Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
I found this verse right around the time I really needed it. It described my life better than I could. I think it fits everyone’s life at one time or another because we plan so many things, but sometimes those plans don’t fit in with what God has planned. His will and purposes for us overcome ours no matter how hard we fight it.
I had planned to go back to AU for the second year (Sept 2008), and I actually did go…but only for a few days. I was really dreading going back, but I didn’t really know why. I reluctantly packed up my things and headed on my way. Once I was in the car en route, I remember thinking…’Okay, this is it. I’m all packed up and on my way- no turning back now!’ It was almost a relief that I didn’t have to dread it anymore because I was actually going to be there. Well little did I know that just because you are moved in doesn’t mean you can’t turn back around and move out!
Nothing felt right from the time I entered Anderson. Things between Ryan and I were really weird (that’s another story but part of this one). It didn’t even feel real– more like I was in a nightmare. I felt so out of place and I could not hold back tears. I went out and bought food for my room, although I didn’t even feel like eating. I couldn’t sleep either. I went to two days of classes and couldn’t pay attention. I tried to push the feelings away and be like everyone else who was SO excited to be back.
Well I couldn’t hold the feelings in for much longer. I didn’t know what to do so first I talked to Ryan. It was at that point that I realized I could actually go back home. I thought it was quite ridiculous and I didn’t WANT to, but I felt like I was in the wrong place. I thought, ‘What will people think of me if I go back home?’ Ryan reminded me that the people at AU were some of the most understanding people I would ever meet and he was right. Also I won’t forget that he said, “Sometimes the right thing to do isn’t the easiest.” Later that night I was in a better mood after a worship service, and thought to myself, ‘I can do this. I can make it through this semester here.’ I talked to Nour about it that night and then prayed about it. I felt like I was being pulled in both directions.
The next day I once again felt like I couldn’t stay. After classes I went back to my room and cried. I didn’t understand what was wrong with me–I was actually angry at myself for being that way. I immediately went to my RD’s apartment to discuss this issue with her. I was so surprised at myself because I didn’t even think about it- I just went straight there. Usually I am very shy and would not do such a thing without thought. She wasn’t there at that moment so I had to wait until that evening. Between that time I talked to my cousin, my mom, and my roommate. I had almost made up my mind that I would go back home. Finally I got to talk to my resident director — I just explained that I felt like I shouldn’t be at AU and that feelings and bad memories with my dad’s health were coming back. At that time, my dad’s last PET scan had showed no cancer, but we thought he had Bell’s Palsy. She completely understood why I would want to be at home with my family and she prayed with me. That night I packed all of my things back up after JUST unpacking them a few days before. I had made my decision. [Thank you Nour for putting up with my obnoxious crying.]
The next afternoon my RD & I had a meeting with the Dean of Students about withdrawing from classes. He asked me to explain why I wanted to withdraw and I started crying right away. I was thankful that my RD was there with me to help me explain. I felt really embarrassed that I couldn’t hold back tears, but I think they understood. I signed the ‘complete withdraw’ slip and he prayed with me. [Afterward he said God told him I would come back. Whether he was just saying that or not, I don’t know. But I hope it’s true.]
I left that evening. Even though I felt like I was making the right choice, it was so hard to leave my friends and boyfriend. I wasn’t sure if I would have regrets. Plus, the next day I would find out that my goodbye to Ryan meant a little more than just a physical goodbye.
Well, a day later Ryan and I broke up. And about a week later, we found out that my dad didn’t have Bell’s Palsy– his cancer was recurring in his parotid gland. Even though the circumstances were awful, I felt at peace with my decision to go back home. When I was in Anderson trying to make the decision, I didn’t really have a good explanation. But I finally figured out later that God had sent me back home!!! I was so thankful that I listened to God and was where He wanted me to be. The next couple of months proved to be the hardest part of my life thus far. However, I became closer to God than ever before.