Sail on

I woke up this morning and I found out that I did not get the Fulbright. Gasp, I know.

Whenever you read the words “I regret to inform you” in the beginning of a letter and then “please do not reply to this email” at the end, you can walk away feeling a sense of rejection. But then again, it’s not going to change the fact that after this month we will have ample data that will clarify the need for a sexual health intervention in primary and secondary schools. This trip was a pilot study to get data, and we are getting that. And if we design a program and implement it in the future, that will be awesome. It doesn’t have to be funded by the US federal government for that to happen.

Perhaps the most tangible thing that I feel right now is just a touch of panic about the future. I know that is pointless and a waste of energy because we just don’t know what the future holds. I might as well just hope rather than worry because it’s better for my health and just as possible as not that the future will be bright and beautiful.

BUT, it’s difficult not to feel scared that the stress we’ve experience over the past year or so will continue indefinitely. Moving here to accomplish this health promotion project on a federal grant was itself a meaningful purpose; it was also kind of my escape route for our little family from the overwhelming stress that we are experiencing in the good ol’ US of A.

But honestly, I have never once prayed that I would get the Fulbright. My prayer has always been that the decision made by the Institute of International Education would be in the best interest of our little family. And so, if I consider my future and my life with the belief that God is involved and that He cares about me, I am going to believe that this is okay and even better for us.

There have been other ships that have left me on the shore as they’ve sailed beyond me out into the great big sea towards opportunity. And sometimes my heart does feel shipwrecked when I think that I want to be somewhere else, but I am here. But as I look back on my life, other events that seemed at the time to be missed opportunities or disappointments were really for the best.

So, sail on, S.S. Fulbright. I’ll hope that something better is yet to come. And in the meantime, I’ll focus on all the people and features about my life that I do really love. I’ll focus on the present, and I’ll do my best to appreciate the moments in which I find myself.

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9 Responses to Sail on

  1. mam says:

    okay…that is definitely a God thing linds because if ever there was a person who deserved this scholarship it is you…maybe they thought you had the money yourself…or could raise it…. that was it i bet….because there is nothing in you and your abilities or goals that could have prevented you from getting it….and honestly i don’t know how zuri would have made it out of kenya….but ultimately the Lord is in control and you will see in retrospect His goodness to you in this decision…and perhaps it could be a missions thing where you go for a shorter stint each year…if the Lord is in the work He can still provide …i love you so much and am so proud of you …and i adore your optimistic attitude…

  2. Erin says:

    Oh Linds, I am so sorry. I honestly thought FOR SURE you had this in the bag. You have the best attitude about it, though. You are so motivated and determined that I know that if this is your dream, you will accomplish it with or without the Fulbright grant. I have loved reading this blog. Miss you!!

    • Lindsay says:

      Erin, thank you for these kind words of encouragement! In the meantime, I am glad that you and I share an office on 31 Amstel Avenue. Laughing, talking, and exchanging inconspicuous looks with you is definitely a bright spot that makes coming to work fun. Miss you too! And thanks for reading this blog!

  3. Jessic says:

    Linds…I am sorry about this news. I am also proud of you and believe in you. I guess this scholarship just wasn’t the best for you and your family and that is the truth, just like you said. I understand wondering WHY something isn’t that best, though, because it just feels so perfect. And really, it’s okay to feel disappointed. But God has brought you guys to Kenya and made all these other plans work perfectly; he’s not about to just stop doing that. And who knows–maybe the Fullbright will happen later, which would be better than next year, for some reason. There is so much we don’t know–so much good that going on for our own benefit, that is behind the scenes. I will join you in believing that the future is bright and beautiful. Because it is.

  4. judy says:

    Linds, I felt like I ran full speed into a wall when I read this, I was so sure you’d get it. As you have expressed so well, tho, experience, and faith have taught us to believe that God is in control, and there must be another plan. Sometimes it’s impossible to anticipate the turns in the road…but I trust and believe in God. I also trust and believe in you, and your heart to spend your life in the best possible way. I’ll be praying for all of you, (all of us) that your heart will soon feel what you have chosen to believe with your mind.
    Love you so much.

  5. jason says:

    I’m sorry to hear that, it must be so disappointing. But I think you know this already, so I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but it could be a really good thing that you didn’t get in this year. It’s really hard to tell what awaits. I know I was so disappointed so many times in the last years. Once, when we were outbid on a beautiful house in PA. But then I got into school here in CA and then our livilihood evaporated and we probably would have gone bankrupt if we’d gotten that house. And then, I was denied from UCLA’s program. But if I’d gotten in that year I wouldn’t have been in the same classes that I was and I wouldn’t have gotten as close to Doc and we wouldn’t be partners right now and be where we are. Also, I had a terrible experience with an earlier agent – but if I’d stuck with that agent I wouldn’t have the great agents we have now at UTA. My point is that terrible disappoints really truly do turn out to be boons when you’re able to look back at them, and I’m sure this will be the case for you. Maybe some day you’ll get the Fulbright, and if you do it’ll be the exact right time. But right now I think you should be excited because obviously there is something even better in store for you in this next year.

    • Lindsay says:

      Jase, thanks. You know, I actually consoled myself by thinking of exactly your situation with not getting into UCLA the first time ’round.

      I know it’s difficult to see how right now, but I do believe that this is going to be a good thing in hindsight. And yes, I am going to decide to expect that next year will still be awesome. I have a lot in my life that I love, and I can already see how not moving here next year could be best for our little family.

      • Lindsay says:

        Funny because I started by saying “it’s difficult to see how right now” and ended with “I can already see how…”

        I get over things pretty quickly, I guess.

  6. Sare says:

    Linds..i am so sorry for the disappointment. I know with all of my heart that God has amazing things for you and your incredible family. I love you and believe in you so much and am praying for God to really shine HIs light on the path beneath you guys..that you would know which steps to take next and have full confidence about them. Can’t wait to give you a hug when you get back.

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