Being the competitive person that I am, seeing that I was 12th in my class at the end of my junior year in high school fueled an absolute fire in me! To me, that wasn't good enough. Don't get me wrong - I had no plans of being valedictorian or saludatorian, but being that close to the Top Ten and not being included really irritated me. So, I took the challenge my senior year to change that statistic. Did I succeed? Yes, I graduated 8th out of around 200! Woohoo! Go me! But, for what? I was mentally drained...tired of studying...had already gotten into my dream school, so what was this last "stamp of approval" going to get me? Burnout! Complete burnout!
Yes, I still went to college - several of them actually. I declared a major and would take classes to work towards that degree and then change my mind. Each time my life situation changed, I changed my intended course of study, causing me to have to practically "start over". I ended up racking up enough credit hours to easily have more than one degree.
For years, I struggled over the fact that I didn't have a piece of paper that showed I completed a degree. I felt like people would automatically assume that I was uneducated and "dumb". This feeling of failure has literally eaten me up through the years. So, in August of 2006 I returned to school - a local community college. I just had to have something that showed I finished something. I was still a single mom at the time, working full-time, and completely in over my head with the school thing. But...I did it! I finished my Associates Degree and graduated in May of 2008.
Next on the agenda...finish the Bachelor's Degree and then maybe a Master's Degree, and why stop there - let's go to law school and really show those naysayers! Who says I'm too old to do this now? Truth be told, I'm not too old. I've heard countless stories of people older than I am returning to school and fulfilling a life-long dream. However, the more I thought I wanted to pursue those dreams of old, the more the dreams vanished. Was I tired again? A little bit perhaps. However, that really wasn't the problem this time. I suddenly began to sense a different calling...one that may not be realized with a stack of paper accomplishments...one that might require internal changes and the building of external relationships. So, what am I really trying to say with all this ramble? I began to sense God's plans for me after all. No - I'm really not ready to share them just yet, as they are still being worked out within me. But...if you hear me say nothing else...hear this:
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
Regardless of what I think I may want, regardless of what a piece of paper says I have or have not accomplished, regardless of the endless hours I spend pursuing a plan that is of my own making - God's purpose WILL prevail. And...you know what? His plan is always better!!! It's taken me a long time to let go of my dreams and simply pursue Him and Him alone. The more I pursue Him, the more He trusts me, and the more He reveals to me. I know who I am in Christ...I don't need a fancy piece of paper and years and years of education to show me that. I'm not saying that I'm done with school, but I could be. I'm just saying that I'm done pursuing the plans that I've made outside of Christ. Moving forward...it's all about Him and what He wants to accomplish in me. To Him be ALL the glory!