I love the new song by Matthew West, “Strong Enough.” In the chorus, he says:
I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy, won’t you cover me?
Lord right now, I’m asking you to be
For the both of us.
That’s how I feel today. Embracing my weakness. Knowing in my weakness, He is strong enough.
In 10 short weeks, I’ll be taking my quals test—a test that “qualifies” me to complete my dissertation. But I’m only 2/3 through my reading list. I still have to read 26 articles and 32 books—33 if you count the one in my lap right now…the one I’m not reading because I’m writing this. Every day, I feel like getting myself to read is more and more of a struggle. I’m excited about my dissertation project. I’m excited about my future. But it feels so far away…and mustering the strength to finish this hurdle so I can complete that hurdle is more difficult than I imagined.
Some days – like today – I just want to quit. I ask myself, do I really need a PhD? There are plenty of jobs I can take with a MA, plenty of teaching opportunities for me (aren’t there??). Some days – like today – I just want a baby. I want to be a mom. And I never want to read about research ethics or writing invention heuristics again.
Do you ever wish your life away? I wish that I was already finished with my PhD, that I already had a job secured (and could be making more than the lousy graduate student pay I make right now). I wish I were a teacher, a researcher, and a mom—already. And that, as such, I would already know it all works out. That it is possible to have all my heart desires.
Someday, I will be a teacher because that’s what He’s called me to be. And someday, I’ll be a mom too. But today, I’m a student who needs to read. And so, on days like these, I trust God to carry me. I trust Him to strengthen me. I trust that He holds my future in His hands—whatever that looks like. And I know that He makes all things beautiful, in His time (Ecc 3:11).