Change.

I’ve been back from OCS for a month–give or take a few days. And I’ve gotta admit, it’s been a hell of a lot harder than I anticipated. When I first left OCS, I had come to terms with the fact that I was leaving, because I saw it coming weeks in advance. Although I was ready to just be done with the misery of it all, I had not considered all of the changes that would inevitably follow.

The first few days after I got home were spent sleeping and getting re-acclimated to civilian life. I got my nails done, bought a car, and sorted through my belongings. I took the time to process what OCS was like and everything that went into my leaving. After a few days at home, I visited Harmony and some other family members, got hired at a clinic in Dayton, OH and moved back to my college town. In the midst of starting my new job, I spent several days staying with my college roommate, spent a week housesitting for a former employer and then moved into my long-term home. To say the least, life has been a whirlwind of change.

Answers to Prayer: Last time I wrote, I had three specific needs: a car, a job, and home. As He always is, the Lord has been faithful and met each of my needs.

  • The Voyager: After just a few days of being home, I found the perfect car–an ’06 Saturn ION with 63K miles on it. It was in my budget and met every single one of my mandatory requirements (my wish list included it being a stick shift–oh well, cant’ have everything!).
  • The Flexman Clinic: I got a job working for a neuropsychologist who does evaluations for physicians, lawyers, and the government–primarily we do memory screens, disability determinations, and ADD/ADHD testing. Pretty much my job is to complete the initial testing with each client, organize their chart and schedule them with a tester. I love that I get to work with a wide variety of people and use my psych background, while building my experiences for graduate school applications. Major perks: coworkers who are great people and every weekend is 3-days.
  • The Jacobs: When I attended Cedarville, I became really good friends with the Jacobs. Since then, they’ve become like family and they’ve opened up their home to me as a place to call my home. I am incredibly grateful for this family have been immeasurably blessed by them.

OCS: Hindsight

Honestly, the further out from OCS I get, the more pissed off I get with how it all went down. Yesterday was their graduation & commissioning, and it was so hard not to be overwhelmingly jealous. Jealous that they made it and I didn’t; jealous that they’re exactly where I want to be; jealous that they get to have the title of “Marine.” It’s frustrating because I’ll never know if I really would have made it all the way through. It’s also frustrating because I know people who completed the course but have no business being leaders of any kind. I’d give anything to go back and finish what I started, not because I still want to be an officer (which I do), but because I feel like I need to prove to myself and everyone else that I can do it.

Change is a funny thing: It can be so subtle it’s not even noticeable until it’s too late, or it can be so explosive that it feels as though your life blew up.

I went from being a United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate to a psychometrist in a cornfield in less than two weeks. My life completely flipped upside down. Sometimes, I’ll look around and think “what the hell am I doing here?!” this is not how this was supposed to turn out. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I am not working toward any goals or pursuing the ‘next big thing.’  To be completely honest, it makes me feel lost—like I’m just wandering with no direction. Yeah, I’m pursuing grad school, but I’m not even sure what schools I want to apply to or even for what programs. Public Health? Clinical Counseling? Nutrition & Wellness? Eeek! Where do I even begin?!

In the midst of the chaos, I’ve learned…

  1. To embrace the place that the Lord has me in this moment. This season is an incredible opportunity to really understand what it looks like to be still and find my rest in the Lord. I pray that I steward this opportunity well.
  2. The Lord’s plan is far greater than anything I could have ever imagined for myself.
  3. God’s faithfulness extends beyond anything I could ever deserve. Never once have my needs gone unmet, my prayers gone unanswered, or my future been forgotten.
  4. The failure of one venture does not change my value or identity. A friend recently reminded me that true success is found in what we do for the Eternal Kingdom. Likewise, my identity and value is found in Christ alone—nothing can change that.

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