Sitting down with a Dean yesterday to talk about my course selections for the coming semester was an amazing experience. He not only reassured me that I belong here, but also opined that I would likely fare much better than many of the students there who were valedictorians and 5.0 GPA scholars at their high schools. This was because, and I quote him, "some of these kids will probably fall to pieces when they see their first B. You've faced adversity before, and you've no doubt overcome a lot in your Navy career." Brother, you have no idea.
I have been through more harrowing moments in the last ten years than I could possibly recount in one blog post. Some of them were very physical, like getting a stress fracture in boot camp and being told I'd have to convalesce for six weeks before I could graduate (I got out after four weeks), others were extremely intellectual, like DLI. Some were emotional, like being told by my entire chain of command that I'm a failure, despite knowing that most of their accusations were wildly exaggerated. All of this, it seems, was part of God's master plan that I knew nothing about the day I signed the line back in San Diego.
I have traveled the world on the Navy's dime. I have met fascinating people all over the world and had the opportunity to use my language skills to do some downright-awesome stuff. Never in all my travels and struggles did I imagine that this next chapter was a possibility.
I'm very much reminded of the ancient seafaring maps with large blank spaces at the edge which read, "here be dragons." In their limited understanding of the world back then, it only made sense that if one sailed too far from home they would simply fall right off the face of the earth. Now as then, it's time for me to expand my horizons. This endeavor will require all of my abilities, and I'm quite frightened of the possibility that my best efforts might simply not be good enough (it wouldn't be the first time). Nevertheless, I serve a good God.
I'm reminded of the song "Oceans," by Hillsong. Though it's been playing on the radio for years, it still grabs me whenever I hear it, because it reminds me that there is much in this life which God has called us to do, knowing full well that we are in no way qualified to do it. He specializes in this sort of thing, to be honest. Just ask men like Gideon, Jonah, or King David. "Why me?" they all asked, "I am literally a nobody." Fortunately, God plus a nobody equals something he can use.
I leave you with this video, recorded by Hillsong at the actual Sea of Galilee. It reminds me that, when God calls you to get out of the boat, the best thing you can do is trust him and move.