After 10 years… it’s done!

Yesterday I wrote my final, final undergraduate exam. It was the completion of a long term project that started 10 years ago when I began my post secondary education in 2002.  After seven years of homeschooling my children through their early years of elementary school, I enlisted them in public school and I enrolled at the local university college. It was a long journey from then to now and the realities of family responsibilities and limited funds occasionally inhibited my scholastic goals.

I enjoyed the years that were filled with family-orientated activity, yet I was able to take enough college courses to satiate my love for learning. Then, two years ago, I started taking a full course load and commuting 96 km to a university where I worked to complete my degree. Yesterday was my last day and as I took the familiar drive to the university I was listening to my Bible on CD and in Ephesians I contemplated the point that God has a specific call on everyone’s life.

Ephesians 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Now, I know it doesn’t say “some to be students”, but the truth is that God calls and sets out directions for each person, and they are different for different people.This has been very obvious in my case; not many women my age are back at university!  

I know that I am an anomaly. If I had a dollar for every person who has said to me “I’m glad it is you, I have no desire to go back to university” I would have a substantially smaller student loan. For others, the idea of me pursuing post-secondary education was met with responses that ranged on a continuum with ‘unpractical’ at one end, to ‘down-right-selfish’ at the other end. But I also had encouragement throughout the past decade.

Particularly I am grateful for the instruction from a dear friend who gave me guidance in truth at a pivotal time. At about the 3 year mark I almost quit. In fact I had quit. My schooling was causing too many problems and costing too much money, so I didn’t take any classes for two terms. I felt a part of me disappear and although I continually brought this before the Lord I couldn’t get the desire for more schooling out of my heart and head. Erroneously I believed that God was asking me to give up my schooling. You know… the old kill-joy, traditional subservient view that if you like something too much it must be wrong; especially if it costs money and time that could be devoted to others (especially your kids and husband).  Then, in a conversation with this friend I heard the truth. After a tearful conversation in which I had just confessed that I was struggling with giving up my dream of further education, she said bluntly: “Doris, go back to school.” I did. And my kids and husband were in total agreement and support!

Now I know that this has all been part of the process of being faithful to who God has called me to be.  As I graduate, I will be surrounded with some fellow graduates who were in elementary school when I started! But, I won’t think about that. I know I am an anomaly. But I also know that I am doing what God has called me to do. He gave some to be this and some to be that. I am so grateful with the opportunity to be what he gave me these past ten years!