Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Degree Purpose

If you are a college student, then you have mostly likely encountered the following question from well meaning friends or relatives, "So what do you plan to do with your degree?" I like to rephrase that question. Instead of answering to what I will do with my degree, I would like to answer, "I like to think of my degree, not in terms of what I will do with it, but what it has done and is doing for me." At this point you will get puzzled looks, in fact you may have a puzzled expression on your face now. Let me explain.
I began the process of earning my degree through CollegePlus as an exercise in trust. I was scared by the phrase, "Credit by examination." I have always had to work hard to maintain a good grade. Studying and testing has never come easily for me. The idea of gaining my whole degree through distance learning was so daunting that I very seriously considered attended a brick and mortar college, because for some reason that option sounded far less frightening.
For reasons I may explain in another post, God really convicted me that leaving home and going several hours away to college was not a good choice for my spiritual growth, and that I needed to remain at home and involved in the lives of my family members and friends. For months I sat staring the option of starting CollegePlus in the face. "But Lord, I don't think I can do it. You know that testing isn't my strong point. I might fail…" The argument when round and round, and finally I remember the question that changed my life. "Katy, you have always told God that you would go where He led. How you would leave all behind and follow Him anywhere He asked you to go. What if He is not leading you to go anywhere? What if He is calling to serve here? What if He is asking you to trust Him in this journey of earning your degree? Will He be with you any less in passing exams than He would have been if He had called you to Africa? You said you would trust and follow Him anywhere, what if this is where He is leading you? Can you trust Him?"
That was the beginning of my journey to earning my degree. Since then there have been many faith stretching moments, many fears to overcome, and I know that there will be more as I continue forward. The question for me is not about what my degree will do for me, or how I will use it, it is, "How will God continue using this process to build character and ultimately draw me nearer to Him."
I have learned what it means to persevere. What it means to fail and try again. I have learned how to better manage my time and how to trust that He can help me overcome seemingly impossible odds. I made friends through CollegePlus who challenged the very core of everything I believed, causing me to seek the truth through His Word. Consequently I have grown by leaps and bounds spiritually. I could probably write a book on all that the Lord has taught me since I took that first step of faith and enrolled with CollegePlus.  The decision to begin CollgePlus really was a life altering decision.
For me college has never been about earning a degree that will give me better career opportunities, it has always been about trusting the Lord and following where He leads. The question is not always, "What will you do with your degree?" but rather sometimes it is, "What will your degree do for you and how will the Lord use it to grow you in ways that glorify Him?"


Elizabeth E Pruett said...

Good thoughts. I can relate in the way I consider my degree (earned with College Plus). I gained confidence, flexibility, and time managing skills. Academically, I felt like testing out of most subjects wouldn't be a good fit for me, but, like you, trusting God and staying close to my family and community was forefront in my mind. God will do great things through you!

Kathryn said...

Thanks for taking time to comment Elizabeth! One of the things I love about CollegePlus is hearing the stories from other students about how God used CollegePlus in their lives. It's awesome! He is awesome!

May God bless you!

In Him,