28 September 2011

Shattered Hopes and Picking Up the Pieces

“When the idea first came to me, I thought it might be too good to be true.” Ah yes, that lovely optimism that hopes all things and believes all things. Unfortunately, as David Allen said, “You can do anything, but not everything,” or at least not everything at once.

You see, I’m a teenager trembling on the brink of adulthood, my toes curled just over the edge of the diving board, looking out into a pea soup fog and wondering what on earth I’m going to do with my life. I’m living at home, working with my parents, and they want me to have a college education.
All right, that’s fine with me. I’ve been getting college credit for several years in preparation for enrollment in an online university, and I’ve already earned 90 credit hours (see how I’ve done this on my blog: www.CLEPMeOutOfHere.blogspot.com), so there’s only my senior year to go. If I am a dedicated little student and get all my ducks in a row, then I should be able to finish my Bachelor of Arts in English degree by next November. Due to various financial rigmaroles which I can’t plumb the depths of here, it is imperative that I enroll in Thomas EdisonState College this fall. Right now, in fact. At the time I first discovered Capernwray Bible School I believed that tackling college and England in the same year would be perfectly doable; I’d just shuffle my spring classes around the trip of my dreams.

Mom endured several long calls to various college helplines, listening to the interminable elevator music that means dozens of other desperate students are trying to organize their educations simultaneously, then asking question after question and making sheets of notes whenever she finally grabbed hold of a live human being. On Monday we sat together in our sunny computer room, the unusually warm air almost stifling, both holding greasy phone receivers to our ears as we tried to decipher the accent coming all the way from a financial aid department in New Jersey. As much as I didn’t want to, I finally understood. It would be impossible. No doubt about it, getting free money from the government has its downsides—I would have keep a fairly heavy course load during every single semester, even the time I would be in Lancashire.

The truth is that I might actually be able to attend Capernwray while excelling in my college studies, but would that leave any room for enjoying England—the huge, bright, wonderful reason I would be going overseas in the first place? No, there really was no choice.

I admit to breaking down, the disappointment crushed me for a while. Suddenly a joy so brilliant and unsure that I’d been hesitant to fully embrace it had turned into a suffocating, hollow ache. England will have to wait. Is this God’s will? Is this the wisest, most open-minded, or inevitable course to take? I’m not sure; I’m not really sure of much anymore. I do know that next year looks like studying, learning, and challenging myself on multiple levels. What that will mean for my dreams of a trip to Britain is yet to be seen. Capernwray has already posted the dates for their spring 2013 semester, and unless the world really does end on December 21 of next year I think we can be pretty certain that the Bible school will still accept students. So I’ll file away my almost completed Bible school application, and perhaps—just perhaps—I’ll get the chance to dust it off in another year. Until then I’ll pick up the pieces of all those improbable hopes and plans, dig out a Rick Steves’ book, continue to blog, and see what God has in store for 2012.

Thanks for being with me on this journey,
Girl, a photo by philip.bitnar on Flickr.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about this Abby :[ I know you're really disappointed about this. You've been dreaming so long about this and had/have gotten so excited about going this coming Spring. I wish I could write something that would cheer you up, but all I can say is......

    God knows...and you can find peace in knowing that He knows best. "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

    He wants you to be happy and wants to give you what is the best for you. I know He has something specail planned for you Abby and even though we can't see it now, I'm sure that in a few years you will look back and see His hand at work :]

    The Lord has brought me through several different trials having to do with my future and at the time I couldn't understand why it was happening but now as I look back I can see how He was working. I don't think I would have "met" you if He hadn't done some things in my life....( and I'm so glad we did ) :]

    I'll be praying for you!

    Your Sister in Christ,

  2. Oh, sad. To get your hopes up and then have a wrench thrown into your plans is so disappointing. But, "God's 'no' is not a rejection. It's a redirection" -- don't lose heart, your turn will come!

  3. I am sad over this turn of events also. My heart dropped when I heard the news. I so wanted you to go in the Spring. I so appreciate your mature attitude toward the whole thing. I am proud of you. And yes, God knows, He sees and He understands your disappointment. I trust that after your degree is in hand, you will make your longed for trip to England and enjoy it all the more because you will not be studying at the same time. You will be free to enjoy and perhaps stay longer. Love you, Bea

  4. I thank all of you for your beautiful comments! Thank you for your sympathy and encouragement, which is just what I need. I will continue this blog as I come closer to my dreams, trusting the Lord and His will all the way.


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