Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Far from the straight and narrow.

Another (partial) snow day, another blog post. I realize this is the first blog post of my LAST semester of undergrad. Scary to think that I started this blog my sophomore year!! I've been trying to stay focused seeing as my last semester of school has arguably the most difficult courses yet. Whoever said senior year would be a breeze lied to me, or maybe they just didn't expect for me to be graduating on time with a combined major and double minor! In my mother's words, I'm "her favorite overachiever".

Anyway. I thought I would share some thoughts on how God has been working hard as I look back on my four years here.

Four years ago:

"Hi, my name is Abby MacDonald, I'm a freshman Psychology major from Saint Louis. I will be graduating in 2014 and going to get my masters in education so I can teach high school students from an at-risk, low income background." 

I had it ALL figured out. God worked on that plan with me of course, why else would He have put Young Life in my life? Why else would I have found my deep interest in Psychology from my high school psych class? That's who I was planning on being and I was happy about it. For goodness sakes I practically looked like a teacher already-cardigans and all. God was there for me and He was leading me down the straight and narrow path. Or so I thought.

A year ago:

"Hi, my name is Abby MacDonald I am a Psychology major and Social Work and African and African American Studies double minor. I will be going to grad school (not sure why yet) and will be working in the school system most likely." 


"Hi, my name is Abby MacDonald, I'm a senior combined major in Psychology and African and African American Studies with a double minor in Social Work and Anthropology. Yes I did pick up three areas of study within the last year and a half, yes I WILL be graduating on time and no I will NOT be going to grad school right away. I'm not sure exactly what I want to do but I want to find a connection to somewhere in Africa."

All this is not said to brag (although I think my parents like to brag a little bit and my sisters bored of me having to explain what I'm studying), it is said to point out that what I thought and planned on to be the straight and narrow path God set out for me was far from it. He is still working. At least I hope He is because I'm graduating in less than 100 days and still have no plan set in place for what happens after I throw my cap into the air. I know I've said it on this blog before, but God sure does have a sense of humor. He is showing me just how many twists and turns I can take. Along with the fact that those twists and turns can be fun if I let them be.

Want some more humor from God? This summer I was at my sister's wedding shower talking with Father Gary who would be marrying Kelley and Matt in no time and he asked me what I was studying. After taking a deep breath and listing what I was studying his first reaction was different than most. He said he was somewhat surprised because Psychology and Anthropology are the two areas of study with  the highest numbers of Atheists. I'm pretty sure he's right. It makes sense after some of the classes I've taken-religion doesn't necessarily sit right with some of the theories and ideas.

I was talking with my mom about the fact that I am taking a course this semester to study the modernization of Witchcraft in Africa-not really an ideal topic in my mom's opinion. I'll admit, it is a little strange that I have chosen two relatively secular areas of study. But I thrive in studying the unknown. I so much enjoy studying what makes me different, or more similar, to a group of people that I didn't know about in the past. I think a good Christian does their research. In my opinion, not studying different ways of life and the benefits of such would lead me down an ignorant path. I don't say that to make Christians who don't know the ins and outs of witchcraft look bad, but for me, I want to do my research. I want to share what I've learned and make a connection back to my faith. I love finding God in unexpected places, and for me-that means studying as many different cultures and way of life as I can.

So there you have it folks. I'm still unsure of what will come after May 10th, but God is teaching me slowly but surely that it's okay. He's gotten me through these last four years, okay truthfully the last 21 years of my life, but I can't wait to see where He takes me from here on out.

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