I am having mixed feelings today....
We had a lunch party in the office today, to celebrate with David, one of our own (he's the very relaxed and happy-looking bloke in the middle of the back row). Last Friday, he had an excellent viva and is now practically done. I am genuinely happy for him; he is a great guy and has worked hard for three and a half years. We actually came in together, and had to suffer through one of those stupid ice-breaker group activities in our beginning orientation. =) So today, we had a feast in his honour: soup, bread and cheese, fruit, couscous salad, peanut butter cookies ala Lorie Cornell (which means double the peanut butter in the recipe), and drinks. Plus, of course, great fellowship and plenty of laughs-- I do have an awesome office, after all. David told us a little bit about his viva, and his plans now... and he told us *If I can do this, anyone can!*
This is where my mixed feelings come in. My first instinct was, *Yeah, right!* I know that I'm not the only one who struggles with feeling stupid, like I won't ever finish this thesis. But even when people like David today say that, I just don't believe it. Lately I have been really struggling with this, and it seems like no matter how much time I put in or how much I try to move forward, I'm just going nowhere. I feel like this will all have been a colossal waste of time and money, and I won't pass even if I get to a point where I have a finished product to turn in. I want to be done around May, but that seems daily more and more impossible. I am stressed about it, which just makes it worse, and I feel like up to this point I've just had everyone fooled-- this is the time when they'll figure out that I'm not as smart as they all think I am.
Yet I know that everyone feels this way; I know that I've been successful in my academic career to this point; I know that my supervisor and friends and family believe in me; I believe that this is where I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to be doing. Does anyone ever really feel competent enough to do things like this? Does anyone ever feel able enough to do what God calls them to? Not on our own, I am pretty sure. I know that I have gotten this far only by the help and grace of God, and that is the only way I will finish. Talking with friends like David makes me a bit jealous, honestly: I so want to be able to actually see myself reaching the point he has, but I just can't see it. Yet at the same time, it should give me hope that I will reach the end. It's how to reconcile those opposing feelings that's the problem.
Please don't tell me that I can do this because I'm smart and wonderful and I've done it before and blah blah blah. I know all that, I really do. And I know that y'all all believe that, and believe in me. I appreciate that so much. But right now, hearing that is not helpful. What I need is to figure out how to get though, how to keep going even though it feels like an impossibility, how to reconcile what I *know* with what I *feel* or at least how to not let the one make the other seem like a lie. God help me-- I need it!