It’s taken me a few months to gain some clarity on the wild ride I had in Australia. Truth be told it came with a lot of very high highs and low lows. There weren’t very many average moments. If you aren’t familiar with Gabor Mate, I recommend you listen to some of his content if you are intrigued by psychology, trauma, and parenting. The reason I mention him is that he has a talk on children and their emotions. Children in the purest form tend to feel every emotion without restriction. Meaning they haven’t undergone the process of numbing emotions or even selecting them. Which makes them extremely dependent on their parents to teach them how to self-sooth.
Well, Australia in the best sense was an unnumbing of emotions, that required for me to trust the divine to teach me how to self-sooth while still being dependent on His care. I’ve been known to be perceived as a runner. My time in Australia gave me some time and experience to wrestle with if I believed that classification to be correct or not. Accordingly, to the enneagram, I’m a 7w8. If you haven’t done much research on the enneagram, I highly recommend you do. It’s given me insight into my subconscious process and some of the demons I’ve needed to face in order to become a healthier version of myself.
Although I’m classified as an enthusiast, someone who really goes after the zest in life. We are known to indulge in experiences and love variety. Our main fear is running out of options. Therefore we are natural-born planners and constantly creating an escape route, an escape within relationships, jobs, countries and everything in between. As you can imagine, committing doesn’t come naturally to us.
Another great fear of 7’s is pain. Particularly emotional pain and therefore last year I needed to undergo an emotional cycle of facing some of the emotional repercussions of my past I wasn’t ready to deal with. I honestly hadn’t felt this anxious, confused, vulnerable since my late teens. It truly was ugly and I still revisit those thoughts and insecurities. But as a generally positive, “do- it yourself” kinda person, I also needed to face the realities of life which include the scars, dark nights, and an enthusiasts biggest fear, moments of stillness.
But in order to live a full and healthy life, they require an ability to be vulnerable and to trust that whatever situation or outcome arises, you are loved and taken care for all the while sitting in the discomfort of pain. That being said I wanted to share some of the miracles I’ve experienced during my time in the land down under.
From the very moment, I decided to quit a great job in Los Angeles to make attend Hillsong College, it’s as if I was Tarzan, swinging from vine to vine- never sure if the next vine would appear, but it always did. For instance, my sister married last year in September. Her wedding would be in Germany and as you can imagine, leaving my job for two weeks, while spending money on the wedding, etc. required a leap of faith. As frugal as I was during those two weeks, I still had rent to pay. Since my rent was tied to my college and rent was already a week late, the college basically put me on financial probation. To make matters worse, Hillsong by the government is required for people to attend 80% of the class to keep their student visa. This meant that I was already at 65% in attendance due to my leaving for my sister’s wedding for two weeks. And I wasn’t going to be able to acquire the needed attendance if I didn’t pay the fee’s within the next days. But I wasn’t going to be paid for another 2 weeks. So as you can imagine I was worried. This would ultimately mean that if I didn’t pay the outstanding balance instantly, I’d have my visa rebuked and would need to return to the US.
As I saw in class debating my options and outcomes, completely uncertain of how I’d proceed, I gave God an ultimatum. It was like “Hey, you need to pay this if you want me to be here. I really can’t make this happen on my own.” A few minutes later during the break, I asked one of my classmates if she knew if there was any way to navigate the process in order to buy myself some time. She mentioned that she had a similar situation a few months ago and college was strict on their policies in that regard. As it became time for us to return to lecture we parted ways. After class, this classmate approaches me with her credit card and tell me to pay it off. This was definitely a substantial amount that any student would have a tricky time covering. So the fact that she was willing to front me this large amount without even knowing if I was going to be able to pay her back was insane! She literally paid my outstanding debt then and there without me even asking her. I actually often asked her if she was sure to want to pay the debt. Only a few days later I acquired some help in processing my taxes. At first, my return seemed quite insignificant but the second time around the amount tripled! Then the next day my mother called me that I had received a cashier’s check for $100 from my bank in the US for no apparent reason other than to thank me for being the customer. Then to top it off, I received a call from the assistant manager at my work, calling me to let me know the company had exceeded their anticipated sales, and therefore every employee would receive an additional $250 to their next paycheck!
Basically within 10 days after being on financial probation, I received $2,000! Which was greater than the amount I had owed.
Then a few months later, I decided to visit New Zealand in order to renew my visa. As you may have heard, New Zealand isn’t a cheap country. After a beautiful week exploring the country, I returned to my job that required about a 45-minute commute (and didn’t offer public transportation). After my first shift back at the job, I hydroplaned on my way home into the car in front of me. This completely wrecked my car and especially since I didn’t have insurance, this was devastating. The guy that I ran into, was kind enough to drive me back to my work which gave us about 10 minutes to chat.
This car accident required for me to leave that job and lead to an impromptu purchase of a one-way ticket to San Francisco. Four days after purchasing my flight, the guy from the car accident calls me and offers to give me the car that I hit in the accident! His car was an upgrade and since miraculously there was no damage done to his car, only to mine, I at first had a difficult time accepting the offer. He then reassured me that he’d sign over the papers and now months later, I can tell you that man didn’t have an ulterior motive. He truly was sincere in his offer. The cherry on top was when a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a few months messaging me on FB during that week telling me that God had prepped her heart since December (two months) to gift me some money. She transferred $1300 into my account, the EXACT amount of money I lost due to the car accident! Pretty insane!
While being in Australia, my desire to obtain my masters became louder and louder. Majority of friends and family wanted me to move back to the US so I could study for the GMAT and “come home”. During those months, I didn’t feel like it was time for me to return to the US so I looked at academic alternatives. That’s when England popped up for me. In England, you don’t pay a processing fee (which in the US you pay about $100) and they don’t require for you to take a standardized test (such as the GMAT or GRE, that can also require months of preparing and fee’s). Therefor on a random Monday morning, I decided to apply to a few universities in England and just see what happens. In March I started receiving my first acceptance letters. As I have German citizenship, I was hoping to acquire the EU/Home status fees instead of international fees, which are doubled the price of the EU fees. All of the applied universities accepted me, but with the international status which differed from about £16,000 to £21,000. Technically I should receive international fee’s since I haven’t lived in Germany within the last three years. Long story short, University of Birmingham and Nottingham University both offered me EU/Home status. But the University of Birmingham had also offered me a £5,000 scholarship. As this seemed a no brainer to me, I accepted their offer. Then a month before the university would start, they emailed me informing me that they made a mistake and I shouldn’t be receiving the Home status. A bit worried at this point since I had made so many decisions based off of this offer, I gave them a call. After a 10 minute chat, the admissions representative agreed that this was an unfair situation to place me in so short before the start of school and they would honor the fee they had quoted me with. That being said I am paying only $5000 for my masters, which is outrageously low!
I can testify that if we take a leap of faith there is a God that wants to reward our trust. The reward won’t always look like what we want it to, but it’s always what we need. Sometimes it’s a lesson, and sometimes it’s a free Subaru. However, these roads are often unpaved and definitely, aren’t comfortable. We are required to test our courage and often the miracle doesn’t arrive before the “devastation” but afterward. These journey’s require growth, perseverance, vision, and surrender.
I’m starting to understand that I should never find security in my external circumstances such as a job title, finances, degree or even friends and family. But there is confidence much greater that builds a bridge between security and freedom. That is the relationship you have with your maker. Going inward and creating a space for solitude, and peace. Listening to your heart is of far greater wisdom. So, pause on that tv show. Put down your phone or say no to that Bumble date you aren’t really excited to go and listen to your heart.