I never really thought about not going to college. I suppose that could be partly my parents' "fault," but I'm positive that if I had expressed a desire to not go to college, they would have fully supported me. As it was, I didn't think about anything else. I think that made it fairly clear that God wanted me to continue my formal education after high school.
I was in Indonesia my last semester of high school, so a lot of my final college plans took place via emails. I originally planned to go to the university that I'm at now, but there's one in the same system that's about forty-five minutes from my hometown. They were offering me more financial aid than this one in the beginning, and they had a major that I figured would work for me. It wasn't exactly what I had been planning on, but it would do. I decided I could at least go there for a couple of years.
However, in June of 2009 things changed. The school I'm at now offered me more financial aid, which made the cost of the two schools equal. With less than two months till the first day of school, I had to make a decision again. I decided on my birthday, July 3, to come to this school. Several things solidified that decision. The director of the school's major choir called me from choir tour in Spain to see if I'd made my final decision. A couple days later the president of the university emailed me to say he was very glad I had decided to attend. (Granted, this is a school of about 1200 students. It was still impressive.) Finally, and most importantly, I felt a great peace about the decision.
I came here with plans to become a Director of Christian Education, a DCE. My mom went to school to be one. So did her brother, and my dad's dad. (A DCE, by the way, usually works with a church's pastor to teach Bible studies, youth groups, Sunday school, confirmation classes, adult Bible studies, and other things within a congregation and sometimes in parochial schools.) I had been interested in that ministry for a while, and felt that it was the most practical choice for me.
However, that all changed fairly quickly when I started dating Joshua, two weeks into the school year, and especially when we got engaged six months later. He is planning on being a Lutheran high school teacher. A DCE does much of their work in the evenings and weekends. A teacher works during the day Monday through Friday. We realized that, were we to both continue in the career paths we'd chosen, we would hardly see each other once we began working.
Neither one of us liked the sound of that.
So--after much thought, prayer, and conversation, I decided to not be in the DCE program. It was not an easy decision, but I felt very much at peace once I'd made it. I'm now double-majoring in English and Theology. At a school where most people are either in education or pre-seminary programs if they're not athletes or scientists (and a lot of people are education and athletes or scientists), I get some funny looks. Especially from older people. "What, you're not education? So what kind of career are you going to get with that major?"
Well, honestly, I plan on being a professional writer. That's one of the main purposes for this blog: practice writing, and a way to get my name "out there" so when I do write a book there will (Lord willing!) be people who know and like how I write and want to actually read a book I've written. (When that happens, I will let you know.) I believe that God has gifted me with the ability to write, and I want to use it to honor and glorify him as well as I can. I'd really like to write devotionals, Bible studies, and Christian fiction. We'll see how that goes.
But the fact is, since I was very young I have wanted to be a wife, mother, author, teacher, and librarian. Wife--check. Author--working on it. Librarian--sort of. I help at the circulation desk at the campus library. :) Mother--someday. Teacher--of our future children. None of those things requires a college education.
My mom was in college for seven years. She worked professionally as a DCE for TWO. She's been an at-home, homeschooling mom ever since--but she also teaches Sunday school, leads a moms' Bible study that meets every week (and has for years), is part of the marriage ministry team at their church along with my dad, sings in the church choir, and does a lot more, all volunteering--but all using the things she learned in college and in her life since then.
That's what I want to do. (But not the seven years of college. No thanks.)
I want to be my husband's ministry partner. I want to implement the principles of Titus chapter 2, helping to teach, train, and encourage younger women as I get older and have more life experience. I want to learn from women who are older and wiser than I. I want to teach our future children about God and how much he loves them, and how they can love him. I want to share the good news of Jesus with everyone in my life.
So...why am I in college?
Because God wanted me here.
After all, this is where I met my husband. That's priceless.
Because, as my dad says, no education is ever wasted, no matter how much it costs.
And because God has work for me. He has plans to teach and bless and shape me. He has plans that I don't know a thing about...but he does. And this is where he wants me to be at this point in my life.