As I approached the 3 yr. mark of the ending of my marriage; I began to ponder the question, “What do YOU want to do with your life?” I was free to make whatever choices I wanted and for the first time, in a place in my life where I only had to consider myself in my decision-making. I must admit, it felt strange to be so liberated. But, it also felt good at the same time. The thought of going to college, AGAIN, came back to me. I had tried so many times in the past and never followed through or was inconsistent for one reason or another. Yet, that aspiration never left me. I always wanted a college degree. At the time, I was a month away from my 49th birthday and absolutely terrified at the thought of returning to school. So many negatives began to sweep through my mind – What if I start and stop again? What if I don’t do well? What if the roads are bad in the winter? On and on I went with excuse after excuse! But, after talking to my daughters about my lifelong dream and receiving their support and encouragement…I made up my mind that I was going to DO IT! I made the call, went for orientation and enrolled in Spring Arbor University’s Adult Professional Studies Program to pursue an Associates of Science in Business (ASB) degree. I knew this was the right choice and perfect fit for me as it was a private Christian college, small class sizes, meetings one night a week, and the professors were Business professionals themselves and many of them earned their degrees at mid-life and personally understood the challenges of adult non-traditional students like myself. I felt right at home! Often, I was the oldest person in the class, but I saw that as a plus because I brought to the class experience and knowledge gained from 32 years in the work force. I was able to contribute in meaningful ways.
I LOVED learning, always have, and I approached my studies with a commitment and dedication that wasn’t there before. What was different? I was older, “seasoned” and at a different place in life, able to focus earnestly on my studies, learned the value of education through my years in the work force and I needed to feel a sense of accomplishment as a person. Best of all, between work, school, homework, ministry and time with family; I had a very full life! No time for focusing “backwards”…my future was before me. I was, and still am, an excellent student. I completed the 2-year program with all A’s and (1) B! However, I chose not to receive the Associate’s degree, but to continue on to a Bachelor’s programs in Social Work (BSW). I am currently a Junior in my BSW program with a GPA of 3.8.
At age 52, I now have a life plan of completing college and changing my career to a Human Services position after retiring from the University of Michigan. I am praying for God to direct me to the proper internship (required in my Senior year) that will lead to an employment opportunity that allows me to utilize my 23 years of Christian ministry experience and Social Work degree to help people with natural and spiritual needs.
It is never too late to do what you’ve always wanted to do with your life. I met with a colleague, who is also a Therapist, and shared with her that I WISHED I had gone to college as a young person, but for some reason I just didn’t want to. She said “You weren’t READY then and wouldn’t have had the level of success you are experiencing now.” She was right, I wasn’t ready, although everyone around me wanted me to be. Funny how the journey of life prepares us to become the person God created us to be! That is what I feel has happened in my life. The worst thing I had ever experienced was not wasted, but God found a way to make it useful to not only position me to fulfill my dream, but HIS purpose for my life…ministering to the needs of the “least of those” in our world.
Romans 8:28 (AMP) – ” And we know that GOD CAUSES all things to work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called for His plan and purpose. (biblegateway.com)
Divorce – hmmm…it can be a bitter ending of your life or a NEW BEGINNING! What’s your pleasure?