January 2013, I started taking classes at night in pursuit of my Master's Degree. People had always encouraged me to go back but I wanted to wait until I knew that the time was right. I received some scholarships and had close to two years of teaching under my belt so I felt like I could do it! Well, it was easy at first and I couldn't have been more thankful.
I knew that I needed to go back while I was single and had nothing holding me back and I will forever be grateful for that decision. So, I took one/two classes each semester + at least one class each Summer Session until I was SICK of school. It really wasn't "horrible" but I was tired of school and was wanting to be done with it all!
ENTER: (last semester) After moving home from Southaven, buying my new house, and starting my 4th year of teaching at a new school, I was BEYOND ready to be done with Grad School. I took a semester off because I wanted to get my house in order and not have to worry about anything else. I won't regret that decision EVER, but it did make my spring semester VERY difficult. I signed up for two classes in the Spring and that would allow me to take my Comprehensive Exam and graduate in May! And.. I had to ride the OUT (Oxford/University Transit) bus to class because of the decal that I purchased from Ole Miss. To say the least, I wasn't excited but I quickly realized what a blessing that bus was.
While teaching my sweet Kinders, I quickly realized how hard taking two night classes was going to interfere with my everyday life. I was VERY stressed, and quickly became a worse procrastinator that I originally had been. I found myself working on grad school assignments during planning periods at school. It was not a pretty time.
So, April came along and in the middle of projects, tests and all that jazz, it was time for Comps to be completed and turned in. I had a week to go over the questions(3) and type my knowledge that had been obtained in three years. Want to talk about intimidated? That is exactly what I was.... I turned them in on a Thursday and waited and waited for the results.
Now, let me remind you that if you don't pass comps, you don't graduate. But, they give you two chances to complete the test. Finally, on a Friday afternoon around 3:00, I was standing in the hallway at school and I got the email:
Y'all, I've never felt this way in my entire life! I am a VERY positive person and I fully believe that everything happens for a reason. But, in this moment, I was defeated, I doubted myself and I was very disappointed. I texted my Mom and my Best because I couldn't face calling anyone just yet. They both encouraged and told me that everything would be okay. Deep down I knew this but I honestly wasn't so sure.
Over the next couple of weeks, I emailed professors, asked advice and honestly WORRIED MYSELF TO DEATH about something that I had no control over. I was embarrassed but most of all, I was concerned about what would happen "if". I quickly learned that the "if" in our lives is what is so hard. I prayed more than I have in years, I cried, and I worried more than I have in years!
Thankfully, I have an awesome support group of friends and family that prayed me through. I turned my second round of comps in and prayed for the best! The week of Finals, stressed as I was, one of our professors wanted to treat us to South Depot on the square for our last night of class. After presenting our projects, my phone buzzed and I realized that the email was from Ole Miss. Talk about sick.. I could have thrown up just thinking about it. I waited until we had left and opened the email:
I prayed, I cried, I worshiped and then I made my phone calls! Everyone was so excited and I was relieved! Even though, I knew it would work out the way it was supposed to, I wanted it to work out in my favor and it did! God is so good!
I had plenty of time to contemplate the WHY of the situation. I truly believe that I needed to be humbled in the activities of my life. I had put so many things ahead of God and he wanted to rope me back in and say, "Lauren, come back! You can't do this all on your own. You have to follow my lead." Goodness, I'm thankful for a God that loves me enough to show me when I need to STOP and listen to him!
That weekend, I walked across the Tad Pad stage, and received my Masters Degree! So thankful for "My Master" who led me each step of the way. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
I have been praying for God to allow me to find joy in the journey. Whatever season of life you are in, whether that be on the mountain top or in the trenches, I hope you are finding peace in walking the path God has laid out for you. Not all the moments are joyful, but I think we should seek beauty in the mundane and express gratitude in the difficult. The journey is not always easy, but it definitely is worth it. Keep pushing on all you beautiful warriors of Christ! - Kuntzr