Week 2 has ended, and I am now 14 weeks away from a long-pursued goal. As I run the final lap of my race, I reflect on the many things that have brought me to this time in my life. I can still remember how my sister Melissa during her high school graduation – almost in tears – said, “I want to thank everyone who has helped me get to this point.” The final lap has that effect. And so I remember.
None of this happened like I was planning it. It all started with a 16-year-old high school kid who was just going to a community college in Southwestern Indiana in 2011. The plan was to spend a couple semesters there, get some prerequisites under my belt, figure out a school, and figure out a major. Ivy Tech was an option only for two years, but I was looking seriously at the University of Southern Indiana (USI). Writing was my passion, but I was hesitant to pursue a degree in English because I wanted job openings but not a teaching position; and I definitely didn’t want to spend six or seven years in school for a master’s.
It is peculiar how things unfold. God mysteriously moves in all things, and I could have conceived none of it. USI never happened, nor did I continue on at Ivy Tech. Instead I tried working my way through a cost-effective accelerated program called CollegePlus which had students take CLEP exams and then transfer to an online university for one semester. From the outset, I knew that learning college-level material only at home with no professor would be a challenge. After a few tests – and failing one or two – I knew that getting through was not realistic.
By that time my family had moved to the Phoenix, Arizona area. Phoenix is home to an excellent district of partnered community colleges with easily-transferring credits. My previous community college credits and most of my test scores transferred over. I began pursuing a degree in Business Management because of its appeal to me. It was a general degree that I perceived as presenting job openings with a wide variety of career options. Eventually I would switch to a more demanding degree – Accounting.
The rest unfolded from there. I didn’t end up finishing very much at Ivy Tech, never made it to USI, never finished CollegePlus, didn’t stick with management, and never made it to Arizona State University. It will be a pure miracle if I even end up with a bachelor’s degree in anything even remotely related to business! If this isn’t a testament to God’s plans prevailing over man’s, I don’t know what is. I never planned Arizona. I did not plan on meeting my future wife and getting married while I was still in school. The beauty of God’s design is that sometimes He wrecks our plans so that He can enact better ones – His own. Had I not made it out of Indiana, I may have never finished school, and I wouldn’t have met my beautiful wife Megan.
Where I am is not where I once thought I would be; it is much better. And that leads me to believe also that where I am going is not where I think I will go. It will be much better. There is a life that I have not been able to live, friends I have not been able to see, and needs I have not been able to meet because until now I have been completing the step to the next step. As that finishes, God will take me to be His light in new places to new people while doing new things. I can imagine no higher honor than to be used in any way by the King of this universe, so with great joy I lay down my life to be used by Him to do His will wherever His providence will take me.