How I got accepted into 7 law schools & then had to choose just one...
You know that moment? When you stretch a rubber band to its max and you can just feel that if you stretch it for even a fraction more, it will snap in two? That's the moment God loves to work in most. In our human terms, it's the point where you rest your hands in defeat, acknowledging there is no way that you can humanely solve the problem any more.
After months of tension, God took me to that moment one Friday, not long ago. April 5 by 5:00 pm...that was the deadline by which I had to make $250 non-refundable deposit to the law school I plan to attend. If I didn't, I would lose my seat in the incoming class as they began to pull applicant from their waiting lists.
When I make big life decisions like this, I tend to pray and fast and seek until the Holy Spirit gives me complete peace with my decision. Law school is probably the biggest decision I've yet had to make in my life - it's a huge emotional, physical, spiritual and financial commitment. And the law school I choose would determine where I live the next three years, what I learn, what job I have, the people I meet and the things I experience. No pressure.
I applied to eleven law schools (went a bit overboard, big mistake!) - accepted to seven and wait-listed at four of my reach schools. So, I had plenty of options.
My first law school decision came in December, and the last one in mid-March. So I've had a few months to research each school and figure out where I wanted to do. Every school that I was accepted into has phenomenal programs and I would be successful in every one. So, in the end, the decision came down to personal preference.
The first big decision I made was to stay in-state. I always thought that I can't wait to escape the Midwest and move to a big city, but living here for the last seven years, it's really grown on me. I love the people, the culture and the fact that my family lives here. And since ultimately I think I want to start my legal career in Missouri, I couldn't justify the cost of going out-of-state and paying double the cost without the in-state-tuition I could get by staying here. This left me with three options: two state schools and one private school. Cost no longer became an issue since they were all pretty close in price. It was down to the wire - I had about a month to narrow it down to one school. Hardest decision ever.
Everyone in my life tried to help. My mentors, co-workers, friends, family and even new acquintances spent hours debating pros and cons with me for each school - I could recite statistics, admissions brochures and personal preferences in my sleep. I try to make every big decision in my life with God, so I spent hours praying, seeking answers in His word, fasting and asking all my friends, family and church to also support me in prayer. But, there was no answer.
I wasn't waiting for God to just thunder the answer in the heavens, or spell it out in front of me, but I sought a sign - that feeling of peace when it just clicks. I've experienced it so many other times that I knew that to commit to a decision, I need that approval from God. Days turned into weeks and April 5 was mere days away and I was still as unsure as ever before.
I began questioning my dreams, my goals, and even God a tiny bit - Did I misunderstand years ago that God wants me to go to law school? Maybe it was my own wishful thinking? Maybe the silence is actually God's silence that I shouldn't go to any of the schools...maybe He had an entirely different plan for me.
But, deep inside the Spirit disagreed, reminding me of all those moments, those Bible verses, and whispered promises over the years that all pointed to law school. And although I knew this next step of my calling, I doubted and began looking into other opportunities - I scoured job sites, looked into deferring my acceptance to work abroad and a dozen other opportunities.
I am blessed to go attend a church with several prophets. The first time I prayed with the prophet about School A, God opened the following scenario: a outdoors swing, cracked in places and standing on cracked foundation, and God warned that it would not stand much longer. As for School B, He showed a rising sun at dawn, shifting here and there because it still hasn't a place to rest and shine upon. I left that prayer deflated. I had two weeks to make a decision and God was telling me that He wasn't ready to tell me where His blessings will shine.
Fast forward another week and another prayer with a prophet. Those visions were just as unclear and spoke of patience, faith and trust. I knew God was telling me to wait until His time, but I began to fret and even get a bit angry. Looking back, it seems petty and immature, but at that point, I just felt confused and frustrated.
And April 5 came. And I had no idea where I was going to law school. At this point, the more I thought about it, the more restless I felt about each of the schools - none of them any longer became appealing or stood out from the rest. So i just didn't think about it. That morning, I just gave up on it. I prayed, "You know what God? I give up. Maybe I misunderstood and I'm really not supposed to go to law school. If that's the case, I accept your will. But, if I did understand clearly, well, you know I have a deadline in a few hours, so show me Your way." I went to work. Then I went to class. By the time I got out of class at 3:00, I felt utter peace.
Out of nowhere, I just knew. I felt it in my soul and my heart felt as if it knew it forever - the University of Missouri School of Law. That was where God wanted me to be. It clicked.
Just as I was about to dial the admissions office, I got a phone call from my mother. She told me she had called and prayed with the prophet again and regarding MU, God showed me standing on the beach, I would take a few steps into the water and before I could even get in knee deep, I'd run back out in fear and refuse to go back in. After some time, I would venture in again, only to run out shortly after. I kept this up until God gently coached me to just go in - all the way in and He will help me swim all the way to the other side. Just get in. The other two schools got the complete opposite prophesies.
That vision described my situation perfectly. There were so many times I almost committed to MU, but would talk myself out of it. I ended up giving up significant scholarships at the other two schools for no scholarships at this school. This terrifies me, but I know that this just another opportunity for me to build my trust and faith in God - He will provide, even if it's totally at the last minute, it's still in His right timing.
So that's how I took a step closer to God and finally chose a law school.
If you're working through making a big life decision and are searching for God's guidance - whether it's making a big move, quitting your job, going back to school, saying yes to a proposal or taking on a challenging ministry - I hope this testimony acts as an inspiration for you....A true story that shows that God is in total control of your situation and He will reveal everything in His moment, even if it's that split second before everything falls apart. That is the most phenomenal, peaceful moment of all time. Trust in it...Trust in Him.