Guest Post by Shade
For with God, Nothing Shall be Impossible—Luke 1 vs 37.
I enrolled in a doctoral program in 2013, coursework was not quite stressful, I finished in three years. In the last semester of the third year, I was required to start my Prospectus. I wrote according to guidelines working with my Chair and Methodologist, but for two semesters, I could not make a headway. Whatever my committee members approved were disapproved at URR level. At the end of 2015, I was so upset that I wrote to everyone that I could at the University. I cannot understand why URR is not approving what my committee members with reputable PhDs has approved or why my committee members are not seeing from the URR’s point of view. My program director advised that I could change my Chair. Some recommended that I can opt for a less intensive program. I decided to go on a leave of absence for a semester. While on leave of absence from January 2016, a newly appointed Director of doctoral program for my course was working with me, even though I was not registered. She took me in another direction. Then I returned in Spring semester paying out of pocket because I was getting scared of my soaring loans. The director working with me during my leave of absence said my methodologist did agree to serve as my Chair, so the former Chair was removed and I had a new methodologist. My new Chair (former Methodologist) was not too helpful either, URR did not approve the Prospectus after another semester. In the midst of the frustration, I opted for another leave of absence.
While on the second leave of absence, I started looking for alternative universities where I could transfer my credits. The universities that I contacted would not allow me to transfer more than 12 credits, then one day God spoke saying “You already completed 42 credits, why will you start from 12 credits? At the end of my leave of absence in 2017, I asked for another leave of absence towards 2018, but at this point, the university said I would be withdrawn. I have never been so confused, fearful or frustrated in my life, but I was at this point. The options are if I choose to return, I was asked to write a petition stating why I need to complete my program because the design of the program for my course has changed. They noted that my petition can be approved or disapproved and I have to take some courses all over again.
I checked with the few classmates I have left and they have withdrawn because they are frustrated and overwhelmed. I wrote and printed my petition, raised an altar for God in my bedroom, and spread the letter praying the prayer of Hezekiah in II Kings 19 vs 14. In His infinite mercies, God answered, I received an approval without taking any extra courses. Hallelujah!!! I registered to start January 2018, but first, I printed out the unapproved Prospectus, went on fasting, and spread it before the altar of God praying Hezekiah’s prayer in II Kings 19 vs 3 and 14 (I have gotten to the place of birth but there’s no power to bring forth). At the end of my prayer, all God spoke was “Keep it Simple”
I still had the Chair and Methodologist I worked with before my leave of absence, but two days after the prayer, the Lord began to move; I received an e-mail switching my Chair to become my Methodologist and my Methodologist as my new Chair. I thought this was not good but God was working things out. I emailed my academic advisor who responded that I should disregard the e-mail. I contacted the program director who confirmed that’s a reality. My new Chair was God-sent, I wrote her a long letter of my journey and she responded that she will do everything she can to get me going and out on time because of how I came to her. The first review of my Prospectus by URR had the comment– “Keep it simple”. The same Word God spoke when I cried to him. In three months, my Prospectus was approved and I embarked on the journey of the dissertation. Again, by the fourth month, my former Chair/new Methodologist did not respond to my paper in two weeks, my new Chair took care of it asking her to be removed. I was assigned a new Methodologist, my Chair told me I will like him. He was not just knowledgeable but he has the heart of God.
Again, I got stuck in using SPSS software in calculating my quantitative data for about 3 months, I went back to the same altar and cried for help from heaven, God mentioned a name for me to meet at work. I met the lady and she introduced me to her colleague, who after helping with my data entry, said she will not be helping anymore. Then God said “Help is universal” and connected me to someone in Canada through a friend. The person worked with me online and I was up and running. However, unlike when defending my Prospectus, I was terribly scared inside me when preparing for my final oral defense, especially when I read somewhere that Albert Einstein’s dissertation was rejected. Though I could not share it with anyone, the Lord knows and I kept hearing “Will I take to the place of birth and not supply the power to bring forth……? (Isaiah 66 vs 9). I knew at that point that God has done it because I had peace. During my oral defense, my new Methodologist kept saying, you are in the midst of friends. God later told me that He sent them to me as “destiny helpers”. All other approvals that were supposed to take a month occurred within one week and the Lord spoke again saying “My everlasting hands is at work pushing through. Glory Hallelujah—I appreciate the power of a prayer-answering merciful father. If it has not been the Lord, my help who was on my side…. Psalm 124.
Though people may not want to speak or hear about God in our secular world, my Chair asked me to share my testimony in my class because she said students were getting discouraged, it’s a merry-go-round journey that seems to have no way out. I shared it and dry bones received life again. Whatever situation we are in, God is able to intervene in the mightiness of His power and answer our prayers. Let’s keep hope alive, that difficult situation is not beyond the Lord Abba Father.