"And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell? Behold, I answer for you..." (Alma 26:2-3)An opportunity to apply for a full scholarship to an intensive summer school program arose in my department at the University... they announced that they could sponsor one PhD student and one Masters student, and all who were interested were invited to apply. By the end there were 11 people from my program all competing for the one scholarship. I was hesitant to apply for several reasons, but ultimately my mother convinced I should. At about midnight on Sunday night. So I looked at the email again giving the brief instructions, and I realized the application was due at 9am Monday (yesterday)... as in I had 8 hours to do it. So I worked on my essay for about 30 minutes and sent it off at about 2am. This afternoon, I received an email telling me that I was chosen as the full scholarship recipient. I had to read the email about 3-4 times before it actually sunk in. I'm so flabbergasted I don't even know what to do with myself.
Did I mention that the program is at the University of Antwerp? As in BELGIUM! So I'll be going to Belgium for the first 2 weeks of June... and then the week after I'll probably be leaving on my summer fieldwork for my dissertation, which I'm currently planning to do in Kenya.
I really don't even recognize my life right now. It is unbelievable. Who am I?
I asked the BFF that when I gave her the news this afternoon. Her response: "You are freaking Dana René Blackburn, and you are literally living the dream." She's right. I am living the dream. My dream. God keeps pouring out these miracles and tender mercies in my life, and I have yet to really comprehend why that is. But for now I'm too busy basking in overwhelming love, gratitude, and joy for my Heavenly Father.
"I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
"Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.
"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go... and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.
"Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
"Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo.... yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.
"Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea... and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen."
(Alma 26:12-13, 16, 27, 35-37)
Amen, Ammon. AMEN.