On 30 December 2014 I arrived to the Middle East with not a clue as to what I would encounter. In my time here, I have been safe, and gainfully employed and engaged in the most grueling work of my entire Army career, and professional life overall. The greatest gift and common pattern over these nearly six years of military duty has been the assignments and appointments to roles and responsibilities that are more than one rank above my level–the latter of which is Sergeant/E-5 (promotable). (And by all means, please feel free to research this rank to see just how low I am on the totem pole.) The privilege to work alongside service members of all branches to achieve historic moments in this region is a fact for which I continue to feel taken aback, and to thank the Lord for what he is doing in my life.
However, in all honesty I am not quite clear on what the will of God really means in this time, in terms of what he is leading and preparing me to become. Yet I do trust him while feeling the weight of those lingering questions about my immediate future beyond the end of this tour. But this is not so much a hinderance to the prudent planning I have managed to accomplish so far.
The simple truth is that beyond this deployment I am no longer interested in being part of public education, and fully intend to return to full-time higher education once again as a post-baccalaureate student online. Now I have attempted an online degree about two years ago with Liberty University Online, wherein I promptly withdrew one month later because I discovered that I was not prepared for graduate level work, after over seven years of no higher learning whatsoever. My mind was not wired for the rigor that was required, and sadly I also learned that my heart and gifts were not called to professional training in Worship Leading–although it is a natural gift I possess as a lay member.
What is the drive home point here? I am on a grand expedition to find better work and fulfillment for myself, and in so doing, to bring goodness and solution to the lives of others with all that I am. Fulfilling work that pays is of course the bottom-line-up-front or BLUF, as we say for short in the Army.
So I have chosen Computer Science. There is a great deal of educational lack of which I am cringingly aware, whose haunting names are math and science. The learning curve feels daunting, as well as the time in which to accomplish it. Although, my passion is ignited. Also financially, I am blessed to have the support of my GI Bill. So I mostly feel good in the finance department. And in spite of all the lack, I remain optimistic because God knows who I am. He knows what I need. And no matter what comes, this makes me feel safe and secure.
As a final thought, my hope and prayer is that higher education is the genuine God-ordered next step. I ask the Lord Jesus for favor, affinity, growth, and training. I think the biggest practical step for returning to higher education full time is that I am asking for a clear opportunity to successfully enroll and pass the requisite courses to begin and complete a bachelor of Computer Science.
Note: At one point I was interested in Physics. This changed around late Summer 2015 to Computer Science.
Read The Soldier’s Paradox for more background.
It feels so surreal that it’s a new year already. Wasn’t it 2014 just a little while ago? *sigh* But “onward, ever upward. Forward, never backward.”
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” -Isaiah 43:19
Be well my friends and pursue joy!