Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: ZENITH (04/21/16)
- TITLE: The Tide Will Turn
By Judy Sauer
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My dream was one I did not even realize existed. Over time, it was unveiled. It took a series of events, and divine intervention, for it to be completed. The path was a long journey. I discovered some of the best travel companions—patience, perseverance, and faith.
My high school years were void of any guidance counseling. The counselors had busied themselves with the trouble makers, and the students who struggled to comprehend the lessons taught.
I fell through the cracks. I was never summoned to the front office by a guidance counselor—someone who could have helped me dream of the world of opportunities and possibilities that awaited me.
Instead, I graduated early, and went to work. My mom told me college was not an option; we had no money. I had no support system at home, that could have guided me to success. Someone cannot teach what they do not know. No one in the family had ever gone to college, except my oldest sister for one semester, who majored in partying.
When we sent our daughter off to an out-of-town university, I cried, and found myself jealous. I didn’t have the chances she had. I was delighted for her, and supported her, yet I felt cheated—cheated from one of life’s experiences. I never attended a college of my choice, or focused on a career path that I selected, nor had goals that kept me focused.
What I had was vastly different; my life had no direction. I did not know what to do, so I worked hard at my various jobs. My success bloomed in ways that some admonished, and others lauded.
God had plans for me, but revealed them very slowly. I felt like an outcast; many of my ambitions were unreachable. I was not eligible to apply for jobs because I lacked a piece of parchment; a college degree.
My coworker, Mark, noticed things were different—how management perceived me. I trained him. He asked why I was not given the new job. Mark never looked down on me. He validated me. Mark recognized what my hard work achieved in me professionally—far more than in the college educated employees that I ran circles around in productivity.
We agreed that people placed a great deal of importance on degrees. I missed out on having something that legitimized my value. Instead, I had something far greater. It was my strong work ethic, and the quality of what I produced to make others be successful. Others approached me with ease, and considered me their “go-to” resource.
No college degree taught people what I delivered every day. No guaranteed performance, or core values, had a college degree promised.
In my late 20s, as I commuted home from work, the radio played a commercial. It forever changed my life. I felt, deep inside, how that nagged whisper, from long ago, was God’s spirit at work in me.
As a single mom, plagued with doubts, I wondered how it could happen. God intervened. This degree was solely for me as an accomplished milestone. I entered an accelerated program in Management and Communications.
Three life lessons I gained, in college:
First, do not allow others to convince me that limitations exist. Check things out; be proactive.
Second, having a degree does not equal job smarts or ability for high performance. I had proven myself with hard work and dedication.
Third, God speaks to us in unusual ways—even radio commercials. Some dreams are only fathomed by God, and revealed in his time.
I reached the pinnacle of my dream in waves—when voted class president, then became Valedictorian, and was capstoned when I gave the commencement speech at our graduation ceremony. These were the culmination of my advanced studies.
Had I not followed those whispers, my self esteem would not be settled, and my dream unfulfilled.
“Never give up, for this is just the place, and time, that the tide will turn.”
—Harriet Beecher Stowe
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