By Lisa Huddleston

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry … He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God” (Psalm 40: 1, 3).

I completed my course work for my Master of Christian Studies degree from Union University this week.   I have received sweet words of congratulations and felt the relief of not having a paper due or a reading assignment to tackle.  And I have already sensed the lurking presence of the “What Next” monster.  Especially when people ask me what I plan to do now.

What do I plan to do?  Well, I plan to keep living and learning and reading and writing and loving my family and following where the Lord leads me.  I’m sorry if that seems a little vague.  I really am—and not just because it may be an unsatisfactory answer for you who ask.  I’m sorry, because I love a plan.    There is nothing better than planning and working toward a goal.  That’s why the MCS was such an answer to prayer.  I went to class on Tuesday evenings week after week and steadily worked my way from the first night to the last.  I found answers to questions I had pondered and discovered new and bigger questions to ask.  I listened to other students ask their questions and rejoiced to hear professors answer what they could and humbly share in the ambiguity of our lives when they couldn’t.  I kept a handy list of classes pinned on my bulletin board, and I added a big check mark next to each class as I completed it.  Satisfaction guaranteed.  I will miss it.

But now I am returning to a less defined way of living loosely structured around daily routines of reading, writing, exercising, cooking, cleaning, and so on.  I have no label under which to hide my identity.  No longer a “student” yet ever a student.  No longer a “teacher” yet hopefully always teaching.  Not really a “stay-at-home-mom” as my children are all grown.  And definitely not a “housewife”  as this label pinches me way too tightly.  I am a woman who wants to serve as God leads.  No more.  No less.

I doubt that I knew this truth in quite the same way two and a half years ago when I began my studies.  I am glad that I know it some better now—not as well as I should, but better than I did.  That’s progress.  And I am learning a new song to sing.

7 thoughts on “MAKING PROGRESS

  1. Thanks for such a great and honest post! I am beginning to have these feelings of “what’s next” and catch myself changing my answer depending on who is asking the question. 🙂 I’ve been learning a lot about “active waiting” so am looking forward to finding out whatever lies ahead while also learning to be content in the present. Congratulations on the completion of this degree! I hope that you are able to enjoy your time off from classes and enjoy satisfaction in God during whatever He has for you in this current season. 🙂

  2. Anne says:

    Congrats, Lisa! God will reveal the next steps. In the meantime, celebrate your accomplishment and enjoy some downtime.

  3. Jennifer says:

    You are also a wife, a daughter and a sister! I look forward to having more time to spend together! Most importantly you are always a witness to everyone you meet and for that I thank you, respect you and look up to you! I am so proud of my big sister!

  4. Bettina Dowell says:

    Lisa, Congratulations on finishing your Master’s. Way to go! Thanks so much for this encouraging post about not being sure what the future holds. Let’s keep in touch as the fall starts new lives for both of us.

  5. “A friend hears the song in your heart, and sings it to you when your memory fails.” 🙂 Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do….the building blocks of our songs. Fundamentals giving way to expression and improvisation for newer songs as we grow through life…changes for better or worse, still give color to our songs. Congratulations on your accomplishments, Lisa. Continue learning, growing, teaching, mentoring, developing new wonderful melodies this year and in the years to come.

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