Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If You Don't Stand for Something...

"Dream on the Line" ©Toni Ruppert - Mixed Media on Panel

Since my last post, I’ve grappled and considered something major for me and I wanted to share it with you.  If you’ve ever taken a stand for your values...or wanted to, this is for you.

Last week, I realized a dream I've had for almost 15 years.  I've wanted to get accepted into graduate school.  But, I almost damaged my marriage, almost went deeper in debt and almost shunned my values to achieve it.

Almost.

Last week, I was accepted into an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) program.  I was on another conference call when the call came in.  I was so excited, I told everybody in my little world.  Besides sharing it with my family, I screamed it from my “front porch” on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.

The day after I received acceptance,  I received my financial aid award letter which included $10,000 in subsidized and unsubsidized loans.  Without seeking advice, I hurriedly signed my online promissory note.  I did not talk with my husband and he did not know before then that I was agreeing to go deeper in debt.

(insert major argument here)

Not only did I make this hurried financial decision, I almost rejected my values to reach for the opportunity.  I received a draft of my residency plan (the document showing what kinds of questions we’d be talking about this semester) from the school.  It included learning about and watching performances about role play, fluid identities and gender identity issues.  Some of the visiting artists/faculty performances that spoke to gender identity issues were not part of my value system.

I am a Christ follower.  An imperfect person trying to follow Him who is perfect.

I was very much torn.  I wanted to focus on the opportunity and not see a conflict with my values. After a good talk with Beth, an awesome life coach, I write out pros and cons of attending the school.  I then sought counsel from a dear friend who helped me see that the anger/hurt/loss I felt was OK.

After thoughtful consideration, I decided to decline acceptance to the school.

I thank all of the folks who wrote letters of recommendation for me.  I also thank all of my friends who sent me kudos and congratulations. It all meant a lot to me.

What’s next? I’m not sure.  I surrender to God and realize I need help with the next step(s). 

What do I know for sure? His next step is better than my next step.

Have you ever felt like this?