In case any of you are curious as to why I'm going to The University of Richmond, here ya go...
As I've mentioned before, I am quite the free spirit. This past year, I discovered my interest in both counseling and law. Not knowing which path to take, I prayed and prayed for a sign to be given to me. I knew that law school right off the bat would probably not be a great idea for me, so I started researching paralegal studies after I applied to graduate school for counseling. The number one school that stuck out to me was the University of Richmond because of its reputation, great location, beautiful campus, and law programs in general. After I was accepted into counseling, I knew that this would be a difficult decision to make, so I prayed for God to literally hit me on the head with signs for which path he wanted me to take. The night after I discussed this option with my parents, I came into work to see a beautiful coffee table book titled, "A Portrait of the University of Richmond," sitting on my desk. I thought that this was a complete coincidence and that there was no way in heck that this was a sign, but the Lord probably laughed at my lack of faith in the moment.
When I went to Nashville, TN less than a week later, I confided in two of my professors for advice. After walking and talking with them for a bit about the paralegal option, I prayed again for a sign. Suddenly, something caught my eye in the grass, so I went over to the shimmery object and looked down to see a guitar pick with a verse from Romans 10:14 (NIV) which states, "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
So, while this verse isn't exactly point blank, "Here, Sarah, this is the path that I want for you to take..." I figured that not many people would see a shimmery guitar pick with a verse from Romans while saying a silent prayer, so I took it as a potential sign. Also, while in Nashville, I attended a publishing workshop in a room with a quote in huge letters on the door by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., which read, "A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience." For those of you who are close to me, you know my connection to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and why I completely froze in the hallway with my mouth gaping wide open.
Stubborn ol' me started listening at this point.
Something has occurred pretty much every single day from that point on. In fact, there are really too many occurrences to mention in this blog post! Almost every time I've been behind a really slow car, it's either from Virginia or from Richmond Co, GA, which always made me giggle in the midst of mild road rage (not that I get frustrated when people drive WAY below the speed limit or anything...).
My wonderful parents took me to the beach right after graduation, which was much needed. We decided to go out to a Greek restaurant for Mother's Day dinner on the island. When we walked out, the only GA tag in the parking lot was my father's truck. Every other tag had a Virginia license (and we are talking about maybe 10+ other vehicles). My parents and I were in hysterics. Once I got home from the beach, I started unpacking my suitcase when suddenly, a bright orange hand towel fell out between a rolled up shirt. I picked it up, unfolded it, and it read in bright blue letters, "GO VIRGINIA!" Well, I thought that this was a prank from my parents, so I immediately went upstairs with said orange hand towel. Neither one of them had ever seen it before in their life, so the mystery of the Virginia towel continues.
I met a lawyer who works for the government in D.C. this weekend. He was so very kind to talk to me quite a bit about becoming a paralegal in D.C., what I needed to know, and that the post-undergrad certification at U of R is a very good idea to become a paralegal in D.C. I was very encouraged, considering that this is where I eventually plan to end up. And believe it or not, after a strict, business like conversation (with absolutely no mention of what I'm about to say), he really pressed and encouraged me to sit for the FSOT.
In case you are wondering, that had to be the most unflattering, mouth gaping expression that anyone has ever seen on me. I'm sure it was grotesque and probably the polar opposite of classy, but I recovered.
I looked at him and replied,
"Sir, with all due respect, why do you think I should sit for the FSOT?"
"From what I can tell just by talking with you, you've got what it takes to at least study, sit for it, and possibly make it in."
And yes, at this point I REALLY almost dropped my cake, camera, and drink. Irony has a great way at getting to me in the most unlikely places possible. It's ironic enough that my path has led me to VA and D.C. anyway. Thankfully, I do know what this test is, how extremely difficult it is, and how much I would need to study and consider an IR degree of some sort before even taking the test. I don't know if this is my path or not, because right now I'm dreaming of something more than a master’s, but nonetheless, I was very flattered. It's always up to God, not me.
Another odd occurrence happened to me today while I was in the E.R. this morning at St. Simons. Thankfully, it had a lovely outcome, and the situation could have been a lot worse! For those of you who do not know me well, I am deathly allergic to the smell, steam, or tiny bit of cross contamination with shrimp. My father and I went to get breakfast this morning and, of course, my scrambled eggs were somehow cross-contaminated with shrimp, so I landed myself in the E.R. for most of the morning with my throat mostly shut.
While my nurse was giving me a 4 inch long needle of epinephrine straight into my abdomen, she told me about moving around with her husband, and she, of course, mentioned Richmond (And yes, I was deeply concerned and horrified about this going into my abdomen, but I was later told that I’m too thin to receive a shot of epinephrine anywhere else. While I am thankful that I am a whole lot thinner that I was this time last year, I would have really preferred it in the previous locations, thank you very much. OUCH!). My father asked her if she meant Richmond, Virginia, and she said yes! So after my initial clenching and suppressed scream from the shot (I have a high pain tolerance if that tells you anything), I spoke up about U of R. She couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved Richmond, so that certainly brightened my morning!
Everything has fallen into place for this path, and I have no other person to give credit to except for God. I have an internship that, so far, has shown me that I really do have a passion for law, which certainly does run in my family. I feel that this career will tie my love and compassion for people, my work ethic, and my love for research together beautifully. The last time everything fell into place like this was when I switched my major to English from Music.
And you know what?
I've never regretted it. Not once.
I fell in love with every English class and also regained my passion music all over again. I feel the same way about this major decision in my life!
So, my first stop is the University of Richmond to attain my paralegal certification.
And my second stop?
Hopefully International, National Security, or Cyber Law at a law school in Virginia (yes, I will be declaring residency while I'm at U of R, which anther reason why I'm doing the paralegal side first).
Richmond, here I come.
LSAT, here I come.
A new path that the Lord has so clearly paved for me, here I come.
I can't wait.
I truly believe that God has plans that are beyond the imagination. All you have to do is listen, even when it takes a little bit for you to understand that this is the right path. When you know that you are where you are supposed to be or go, it will be so clear to you that it might actually be comical, like in my case. The Lord always has a trick or two up his sleeve that are always in your best interest.
And, of course, as always, believe in yourself. Don't ever sell yourself short or settle for less than your best in all aspects of your life.