With my confidence boosted by the GMAT score in 2005, I started to think about where to go, when to apply, etc. The first major decision that I had to tackle was to decide whether I should be applying for the coming Fall intake. I could still apply for the Fall 2006 intake, if I had wanted to. It would have been good for me to aim for Fall 2006 for 2 reasons. Firstly, by 2006, I would be 29 years old, considered to be a little old for phd studies. Some B-schools were said to preferred younger phd students (around 24 to 27 on average). Once you hit 30, your chances for admission would be lowered. Secondly, my wife's part-time work arrangement would end in July 2006 - it would be ideal that we move on then.
Eventually, though, I decided to postpone the application by a year. The main reason for this decision was due to my church involvement - I had committed to serve in my church's session until end 2006. I was convicted that I should fulfill this commitment. Although this might work to my disadvantage (the age factor), I believed that God and His work should be first before me and my desires.
It took me some time, maybe a month or two, to pray and discuss with my wife. 2 verses that encouraged me during this time were:
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways" declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts". Isaiah 55:8-9
On hindsight, I thank God for leading me to the decision to postpone my application by a year. For the additional year gave me the needed time to work on some of my weaknesses so as to strengthen my application. (More on this later.)