A funny thing happened last night. When I finally got home after sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic for two hours, I found a letter on the kitchen table announcing that I got into grad school.
It’s not the first time I’ve received a letter like this, but I quit after a year once I realized both the school and the concentration I picked were not for me. $30,000 flushed down the drain. I not only felt like a failure, I also had no idea what I was going to do with my life if I was no longer earning a counseling degree.
It was Dad’s idea to give grad school another chance, this time with a concentration I know I’m passionate about – and reasonably good at. Though let’s face it, a self-employed writer doesn’t really need a master’s degree. It’s a worthwhile endeavor to me because it will help me become a better writer. And better writers tend to sell more books, which is never a bad thing.
But with a debt $30,000 deep, there was no way I could afford to even dream about it. It’s only because Dad requested to help me pay that loan with his life insurance money that I was able to give grad school another chance.
He believed in me, that crazy man.
So coincidentally (or not?), I found out about my acceptance on Maundy Thursday, and today – Good Friday – is a day when everything seemed hopeless, and the suffering too deep to comprehend. The weekend will end with Easter, a day for contemplating the beautiful things that can come out of deep suffering. That seems to be a recurring theme in my life, and as I continue grappling with the pieces of my broken faith and try to seek answers, things like this keep happening. And not just to me.
Because of the complications with cancer, Dad retired much earlier than planned, which opened the opportunity to coach high school track on a volunteer basis: his real dream job.
Only because of my brief but painful time spent at a school that challenged me in all the wrong ways did I meet the woman who is one of my closest friends in Colorado.
Similarly, during my time spent in a ministry that I learned too late was not an ideal place for “baby believers” like myself, I met the man who is now my husband.
I have plenty more examples, but you get the point.
I go back and forth about whether there’s such a thing as a coincidence, and if prayers can be answered in tangible ways. But in the midst of events like these, I’m convinced a little more that redemption is a real and powerful thing.