Last week I registered for the final two classes of my master’s degree program. It’s completely surreal to me that come May 2016 I will have a master’s degree, especially since I never thought I would go to college. In high school I wasn’t interested in academics, and unlike my naturally genius husband, I have to work really hard to make decent/good grades. While most of my friends went straight from high school to college, I was busy figuring things out.
What in the world am I going to do?
That was the resounding thought that played over and over in my mind. I was 20 years old at this point and it had been two years since I graduated high school. All I had to show for it was a few insignificant jobs, a move to Laguna Beach, CA, many mistakes, and some unmentionables. I did enroll at a stenographer school in New Orleans during that two-year span with the hopes of learning the trade and becoming a court reporter, but I quickly decided that wasn’t for me. So, I withdrew and went on my way.
My grades in high school were average, and the thought of college was terrifying. I didn’t think I was smart enough, and certainly couldn’t afford to attend. I was lost and confused, and then I gained employment at Jesse Duplantis Ministries working as a data entry clerk.
And it was a breath of fresh air.
This was my first true office job and the atmosphere was wonderful. I loved the structured 9-5 job and really enjoyed the company of my co-workers. I was content and happy. One day an older co-worker inquired about my future, and I told her that I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. Then she said something that would change my life forever.
“Why can’t you go to college? You are smart, and you know that you can do anything…right? You truly can. You just have to believe that.”
Was she serious?
Could I really do anything?
That got me thinking…if this woman believed in me, why didn’t I believe in myself? She stirred up hope and made me believe I could dream big. And not only dream big, but succeed big!
It wasn’t long after that conversation that I began searching for a college to attend. I found Regent University, a Christian school in Virginia, and applied to their distant learning program. My GPA barely made the cut, but I was provisionally accepted and began my college career in January 2007! I started out as a Communications major, but God had other plans, and I ended up graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2012. It took me 6 years, but I finished.
The morning of the commencement ceremony, 8 months pregnant with Arabella.
Now, I’m almost finished with my master’s, and honestly I don’t think I’m stopping there. My desire is to go to law school, and while the timing has yet to work out, I have faith that one day I will be a lawyer. I want to fight injustices and speak up for those who are unable to speak for themselves (Proverbs 31:8-9). I want to protect babies and prosecute criminals and rehabilitate troubled youth. I want all of that and more.
All of thisbecause someone believed in me.
My extended family and friends believed in me, too, but it was my co-worker who got through to me. I don’t even remember her name, but God used her in a BIG way. I am so thankful for this sweet woman who reminded me that I could achieve greatness. Sometimes all it takes is a little kindness and encouragement to change a life. Remember that the next time you’re given the opportunity to lift someone up with your words or actions. You never know what the outcome will be!