May- it's the time for graduations. But for me it's a time of guilt and grief. It's a reminder that I didn't do what I was supposed to do. It's a flagrant labeling of me as a quitter, failure. I spent six years and thousands of dollars and yet have no piece of paper hanging on my wall with my name on it. Six months from the finish line and I walked away. I pushed so hard for so long to make it happen, but for all the wrong reasons. Finally, I stopped. I could no longer ignore God's tug on my heart. In that moment, for the first time I asked Him what He would have me to do and that changed everything.
When I began my college journey I was assured of my abilities to perform academically. I very proudly stated that I was a college student, where I attended and what I was majoring in (at the time ;) ). When I think back on those years, I was always trying to prove myself. I could do it. I am intelligent. I am capable. I am worthy of this praise. An “A” wasn’t just a score, but a symbol for approval. I tried and I tried, but the Proverb (16:18) rang true that pride goes before the fall. The last program attended was again a last stitch effort to redeem myself from my miserable college performance. It was the logical and safe choice, but not the best choice. I discovered that a pretty solid sign that you’re on the wrong path is when you feel obligated to change or hide who you are for it. Indeed, I had denied myself on the inside to
become pretend to be what I was supposed
to be for this field. I was miserable and cried each day. One day in particular was telling. The instructor had asked us to envision life five
years from then. Every single person said an education or career goal. Me? I
silenced the room and left jaws dropped with my honest response of “home and
family.” I had kept this to myself before then but there was the moment I had
to be truthful or deceitful with myself and them. I kept thinking, “if God created me as I am for
a reason, then what am I doing trying to be or do something else.” So, I
stepped out in faith into the unknown believing that God knows better than I do
and He is trustworthy.
Yet, I still want that beaming look of pride expressed to one who has achieved a college degree. I want that sense of value that is bestowed upon those who have earned and achieved it according to this measure. To be considered accomplished and educated (because the paper deems one educated whereas my time spent in study all those years doesn't). To be given the same respect and regard for choosing wife as others are given for choosing work. In my weakness, I begin to believe that these desires would be satisfied if I went back to the traditional path of college, career, and then family. After all, a homemaker without children is nonsense, right? I’m wasting my time and energy, not to mention holding us back from moving on in life, by choosing this foreign path of homemaking as means of pursuing home and family, right? The conflicting messages easily throw me into a pit of self-pity and despair.
To believe these things and act upon them would be to once again do the wrong things for the wrong reasons. I notice how me-driven or others-driven my motivation was during my college years. The same is true of the (false) desires mentioned above. It’s all about what I could do for what they could give to me. It’s an empty exchange because only God could satisfy those desires of my heart. Only He can give me worth, because He is the one who carefully crafted me to be as I am. And it is only He who deserves such high regard and glory. Who am I? Rather, I am one seeking the Lord and endeavoring to walk by faith. I may one day return to college, but it will be for the right reasons- to gain greater knowledge and skills or be in place for influence to serve Him for His glory.
Even in my weak moments (and this particular month there are many) I know that I can rest in the comfort of my Heavenly Father’s loving embrace. I also know that love is so great that He would give me a husband who so patiently endures my weaknesses and even my sold-out heart for home and family. Blessed.
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