…Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. Matthew 17:20 (NLT)
Never in a million years could I have predicted how toxxy-turby my life would turn after starting my Masters program at Grand Canyon University! Truth be told, I thought this girl had been through enough in the previous years. It was now my time for a break. Somehow I must have thought I would get to dance through the tulips on my way to graduation day. But oh no…at times, some of the challenges I faced along the way was more like walking over hot coals.
Nonetheless, God was faithful through it all. He gave me the ability to withstand every trial. I only needed to be determined, persistent, and tenacious. I had to be willing to believe and trust the God of all grace against all odds. I had to keep my game face on…right to the very end!
Because the Lord God helps me, I will not be dismayed; therefore, I have set my face like flint to do his will, and I know that I will triumph. Isaiah 50:7 (TLB)
Allow me to give some of what I experienced while pursuing my Masters degree:
- My daughter’s health seriously declined. Her lung function dropped to as low as 24% sometimes, which is a little too close to zero for my liking. At one point she had even developed cystic fibrosis related diabetes. She was hospitalized up to 6 times each year, and I stayed at her bedside every single night (doing homework on my laptop and on the family room computer, when it was available.) Much of our family life revolved around her treatments that were three times a day, medication regimens, and whatever else it took to keep her as healthy as possible.
- I was still grieving the loss of my mother. She had made her debut in Heaven just a few months earlier, after experiencing an unexpected massive heart attack. I thought I was past it, but grief actually did not kick in until I was just a few months into my program.
- Also, just a couple of months after starting my program, my marriage unravelled…again. We had reconciled after a two year separation. And now three years later, here we go again. It took everything in me to keep it together from day to day. This time, no reconciliation was in sight. Something I thought I would never experience became a reality. We were divorced. I was now grieving the loss of my marriage of 15 years.
- I was financially exhausted, but was unwilling to surrender any of the blessings God had given to our family. So I took on additional part time jobs to make ends meet. At one particular time; I was working for the school district as a library clerk, JC Penney as a sales associate, overseeing after school detention two days a week, conducting an after school tutoring program, assisting with the evening study program, and doing secret shopping for banks…and then still had to go home and get my homework done each night.
- It took me much longer than the 18 months designed to complete the program, but that was not going to be a deterrent. There were times I had to take breaks from school to refocus and regroup. But I was determined to stay the course…right to the very end…And I did!
- After finishing all of the academic requirements, all of my hard work was in jeopardy. My school district would not allow me to take a leave of absence to do my student teaching. And I could not afford to quit my job. I had to trust God’s plan. And I did.
Yes…a lot of “I’s” you read throughout this story. But truth be told, “I” could not have achieved what I did with “Him.” Jesus showed up for every class, was my buddy on every assignment, and my biggest cheerleader every step along the way. Any time I got weary, that still, small voice would begin to raise up like a roar within me saying, “DAUGHTER, YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS IN ME!”
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
And you can too!
What have you been dreaming about? What have you been pursuing? What have you been working toward?
What obstacles have you faced trying to pursue your dreams? What mountains had the nerves to present themselves and stand in your way?
Well, this is your day to rise up and take authority over anything that has come to threaten or to overturn the plan than that God has for you. You have the ability to tell whatever it is to move…
No, set your face like a flint and tell that mountain, “GET TO STEPPIN!”
Know that God has you every step of the way. And you have been given the strengths and fortitude to press on.
So whatever it is that you have had on the back burner (a degree, a ministry, a business, etc.) call it to the forefront…and begin to forge ahead.
Though I had to endure some of the most difficult and traumatic times, along the way, I get to dress in this fancy smancy robe…hood draped across my back, beautiful multi-colored cord around my neck, cap adorned with a tassel, a piece of paper held in my hand that states…
Yolanda Chevette Perry has satisfactorily “pursued” the studies, passed the examinations and complied with all other requirements therefore, the degree of Master of Education – Secondary Education with all rights, privileges and honors thereunto appertaining (whatever all that extra stuff means…but it sure does sound good!). Given in Phoenix, March, Two Thousand Thirteen (Hmmmm…God’s added bonus was to have the degree backdated to when I actually finished the academic requirements!)
And aside from all this, the best thing of all is that my former husband and I are still very much family. We get along very well as co-parents. And I still have an amazing relationship with his family as well (I call them my forever family).
Having shared what God carried me through…I am now rooting for YOU! And I would love for you to share your stories when you make it to your finish line too! Please come back and share.
Lord, thank you for giving me the fortitude and strength to not just stay the course, but also to master it! In Jesus’ Name. AMEN.
If you enjoyed today’s blog, you will love the 1 minute devotions shared @ Speak 2 My Heart by Yolanda! Click on the hyperlink to LIKE the page now…Enjoy!
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