I have a knot in my stomach. I am freaking out. I feel unprepared. But yet, I am beyond ready to begin. No, I am not running a marathon. Although, that would be incredible. I am about to embark on the closest thing to a marathon in my life: I am about to take on my bachelor’s degree with full force.
It took a bit to get here. In fact, according to “my plan,” I was supposed to graduate in May 2016. Fast forward, it is August 2016 and I am still twelve classes away from getting my undergraduate degree. In the time since I graduated from high school, I looked into four different colleges. I took a year off. I got married.
It was only in the last six months, I found a school I loved that also offered my degree. Now, I slowly, work towards my degree one class at a time. Literally. A part of me thought I would be that person that would finish school with some loans, find a job, find a guy, and get married.
School, of all things, has shown me that my plan is not always God’s plan. My education was the one area in life where I really felt like I had control and a foundation. It was the one area of my life I could say, “Even if nothing else makes sense, I know how my education will pan out.”
I don’t know why that is exactly. I think I may have thought I had control of my education because school comes easily to me. I enjoy learning. I enjoy writing papers. I enjoy reading new information. Tests aren’t too difficult for me. I hardly ever struggle in school. When I do, I am usually able to figure out a solution. You get the point. I am what most would call, “The typical, successful student.”
However, I think my persona as a student was the very thorn in my collegiate journey. I hit a point in my undergraduate education where I went to school simply to get the degree and not to learn. I simply wanted to be done because almost everyone I went to school with was. But, truthfully, I don’t think that was the case at all. I think I just needed an excuse outside of my selfish intentions and desires. I wanted the degree for the wrong reasons.
I think it was in those selfish moments that God began to show me that He had different plans for my life, including how and where I learned. At first, I didn’t like knowing that God had different plans for me. Yeah, I said that. But, as I reflect on all the blessings God has given me in the four plus years since I graduated high school, I know I am right where God had planned for me to be all along.
Now, I am grateful for where my education has taken me. I found a good fit for my needs and abilities. And although it took me a bit to come to terms with it, I am extremely grateful I am only taking one class at time—even if it means studying in the summer.
Taking one class at a time has humbled me. It has shown me that God is in control. He always was, always is, and always will be. It has brought me back to my roots and allowed me to enjoy what I am studying. I mean, after all, I chose the degree path out of all the nearly limitless options for a reason. I owe it to myself and my future to deeply and honestly learn. And for someone like me, that means slowing down.
There’s a wonderful notion in taking education slowly. It reminds me why education is important. It allows me to really stop and think, “Why am I studying what I am studying?” Most importantly, it allows me to make time for other important parts of my life, like my relationship with God, my marriage, and my sweet friends and family.
I tell you this: For the next two years, non-stop, you’ll find my head in a textbook. I may juggle a nearly full-time job that whole time. I may move. I don’t know. That’s all for God to ordain and for me to trust Him with. His plan is far bigger and better than mine.