Task 89: Document at least one answered prayer per month (2/12)
I’m posting a little late but this is my December answered prayer (you can read the November answered prayer here). I spent the latter part of summer 2014 developing a short term game plan for the next three to five years. Part of the plan was to return to college and pursue a PhD. Even though I didn’t really want to go back into the classroom as a student, I knew that having those credentials would give me a “seat at the table” and help me in the long-run with my long term game plan of becoming a media powerhouse.
I’m learning that you have to sacrifice for what you want and I want to make an impact in media not just through my blog but through my research and work in the community and with organizations. That sacrifice, for me, involves furthering my education and establishing myself in the academic world as a woman who knows her stuff.
Returning to Southern Miss was my first choice because having earned my masters degree there, I was familiar with the program, the instructors and the university. Part of my short term game plan included being back in Hattiesburg, so everything just kind of made sense. My second choice was to attend the University of Georgia but I really didn’t want to make a move to Atlanta for reasons you can read about here. I can’t say that my heart and mind were in sync about the possibility of moving back to Hattiesburg. In my mind, I knew it was what I needed to do. I’d already mapped it out, connected dots and visualized the success I would have.
My heart, on the other hand, was conflicted because I wanted to be totally sure that I was making the decision based on my game plan and not because I have close friends and boo-thangs in Hattiesburg lol. I’m just being honest! I’m all about making the right decisions and I prayed and prayed about it. At this point, I had to start putting forth some action regardless of how I felt. I needed to apply for the program, get all my recommendation letters and transcripts, write my personal statement, provide writing samples and wait for a decision to be made on my acceptance into the program. I didn’t want to miss the chance because I didn’t make my mind up.
The application process was a little stressful because I had to make sure that everything was perfect. I had to make sure my recommenders got their information in on time, I had to come up with $50 for the fee, I had to write a heartfelt personal statement that also captured my intellectual abilities and I had to wait (the hardest part).
While waiting, I heard every possible reason in the book as to why I would not be accepted. Not only that, I still had to make sure I could get my tuition paid and find somewhere to live if I got accepted. Who would let me sign a lease as a freelance entrepreneur with no concrete proof of how much money I make? My on-campus living options were no longer an option and I couldn’t live with anyone else. I got really close to stressing over everything (I was also going through some bad anxiety around that time) but I kept telling myself that I’d had placed in it God’s hands and I couldn’t worry and have faith at the same time.
Needless to say, I got in! Not only did I get in, my financial aid went through, I found an apartment that I liked and moved in a week after I got accepted! Nobody but God worked everything out and put the right people in place to get me here.
I’m so happy to share this photo of me going to my first class as a doctoral student! I know if He brought me this far, He’ll continue to see me through. I may as well start practicing how to write my name now! :) Soon-to-be…. Jessica L. Simien, Ph.D