I know that was true in my case. When I was in school all those years ago, I wanted desperately to prove to myself and others that I could succeed. I was not considered "smart" in those days. I wasn't a good student, and I didn't have a good academic record. However, I was interested in learning -- I just didn't know that learning for interest was something we could and should pursue. The point of education, as I was told, was to secure a good job -- not gain knowledge and through that knowledge -- find understanding and meaning. No, that was wasted effort. A good job -- that was the end result of a college education.
I wasn't interested in a good job back then. I had just left a very good job to go back to school full-time. I wanted an education, to be an educated person. This was my end goal, my planned outcome. In the end, literally, I achieved that result. I studied Humanities, and received a fabulous liberal education. I studied classical works of art, literature and music; I learned world history, and then I put everything into proper context. I received what was at one-time the "norm" for college education -- I broad liberal immersion into Western European culture and history.
I wanted to continue on, to get a Masters degree and a PhD so that I could become a college professor. Life intervened, as I have blogged about before, and I ended up following the path of marriage and motherhood. I don't regret that decision -- I am blessed beyond my imagination -- but there was something inside of me that suffered sadness at having to say good-bye to that dream. I believed it was a God-thing. I believed that God had permitted me to return to school to complete my Bachelor's degree, and to develop skills in academic pursuits. I was not a good student, but in my Humanities program, I scored off the chart. I earned A's and A+'s in all my courses, I was to be nominated for a fellowship award. I was on track to go on to graduate school -- Stanford, Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz -- for advanced studies. This was not me, it wasn't me at work, earning these grades and the recognition that came with them. No, this was a God-thing, a God-inspired, God-fused, God-lead opportunity, and I was just the recipient of His grace.
Giving up that dream was difficult. There were times when the desire would swell back up in my heart, and I would burst into tears. I recall one time when I was so down, so depressed, and so dejected. I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror and looking at myself. I was sad. I was miserable. I felt so defeated. I cried out to the Lord and I can remember the words I uttered to Him: "Lord, why doesn't this dream go away. Why do I still think about it, dream about it, desire it? I surrender this feeling to you. I know that you have called me to be a wife and mother, and that my focus is on raising my child, teaching him at home, and giving him the opportunities to become the person of your choosing. I let go of this desire now, and I trust it to you for your care."
I sighed, and I walked away. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that some five-six years later I would be accepted, enrolled, and have started doctoral courses. Here I am, I am ready to begin this exciting adventure, and I am filled with such appreciation of all that the Lord has done for me. You, Lord, are GREAT. You, Lord, are the KEEPER OF ALL YOUR PROMISES. I love you, Lord, and I praise your Name today, for you are Good all the time, all the time -- you are so very GOOD.
Here I sit today, thinking about all of this, and giving Him praise. I am here because of God's goodness -- His grace and favor resting upon me. Yes, I have lost much in my life to be here. I am no longer married. I am a single mother, raising a young man, and doing the best I can do to keep everything under control. I am about to move into my parents home to help care for them. I may be getting a promotion at work (Lord willing) that would offer me more money, more responsibility and more authority. I am in control of my finances, and I am starting to move out from the small circle of influence, and into a much larger pool, a much broader measure of community. I am in awe of what is happening, and I soberly reflect on what has happened in the past. I see His hand on my life, and I know that His timing is everything. I know that His plans are set and they come to pass in His own way, and in His own time. I rest in the knowledge that everything does work together for good -- and that I am called to work for His Name and His Glory. I am resting in all that He is in my life, and I know that no matter what comes today, I am good. I am so very good.
Praise be to God, the Father; and to the Son, Jesus the Christ; and to the Holy Spirit. I give the TRIUNE God-head, the THREE IN ONE all my praise, honor, and glory this day and forever more. Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah (Pause and calmly think about that!)