Discouragement is just a state of mind

After almost 20 years outside of a classroom, I started back to school a few weeks ago.  I was nervous, but very excited.  I knew that, at 39-years-old, I would be among the oldest in my classes.  That didn’t bother me though.  I have always enjoyed learning, and with a definite end goal, I was ready to get started.

I knew going back to school would be difficult.  After all, I work full- time, have commitments to church, and of course my family.  Balancing it all has not been easy thus far, but I’m allowing myself a bit of a learning curve this first semester in school.

I have goals laid out that each build on the previous goal.

1.  Associate in Science degree from the community college I am currently attending.

2.  Bachelor’s in Social Work from the university I will transfer to, along with certifications in religious social work, and drug and chemical dependency.

3.  Masters in Clinical Social Work, with a focus on medical social work.

4.  Fulfill experience requirements so that I can qualify for goal #5 . . . 

5.  Obtain employment as a medical social worker with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

I have goals.  I will reach these goals.  I knew from the moment I first saw that beautiful, bright hospital that I was supposed to be there.  I needed to be there.  God did not give me a passion for St. Jude for no reason.

But dreams require sacrifice, hard work, and lots of faith.  My family is dealing with the sacrifice, losing much of my attention at home to homework.  The hard work is coming with two work-intensive classes.  There have been several times in the last week alone where I have considered dropping one (or both) of my classes.  The feeling of being overwhelmed quickly translates to discouragement.  That’s where faith comes in though.

I am where God wants me to be.  He will get me through it.  He will will get me through the math class that I am struggling to understand.  He will get me through the English class that has me struggling to remember how to write.  God will see me through, and of that I have absolute faith.  He did not pave the way for me to get back in school just so he could let me fail.

That’s not to say that discouragement won’t be trying to hitch a ride to class in my colorful backpack with my pretty, pink calculator.  I may even allow discouragement to hop out of my backpack once in a while.  But always present will be these five goals that will remind me to pack discouragement back away.

Discouragement is part of the road, but I know where God wants this road to go, and its destination does not involved allowing discouragement to make me quit.

Until next time . . .


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