People who know me and who have become aware of my acceptance of the University of Kentucky's offer of admission often ask me why I chose it and how in the world I would ever choose to move 400 miles from anything I've ever known.
I thought I'd share the story that's turning out to be quite beautiful. First, you should know that the decision to attend UK and participate in the on-campus program wasn't my original intent.
In late November and early December, prior to my graduation from college, I had a few interviews with people who worked for companies that had job openings that I desperately wanted. To my surprise at the time, I was rejected from all three and simply got discouraged.
After the first interview that I'd had, that rejection email sent me into a pile of tears for hours. Now, I know that those tears were tears of impatience. Despite the outcome, I'm more than grateful for the experience now, but at the time, it was ruining my definition of perfect. You know, I was going to live in a quaint college town, get my Master's degree online from the same program at Kentucky, and earn a little bit of money all along the way. Granted, all of the communities and towns that I'd consider couldn't meet my transportation needs as well as actually having a public transit service readily ply available.
I spent the first month after graduation relaxing for the first time in 4.5 years and enjoying the holidays with my family. In the back of my head, there was always that question of "What's next?" lingering in the back of my head. The end of December came, and I decided that I'd go ahead and get things ready to apply to the program. I started with an email to the Disability Resource Center at UK to inquire about services available to students. My parents and I were tucked away in a mountain cabin for New Year's, and I knew I wouldn't get a response for a few days.
On January 2, I received a phone call from the director of the DRC, and he was genuinely interested in who I was and what attracted me to my field and to the university. We chatted for a week or so before "it" happened. I went to bed one night really content with the fact that distance learning is quite a bit less in tuition than an on-campus program and felt that I had made the right decision. The next morning, the friend that I stayed with on my first visit messaged me via Facebook to tell me that she saw that I posted this video and that I was considering UK. She then let me know that she lives and works in Lexington and wondered if I was actually thinking about moving there.
I hadn’t ever even considered it, and to be honest, I just didn’t think I could do it. All this talk about public transit being a real thing started to seem like just a figment of my imagination, and more importantly, how would I survive 400 miles from home? I picked up the phone to run the idea by my mom, even though I was still skeptical myself.
To my surprise, my mom was extremely supportive and mentioned to me that I had just received a refund check that would cover my airfare costs to stay with my friend if I wanted to just to test the waters. I knew that at that point, I had thinking and praying to do like I’d never done it before. Moving that far away from home seems daunting, but I’ve always known that prayer is a powerful thing and is a storehouse for strength when doubt comes along.
That night and for many nights after that, I prayed for clarity. I didn’t pray for answers. The next morning, it’s almost as if God audibly woke me pup that morning. I sat straight up in bed and said aloud, “I’m moving to Lexington.” I was in shock. but I threw my glasses on my face and reached for the phone to call Jake, the director of the DRC. We chatted for awhile, and I remember one of my first questions being whether or not I would be able to physically be at UK and have all of my needs met. He went on to explain that I absolutely would, some of the services that they could provide, and then he let me know that there were many students on campus in similar situations to my own.
At first, I was going to enroll as a distance learning student as planned and then visit to see if I wanted to change to an on-campus student, but I felt such a strong calling to Lexington and to the situation that was being presented that it wasn’t necessary at that point. I was able to go out there three weekends ago and absolutely fell in love.
I was in a meeting with the Accommodations Consultant who was very open in saying that it was a God thing, and I couldn’t agree more. I’m so excited to see how the journey unfolds, and I look forward to chronicling it! Patience is indeed a virtue, my friends, and it may prove that God needs you somewhere other than where you’d originally thought or intended. It’s apparent to me that there are clients in Lexington who need me, and God wants me there to help.
Here am I. Send me.