Where to even begin? I honestly just feel really grateful, I can almost cry. I have that knot in my throat where I want to cry, joyful tears, but in some way I can’t really bring myself to cry because I’m too happy.
Earlier this year, I was stressing about my financial situation because of college. I was notified that I didn’t receive any Cal Grants, and so I seriously cried for days thinking my life was over. I couldn’t possibly pay for college, and my faith was shaken. I did not blame You, I did not question You, but I did – as a human – take the time to be emotional, as you already know. I just cried and got emotional because I didn’t know what Your plan for me was. Not knowing the plan You had for me was eating me up alive.
I had a very specific plan for myself, and I had prayed to You and asked You to move in the way You thought fit for me. I applied to the schools I needed to apply, I applied for the financial aid I needed to apply to, and I left the rest in Your hands. I was rejected to every CSU I had applied to. I didn’t receive any Cal Grants. It only left me with FIDM, Vanguard (who I had not heard back from at the time), CSUF (who I also had not heard back from at the time) & as for financial aid: FAFSA and scholarships I had applied to because I had still not heard back from any.
I felt as though You had made a mockery of me. It wasn’t until I talked to my Uncle Sergio and Aunt Vianey about it, where I came to the realization that I had to solely rely on my faith. I always felt that I had faith, but I was never challenged on my faith until that obstacle occurred. What is faith without action? Nothing. How could I say I had faith in Your WORD when I continuously made plans for myself and never took Your purpose for me into account? I was always terrified of the unknown, and felt the need to take control in my own hands all the time. How could I be a person like that and still say I had faith?
I could be wrong LORD, but I do feel as though there was a much greater purpose for my rejections. I felt as though You were telling me, “Jessica, do you not trust me? Do you not trust in the plan I have for you?” To this day, I am always reminded of the verse in Jeremiah. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29: 11, NIV). I truly believe in my heart and soul that this was the lesson You were trying to teach me. I have always been a person who has feared the unknown. I have always feared spontaneity. I hate not knowing, and because of this… I did not have as strong of faith as I had thought I had.
When I cried to my Uncle and Aunt, I knew that I couldn’t question You or doubt Your plan for me. As much as my human instinct wanted to, I resisted. I put my faith where my mouth was, and finally learned what it meant to have faith. In a time of distraught, you did not forsake me. I had to be patient, I had to have trust, and so I did – and You most certainly did not forsake me when I needed you most.
This brings me to the ultimate gratitude I mentioned earlier. Months later, I was finally accepted into Vanguard University. I finally heard back from CSUF where I was wait-listed but at least it wasn’t a rejection. I finally heard back from a scholarship I had applied to and I was offered an interview. I also had a meeting with the financial aid officer at FIDM and came to the realization that I could go to FIDM if I wanted to.
This brought joy to my day because it was a reminder that you were still there. In a time where I had forsaken You, You showed me that You had not forsaken me. It makes me feel guilty for having forsaken You, and neglecting You the way I have but LORD I will put effort into restoring that relationship I once had with You. I need more of You, crave more of You, want more of Your word. I am sorry that I have been so busy with school and work, I pray for the strength to balance everything out. I pray that you put it in my boss’ heart to give me Sunday off because I really do miss going to church. I know I can praise You even without a church but I do miss that sense of communion with other believers.
Thank you, God. For everything You have done for me. I know I still have a long journey ahead, I pray that you continue to guide me in Your way, and continue to lead me to where I need to be.
I love you.