Today I had an admissions interview with Covenant Seminary.
After the disappointing financial aid package I received from Bethel Seminary, I went through a sort of "grieving process". My heart was set on Bethel for a number of reasons, and when I received a total of $600 in financial aid for a school that would cost $60,000, there was no way I could go. My five stages:
Denial: They are kidding, right? There is no way this package is "need-based". I'm just getting so little because I applied late. A phone call to the financial aid office set me straight. That was all the planned to offer me.
Anger: You've got to be kidding! This is ridiculous. Who can afford to take out that many loans? Is this because I'm a woman? Because of my age? Because I'm from Nebraska? No one said grief was a rational process. (I didn't really think that last one, but right now it feel appropriate to be a martyr in this state. Sorry little Huskers.)
Bargaining: Okay, God. I get it. If I quit my job and find someone to mooch off of, then I could get more financial aid next year. Should I do that? That was never going to happen. I'd go crazy.
Depression: Why must it be this way? Why me? Why give me this call and then have it end up this way? What did I do wrong? This was a strange one for me, because it hit me the hardest the weekend I was scheduled to move into seminary housing, then hit me even harder two weeks later when I got a call at work from an old friend wondering what I was still doing at my job. When I told him what happened, he said, "Why didn't you call me so we could go get drunk?" (I have strange friends.) I told him because I didn't want to talk about it. I thought if I didn't, the sadness and reality of it would go away. I'm sure he could hear in my voice the trembling undercurrent of sadness.
Acceptance: It's probably not meant to be. I just misread an important spiritual lesson for a "call" - it was probably just wishful thinking that I was meant to live an extraordinary life when in fact I was simply meant to live this one. Then a stranger approached me at the local barista's who had overheard me talking to a friend about seminary. This happened the week I knew I needed to make my decision to go or stay. This conversation lead me to apply to another school. Covenant.
So hear we are. The interview was positive. I've been accepted, he told me about 2/3s of the way into the conversation. (Though I do not have a letter yet...) And he told me I would have a very good chance of getting an excellent financial aid package.
So I'm bracing myself for yet another disappointment. I know better than to get my hopes up.
But this feels good. Like it might even work this time.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. -Psalm 37:7