Well, I know it's been at least 2 months since I've blogged (I know) but I want to tell everyone out in blog world about the very visible hand in my life the last few months.
It began in January which some of you may know was the month of the dread competency exams. For all who are interested (although the number may be limited), my comps consisted of two 4 hr days of written tests, 1 hour of practical completing an evaluation of a patient, 1 hour of practical doing a hearing aid fitting and an oral defense of your answers and actions during all the following. It was five long, stress-filled days. Truthfully, I did not know if I could do it. I used to joke and tell myself that I would drop out of the program before I actually got to the point of going through comps. Additionally, I was set apart as Relief Society president the first week in January-- the week prior to my comps (explanation of this would require it's own lengthy blog).
Mike gave me a much-needed blessing and the words he said could not be better defined than as Balm of Gilead to my heart and mind. I remember him distinctly saying that the Lord had helped me to this point and he would not abandon me now. I purchased a framed sign for the presidency message I taught in January and it has been my mantra ever since... With God All Things Are Possible.
And let me tell you... they are! I made it through comps! I spent some 6 hour days going over everything I learned in the last 3 years of my doctoral program. Despite that, I think the most difficult part of the whole experience was getting the courage to walk into the room every day. Nonetheless, with the Lord's help, I passed my comps with high scores and compliments from my professors. It's difficult to describe how big of a deal this was for me. Basically the pinnacle of my doctoral degree. The relief of passing is immense. The hand of the Lord.
After comps, next on my list was to finish my clinical research project (which is required for my degree before I leave for my 4th year) and then obtaining a externship placement for next year. These also weighed on me. But chanting every day to myself, with God all things are possible, I see the very visible hand of the Lord in my life. To keep it short, I am finally done collecting data and working on my paper. I am presenting my final project to my committee on March 8th.
Now for the more exciting part? After wondering, worrying and traveling thousands of miles around the country, Mike and I have definite plans for our upcoming future. And thankfully, they involve actually living together. Some of you may know, in the effort to allow Mike and I both to obtain our professional pursuits, we had seriously considered living apart for a year. Yet with faith and patience I saw the Lord had for me a better plan than I had for myself. Three weeks ago I was offered a position at a brand new Ear Nose and Throat physicians office in Draper. The perfectness of this position for me was surprising and very unexpected. The office is large, with brand new, top-of-the-line equipment, 8 rooms dedicated to audiology and more diversity than I had ever imagined in an off-site placement. The opportunities to expand and have exciting options for the future keep coming and I am beyond ecstatic. On top of that, I absolutely love the audiologist I work with and feel like I've known her for years as opposed to weeks. Another blessing... the position is paid (which is not required during your externship) and provides benefits!!! If I said "I'm excited" 500 times-- it probably still wouldn't cover my excitement! Miracle #3.
Finally! Miracle #3 allowed for miracle #4. Mike and I are very excited to move onto the next big step in our lives... (if you now think I'm pregnant, you might be very disappointed) We are buying a house!! Living in the same state and both beginning work has allowed Mike and I to take advantage of that tax credit everyone else has been telling us so much about. SO... we found a rambler in Riverton that we are currently under contract for. We are planning to close at the end of April beginning of May and will move in immediately following. What word describes ridiculous giddiness and excitement? Well, whatever you thought of, times it by ten and you might reach where we are at! We can't wait to leave the student life behind (not that it hasn't been wonderful) and move onto a new life in Salt Lake closer to both our families!
In the end, we have been overwhelmingly blessed. It is not difficult to look back and see the Lord's gentle shaping of our decisions and lives. We are so grateful. I have learned many, many things these last few months. They have been grueling in many respects but also have done much to strengthen my faith and testimony. I have learned two very important things I will always remember from these experiences: #1: with God all things are indeed possible! and #2: the Lord's plan for us is infinitely more beautiful than we could possibly dream and plan for ourselves!