understanding that I had been neglecting while seeking purpose, provision, and direction. First-year Theology was also a favorite. We took the information learned in the survey classes and derived spiritual application from it. The Bible was coming alive to me all over again and I was loving it. But I belonged at that school just as much as Jonah belonged on that ship headed to Tarshish.
The school year came to an end and I was making plans to return in the fall. I knew I wasn’t going to have all the scholarship money I had before, but student loans didn’t sound as bad as they did before now that I knew what I would have missed. I enrolled for the fall and told all my friends I would see them in August.
I don’t think it was two months into summer vacation before I was calling the head of my program to tell him I wasn’t coming back. That voice that told me to wait was ringing in my ears again. As much as I wanted to go back to that wonderful school, I wanted to be obedient even more.
So I brought back all my things and settled back home. At this point I was all but done with seeking God for direction. I was tired of making moves just to be knocked down to the floor. But due to my parents’ encouragement, I enrolled at a community college. I picked a major that sounded good. I was referred and hired for a decent job. Though I found ways to busy myself, this time my spirit was waiting.
“Pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2
“A man’s heart devises his way, but YHWH establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9