Mary F. Davis
Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Molecular Biology
I always hear the phrase, “When one door closes, another will be opened.” In my life, this truism has been more like, “Sometimes you get picked up and taken through a door you don’t know exists.” I feel very strongly I have been blessed in ways I had no idea existed, especially when it comes to education.
At the beginning of my senior year of undergraduate work, I applied to graduate schools alongside my new husband and with his encouragement. I was excited and it felt like the right thing to do, but I approached the process with trepidation, wondering if this was something that would fit into what I wanted to do with my life and if I could do it. As I started my PhD program, I fell completely in love with it.
Halfway through, my husband finished his master’s degree and we decided to move across the country for him to pursue a PhD with a world expert in his field. There was not an opportunity for me to transfer schools, and my program was opposed to me making the move. Living apart for years was not an option and after many prayers and visits to the temple, our impression was that I was not supposed to quit my schooling. That was it. No directions as to how to make it work. I saw no doors down that path that could be opened. So we prayed some more, visited the temple, and talked with parents, church leaders, and friends and came up with a plan of how I could finish from across the country. Eventually, my PhD advisor miraculously agreed.
The next years were challenging, but filled with so many blessings. Numerous opportunities were placed in front of us; or rather, we were placed directly in the middle of opportunities we didn’t know existed. The path we walked during our education was not one I had ever fathomed and I don’t think I would have had the courage to choose it beforehand if I had known the full path.
Looking back, I am overwhelmed with the knowledge that my husband and I are on the path that was designed for us and that it was worth the sacrifices. Not only have we both been able to pursue education opportunities, but our relationship is stronger than I ever imagined. Our children have been exposed to opportunities, cultures, and friends that have enriched their lives. They are little, but they can grow up knowing they are in a family that will always strive to be open to the promptings of the Holy Ghost on our path to happiness and a family that will remain strong by sacrificing for each other.
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