Back to school, who me? Who would have ever thought that I would be enrolled in graduate school again and at the age of 51? Never in a million years would I have imagined myself at this point in my life. Actually, I thought I was finished with school after graduating from the University of Minnesota with a masters degree in Special Education. I was content with what I had accomplished and was enjoying a fulfilling career in teaching.
Last spring, as I sat on the couch in complete silence, an idea popped into my head. The idea was that I should go back to school to pursue a specialist degree in education; a degree between masters and a doctorate. To me, that didn’t make sense because I was old, hadn’t been in school since 1994-1995, didn’t have any money to pay for my tuition, and had a full-time teaching career. You see, when I was in graduate school, I didn’t work. Tuition for undergrad was paid by my mom and my graduate tuition was paid by scholarships. How in the world was I going to teach, go to school, and pay my own tuition? I’m sure many people have done it and are doing it, but not me.
As the days and weeks went by, I tried to get the idea out of my mind and spirit. It kept coming up and so I decided to go forward and look into different universities. I asked around and a friend of mine suggested Columbus State University. She said that they have a very good online program there. I went to their website and began the application process, all the while wondering if this was a good decision. Fear began to set in as I got closer and closer to completing the process. Every time I logged in to upload some documents that were required for admissions, my stomach would start to feel queasy and my head would start to get hot. Was I doing the right thing?
Well, I did end up submitting my application and got accepted into the specialist program at Columbus State University. I decided to let my faith be bigger than my fear. I decided to trust God in the process, especially when things just didn’t make sense nor add up. Is it hard working at Atlanta Public Schools and coming from work and jumping on Zoom for a three-credit course? Yes! Is it a challenge paying my bills and at the same time, paying tuition? Yes! Are my weekends filled with reading research articles, doing class assignments, reading case studies, watching videos related to educational research and data, reading chapters and chapters in my coursebook? Yes, but I have decided that I will step out on faith, be obedient, and accept this assignment. I once heard a preacher say… “If your assignment does not draw you to a dependency on God, that assignment is NOT from God.” (Pastor Dharius Daniels, Change Church) I am dependent on Him and will trust Him in the process. My declaration as I go forward on this journey is…”If YOU say so!”
What is God saying to you? Will you give God your yes?