A Dream is Born

Like many high school students, I had a dream about going to college. I had a deal with my parents that they would pay for my bachelor’s degree through graduation (which should only take four years, by the way!). The only exception to the deal was marriage. I would have to pay for the remainder of my degree if I got married before graduation.

So of course, I got married as a senior in college and did not return to school to finish my last year. After I became a single mother some years later, the dream of a college degree appeared to be gone forever.

Fortunately for me, I had great role models in my mother and my sister-in-law, who both returned to college and finished their degrees as adults. That sparked the dream in me again and I started trying to figure out how I could finish my degree. It doesn’t make sense that a woman with two children and one job should consider quitting that job to go back to school. Frankly, I fought him on this whole idea for several months. How would I pay for school? How would I keep feeding the kids? Were there enough hours in the day to do it all?

God’s Always Got a Plan

But that’s the funny thing about God’s plans…they often don’t seem to make sense on the surface. As I walked out what he was calling me to do though, each question was answered at just the right time.

So although  there were a lot of details and moving parts and pieces to put together, God led me on a nine month journey I could have never imagined. As part of His plan, I re-entered college as a senior (thankfully most English credits don’t expire!), received a full financial aid package, and secured several part-time jobs. Before I knew it, fall arrived and I was walking across campus with a backpack.

And four short semesters later, I was walking again. But this time I walked into a coliseum wearing a long robe and a funny hat. It was the culmination of everything that had happened in my life to that point.

God proved himself faithful in so many ways during those two years. His provision for our physical needs saw us through time and time again. He arranged my school schedule so that I was home when my kids got off the school bus, something that had never happened before. And he grew my faith in answer to every step of obedience I was willing to take.

As I walked into that coliseum, I realized that my favorite verse had played out in my life for everyone to see. My Bible study leader that year printed the verses and framed them for me as a graduation present that hangs in my house to this day.

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed. Joel 2:25-27

The Dream Continues

The testimony today is that the dream hasn’t ended. I had always wanted to go back to school yet again and complete a Masters’ degree. And this year, I did it! I’m back in school and nearly halfway done with my Masters’ program. But at this point in the semester, I really needed to be reminded of the dream.

Because no matter how long it takes us to achieve our dream, we just have to keep pushing towards it. God won’t let us down. He will be right beside as the whole way. I can certainly testify to that!






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Holly Barrett

God's Handiwork
LRL 067 - Mary Geisen