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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I. Am. Free. !

The last papers have been turned in, the last presentations have been made, the last final has been taken--I am free! My undergraduate work came to a close today, after my last final. This has been such a long journey! I am so thankful that God has allowed this to finally happen for me in my life. On Saturday, I will be recognized as a College Graduate....finally!

When I left high school in 19-- (something, something,) I set out to be a nurse. Chemistry class was not my friend, so I found another major--Occupational Therapy. My college career was off and on several times through these years, due to cancer, marriage, a child, etc. In fact, after having Leukemia and all the chemotherapy I had for that, I gave up on my dream of going back to college. I was convinced that I would never be able to do college work again.

The years passed as I raised my son, volunteered at his school, and tried to keep up with him. When my son was in 3rd grade, I began substitute teaching at his elementary school. Four years of substituting was enough for me. When K. started high school, I started thinking about what I could be doing while he was so busy. I decided to try one class at the community college to see if I could handle it. I started with Spanish as my only class! It all started coming back to me...

I soon realized that I could finish my Associates degree and move on to finishing my Bachelor's. May 2010 I graduated! I was finally able to say that all the years of work I had done in school were completed. No one could take those away from me.

While I prepared to enter college again, I found a program that would apply some of my work toward a Liberal Studies degree. May 2011 finds me ready to graduate with my Bachelor of Science degree...Dreams can come true!

However, I never planned anything beyond getting the degree. What would I do with that? The answer is Graduate School. My major for my Master's degree has changed a few times, but now I am settled into the Master's of Counseling, continuing at the same university. The real significance of this is that I am looking into the future now. For so many years, I have not let myself think past one year at a time. This is due to being so close to death, and knowing that it could all be over at any time. God has healed a part of me that now allows me to look forward and make plans for the future. What a blessing!

So, for now, I will do some observations and volunteer work during the summer, and hit the books hard in the Fall. I will be working toward a career this time, not just trying to finish a degree that had started many, many years earlier.

I am free. I have a real sense of not being stuck in the past anymore. I thank God for His wisdom in my life, because all of it has been for this time. I have been through a lot, and now is my time! I am so grateful for that!

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