Halfway There

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Last night I completed my first year of grad school.  I finished my finals for summer school and the next time I step in the classroom I'll be a "Second Year" which is bossy-talk for "Senior".  BOOM.

Granted, I have lots of work in the next two weeks finishing up "Supervision" requirements and beginning compilation of my "professional portfolio" which is a lot of busy work that amounts to a giant binder full of accomplishments and rigamarole that hardly anyone will care to lay eyes on.  Whew. Still, I'm sure in a year or so I'll be glad I've started organizing this information (or so they tell me) and either way, it'll get done.

So, I'M HALFWAY THERE.  Halfway to being an official "Marriage and Family Therapist".  One year away from a Master's Degree.  Unreal.

I am so thankful for any and all of you which have inspired me, encouraged me, and all around supported me through your prayers and words of affirmation.  I don't say it lightly when I tell you I could absolutely not accomplish this without the help of many.  So, GOOD WORK TEAM!  We're halfway there!

I can't tell you how much I need to be halfway done with this journey.  It's hard to convey the toll that sleepless nights, mountains of reading, and stressful test-taking have taken on me.  It's a paradox of effort - both growing in my passion and knowledge of something I desire to learn; and at the same time, stumbling around at times to grasp the courage and stamina to pursue such.  In a way, it's the longest labor of my life.

Parents - remember having a newborn? (Or maybe you have one right now!)  How much you want to stay awake, staring at that sweet baby, soaking up every single moment that you just can't bear to let pass without your acknowledging its beauty...And then, maybe minutes/hours later, dragging your shell-of-a-self out of bed to answer the cries of that baby's every need, every moment, every time, knowing you should have been sleeping while they were sleeping earlier and resenting the fact that you're resenting your own baby for keeping you awake AT ALL TIMES whether they are doing it out of their need or their sheer cuteness?  There's no regrets to staring at a baby, yet there's no replacement for energy/sanity/motivation in that moment of exhaustion. You can't win, and yet you win every time.

Sigh.  I get that.  I felt that with my babies, and I sort of feel that way now.  I want to study and read and learn every single thing that I can possibly absorb in this two-year adventure...yet, I know full well that I have got to step back and balance the priorities and be more-than-okay with accomplishing only what's within my grasp.  And the reality is (just as in parenthood) this is only the beginning.  The adventure doesn't stop at two-years, it really only gets better and better.

More learning will come.  The reading is endless.  The writing will not stop.  And, the cycle of learning-makes-me-humble-making-me-a-better-therapist-making-me-more-humble-making-me-a-better-therapist will continue throughout the rest of my life, I'm sure.  True growth demands humility.

I've never been more excited and more exhausted since becoming a mother for the first time.  Getting my Master's (at this time in my life, especially) is rich with complaint and celebration.  I can whine a lot about the homework, the amount of time it all takes, the stress and pressure it adds to my weary brain...but, never let me lead you astray - I freaking LOVE it.

God has put me in this place and time for this specific purpose, and I am having a glorious time being challenged and compelled and stretched beyond my imagination.  I had no idea I could accomplish the things I've done in the last year - and it's only by the grace of God and the help of others (yes, YOU) that I've even attempted these things.

I'm pretty stoked on what the next year holds for me.  I know it will be insane, challenging, busy, and full of moments of insecurity.  But, I have no doubt that I will be surprised by how God will use my journey to teach me more about who He is, and who He wants me to be - and maybe there will be something along the way that will speak to your heart too!

Let's do this!

Proverbs 16:3
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.

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