Since November of 2008, it seems like month after month has brought with it some sort of bad news, misfortune, or tough luck. And month after month, I have not lost faith, I have remained strong, and I have held onto the firm belief that things would work out and that my Heavenly Father was mindful of our little family. Each month, I truly believed that there was a ninety-seven percent chance that everything in my life would fall into place…that the things my heart yearned for would be mine…that I would be blessed greater than I could even comprehend…and that a new sunny chapter of my life would begin. But with each passing month, that big ole three percent won through, and hopes were repeatedly dashed. For the most part I was able to remain optimistic, cheerful, and patient as I waited and waited for things to fall into place. But I could feel myself slowly unraveling, and feared that I would too soon overdraw from my well of strength.
As we entered the month of February, I again somehow found renewed faith and hope and anticipated that something good would come our way. I really believed that this would be the month that the ninety-seven percent would win.
Adam completed his Master’s degree in an unprecedented two years time. You can imagine what an accomplishment that is for a man who is a husband, father, and dedicated church volunteer. Oh, and by the by, he was studying astrophysics. Yes, it is incredibly impressive how hard Adam worked to obtain that degree.
It was not easy for Adam, by any means. Less than halfway through the program, I was in a miserable state due to an incredibly difficult pregnancy and he worked hard to help me in every way possible. This meant missing some school and cutting research and work hours short. Then Jack was born and all Adam’s school work was put on hold. It was very emotionally difficult for Adam to return to school after Jack passed away. In addition to his new class load, he also had to make up the work he missed while Jack was in the hospital as well as finish his massive research and publish a paper. When all was said and done, Adam was WORN OUT. The last thing he wanted to do was jump into more schooling. We decided against continuing on for a PhD and entered the job market instead.
A few months after Adam graduated, we were invited by my sister and her family to come stay with them as we waited to hear back from the MANY jobs that we applied to. Adam applied for a wide range of jobs, but none of them really felt like the “perfect” job or Adam’s “dream” job. As we settled into the Vidal home, and had nothing to do but wait, we started to consider the possibility of Adam returning to school to pursue his PhD. And we felt REALLY REALLY REALLY good about that decision. We spent a fair amount of time praying about it, and decided it was right for our family.
It has been a long wait since we made the decision to apply to the BYU Physics and Astronomy PhD program (we decided in October…the application wasn’t due until January…and we didn’t hear back until…well…yesterday…) And the waiting has not been easy. But, I am thrilled to announce that the ninety-seven percent chance that things would fall into place for us this month…finally came through! And we are headed to Provo!
I don’t think Adam would have had the strength or motivation to immediately jump into the PhD program right after he graduated with his Master’s degree. He needed the time off from school to really decide if the PhD route was the right path for him. In that time he has learned that he really has missed being a student of astrophysics, as well as a student of BYU. He loves doing research and teaching others. He is an excellent teacher. We don’t know what career will follow this last leg of schooling, but he will likely excel in whatever he pursues.
I could write a whole chapter about respecting the LORD’S timing in all things. But in short, when Adam met with his PhD supervisor this weekend, he looked into Adam’s eyes and said: “The timing of your application could not have been ANY better.”
I have learned many-a-lessons during this time in “limbo”. I have learned that faith, hope, patience, and endurance do carry us through our hard times, and do ensure that we are worthy of the blessings that our Heavenly Father is anxiously waiting to bestow upon us.
I do believe that we are soon entering a “sunny chapter” in our life. For so long now I have been anxiously…oh-so-anxiously…awaiting a fresh start and new beginning. I can only hope that I can remember to trust in the Lord during the good times as much as I did during the bad.
The love of our Heavenly Father is an interesting thing. It’s interesting because I have felt it when my soul was most weary. And my heart was broken. But I also feel it so much right now as my heart is light and my soul is uplifted. I know He loves us. I know He loves me. How good it feels to feel His influence in my life and to know that He has a plan for us. I wonder what will happen next.