Sunday, July 6, 2014

Reflections before my first day of school

Today, I've been busy getting our house ready for my sister to get here.  She just graduated from college and gets to be full time Aunt for the next two weeks while I, for the first time since 2002, return to full time student status. 

Last night, I attended a "social" hosted by the second year students in my program.  My husband and daughter attended with me to show support and to get a glimpse of what this part of my world is going to look like, who the players will be, and what the setting is.

The players, to my knowledge, are all younger than me.  They are interesting, educated, diverse, and, in perhaps a few cases (but not many because we're mostly psychology nerds and do-gooders), a bit pretentious.  The latter is really hard to judge in severity, but since we all border on pretention at times, I believe it's a safe assumption.  The setting is one of the most beautiful and historically significant colleges of education in the US.  And this part of my world is going to look nothing like anything I'd ever imagined. 

If you had walked with me through the last year, you would have seen my disbelief turned awe and gratitude that this could be the plan for my life.  But I will say it again.  In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina washed away my plans for Graduate School, I never could have imagined the plan God had for my education.  Had I known, I'd like to think I would have waited more patiently.  In reality, I think the knowledge would have been too much for me, and I would have run scared, believing I didn't belong among (what I would consider) the educational elite. 

Maybe I'm crazy, and it's not that big of a deal.  And maybe to some people, it isn't.  But for me, it is the cause of faith, awe and wonder at what God can do with a willing heart.

The image that keeps coming to mind as I type this is from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  During the "introductions" in the beginning of the factory tour, Willy gives a run down of the basic integrity of each child.  One is greedy and fat and ate chocolate until he got a ticket, one is competitive and will do anything to win, and another is spoiled and gets anything she wants by pouting, whining, complaining, manipulating, etc.  Those character traits are what led to their presence at the factory that day.  But when he turns to Charlie, Willy says,  "And you... well you're just lucky to be here, aren't you?"

Yes, yes I am. 

And just to be clear--I'm not likening any of my cohorts to any of the other children at the factory.  But the comparison between Charlie and I is very real for me in this moment. 

I am "lucky" to be here in so many ways.  God has given me a gift.  And it's not for me.  This education is not for me.  And while we're at it, this life is not for me.  It is a gift of God meant to be shared with those He puts in my path.  That is how I hope to live this out. 

So for now, I will breath deeply, chat with my sister for a bit, go grab some almond milk from the store so we have it for smoothies in the morning, and take one day, one hour, and one breath at a time. 

Thanks for caring enough to walk with me through these thoughts. 

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