I was going to update yesterday's post after I received an invitation from the school I had a phone interview with - I had not expected that invite for another week - but today's message makes that a moot point. I received a phone call from the Ph.D. coordinator at Texas Tech University letting me know I have been officially accepted. He also let me know what my compensation would be as a doctoral student (they call it salary, other schools call it a stipend), which makes the offer complete. I will receive a letter later today with all he said in writing, but it is nice to have the personal touch of a direct contact.
So, I now know where I will be headed next fall: Lubbock, TX, and Texas Tech University. We loved our visit. My wife made a great connection with the wife of my future professor, and I connected well with several. We loved the town, the church, the temple (it will be great to have it only a few minutes from our home), and really everything about it. Most importantly, I prayed about it the entire time I was at my in-laws, and I received a blessing from my father-in-law. In that blessing, I clued in to the word "guidance" as much as anything else. The very next day, one of my professors replied to my email to encourage me strongly to accept the offer if I felt right about it, and another went from telling me to wait to agreeing that I should probably accept it. I already felt the answer was to accept, but with the blessing and those two emails I saw more than coincidence. I saw an answer to prayer.
So, in a few months, we will move to Texas, one of the last places in the country I ever imagined living. We'll be among the thousands of windmills, the tumbleweeds, and the flatland, but most importantly, we'll be among people who care about us and want to see me succeed. I never imagined my search would come to such a great place, and yet here I am, grateful for the guidance I have received from mentors and friends, but also thankful I - no, we - had the faith to follow the Lord's will a few months ago.