Who? Uh... me.
What? Taking a semester off of grad school and working at Panera Bread in Caledonia, MI to save up money for the fall.
Where? Michigan. It's the one that looks like a mitten.
Why? Well, that's a little bit harder to answer. I'm definitely glad that I went to TEDS this fall (assuming that I passed my classes.) I've enjoyed the friendships I've been able to have with my friends here. I've enjoyed working at the Panera Bread here in the suburbs of Chicago. It really came down to two things: church and money.
The money aspect is easiest to explain. I love Panera... but it's hard to pay for grad school on minimum wage hours. I knew that I needed to take a break from school to save up money because while I will probably go into some debt to pay for grad school at some point, I don't want to have to go into so much debt that I'm regretting going at all for years afterwards.
The role that church played in my decision was that while there are many great churches within reasonable driving distance of where I'm living, I didn't have any that I fell into place with. While I could have done better at putting my foot in the door to get involved, it wouldn't have been to the degree that I will be able to do so when I'm back home.
There's also the fact that I will hopefully be headed back to school in the fall of 2012. I wasn't really motivated to get involved with a church at this point only to head to some other area a few months later. My church back home is already used to me coming and going over the past few years and the friendships still remain so it's not quite as tough to do.
I'll be taking my 2nd semester of Beginning Greek through Moody Distance Learning so that I can stay on pace with that for wherever I am next fall. (Again, assuming that I passed Beginning Greek I.)
I've been doing a lot of thinking during the decision process and I thought about the verse that we often cling to in Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." The biggest thing that this has reminded me of is that we're often walking crooked paths. Life isn't expected to be easy even when we're obedient. Situations get messy. Hard decisions have to be made.
God could promise us here that He'll make life easy for the obedient. He doesn't. He calls His children to trust Him and then at some point, not determined by the amount of our trust, He'll make the paths that we're on... the ones that don't make sense... the ones that don't go according to "plan"... the ones that we can't see if we'll be able to reach the desired end... He'll make them straight.
I think that if we could look back after He "makes our paths straight" we'd see that they really were the whole time. That's why we have to give up on our own ability to make up plans and trust Him to know what He's doing. I can already attest to the way that God has worked in this situation. I practically got hired for the job at Panera in Michigan just for saying that I'm working at Panera now. In this economy, even a job at Panera can't be taken for granted.
I'm thankful that this seems to be the crooked path that God is making straight in His timing. :)