You know, I didn't really ever think about money so much until this past week. I mean, money is essential, even crucial at times. I know how to budget and how to save and stuff, but I never thought about financing my own education until it came to grad school. I am what you would called extremely blessed. My parents have faithfully and constantly made sure my sister and I weren't in need (even this year... when both of us were in college... I'm sure that put a significant dent in their wallets!). My parents could easily save their hard-earned money and live an easy and luxurious life - they deserve that and more. But instead, they choose to invest in my sister and I, sending us to a top university in the United States. Now that's sacrifice. :) Thanks, Mom and Dad, if you're reading this! I love you guys.
So, for graduate school... I remember having conversations with my Dad about financing my education through scholarships and stuff. However, for the specific program I applied to, there were few scholarships and it wasn't a program where I could be a GSI (because my program is half school half internship). With the mounting costs of school and stuff, I knew my parents would pay for it if they had to, but I just couldn't shake that guilty feeling that I was asking for an additional year, and being out of state AND international - that's a lot of money. So throughout the grad school process, I had this prayer in my heart - that God would provide financially. I know sometimes, praying for money seems kind of... strange, especially since the Bible has SO many passages about not hoarding money & etc. But this was kind of different, I think.
Yesterday, I went to meet with the financial advisor at the School of Ed. Upon hearing who I was, she immediately exclaimed, "You're Melissa! You got the top scholarship in the program this year! This is the first time Michigan has given out a scholarship this big!" I was shocked. I knew I had recieved the scholarship, but in hindsight, I guess I didn't understand the significance. God had heard every one of my prayers, and He provided accordingly. As we looked through my financial aid package, I realized that I had recieved enough between scholarships and loans to cover the cost of my ENTIRE tuition bill for fall and winter. Wow. I could not have asked for that myself (I don't even think I dared to pray that during this whole ordeal). God knew what was needed and He provided accordingly, down to the last penny. It was just enough. Crazy. :) I am so blessed!
I guess through this whole experience, God gave me an overwhelming sense of peace and humility. In my own eyes, I don't see myself as anything special - I'm just like any other college student with a dream to make a difference. God has nurtured that dream and given me a way to make it happen, and it's just further confirmation that this is where I'm supposed to go. I know at the beginning of the school year I still had doubts as to whether or not education was the way for me. Now, I've never been more sure. God also showed me that He does listen to every fleeting desire in my heart, even when I don't have the courage to ask for it - He still hears me. It's amazing!