“So when are you graduating?” was the question that would make me cringe and my heart sink. It was almost worse than being asked why I was still single at family Christmas parties. Last year I decided that I would be taking an extra semester at the University of Kentucky in pursuit of a teaching career. I spent a ridiculous amount of time analyzing how this decision would change my life and what others would think of me. I had planned on graduating college in four years, getting a job, and living the dream… because that’s what’s expected right? I was worried that others would think I was lazy and that I was just trying to stretch out my “glory years.” A victory lap didn’t seem so victorious in the moment.
After scheduling my classes around this 4½-year path in college I had to find peace with my decision. Sure it wasn’t a life or death sort of thing… but this was still a big deal to me. I wouldn’t be graduating with all of my friends, I would be on a different path, my bank account wouldn’t love it, and there was a lot of uncertainty about the future hiding behind that semester. So how did I let the pros outweigh the cons and find peace with a December 2017 graduating date? Well I just had to trust God, duh!
There should never be shame in taking a different path from others, and there isn’t any failure in it either! There should be joy in every season of life whether you’re a freshman in college, graduating senior, or mother of three. We aren’t meant to live a cookie cutter life, and in fact… it should be discouraged!
So what did an extra semester mean for me? It meant I had time in the summer to travel to Honduras where my heart was full and the Lord revealed Himself in big ways. I have a schedule that allows me to make time for investing in real and genuine relationships with people. I have time to be more involved in the church where I have found more joy than I even thought possible. Sure, I don’t know what December 2017 will look like for me… but I know that right now and right here life is pretty incredible. God knew that if my schedule was jam packed with classes and graduating in time I wouldn’t be leading a life group, I would have never gone to Honduras, and I probably wouldn’t even be sane. I chose a path that wasn’t my top pick, and though I wasn’t very proud of it at first, there was definitely a plan much bigger than what I had in store for myself. So if you find yourself at a crossroads in life and have to make a big choice, just lean on God and trust in His plan for your life. There will always be victory when He’s taking the lap with you.