God’s Providence

Today I received an email with these words of encouragement from a good friend:

“[Discipline in a Long-Distance Race]Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” Hebrews 12:1MSG

Grad school really is a race of endurance.  This weekend I had the privilege of attending a workshop geared towards students considering an academic career.  God’s hand was in this the whole way through.  This program is part of a social-science experiment, and out of the 300 late-stage PhD students that applied, I was one of 60 randomly selected to participate in the program.  I was assigned an awesome mentor, again randomly, who is a leader in my field.  Our coaching group, again random, was filled with great people, including other Christian scientists who are strong in their faith.  Over the “47 hours” of the workshop we laughed together, cried together, and started forming a cohesive group.  I am looking forward to interacting with my group over the rest of the year and beyond as we all move towards an academic career in science.

Grad school is such a struggle.  One thing I learned this weekend is that I am not alone.  Everyone I met was having or had similar and worse struggles than I have had getting through grad school.  Surely it was God’s Providence and Grace that brought me back to grad school, in an awesome lab and as a valued and accepted member of the scientific community, and I certainly felt God’s Grace this weekend.  I am more encouraged, uplifted, and supported on this awesome journey my husband and I are on to become scientists. Glory be to God!

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