We have a choice.
We can remove the blocks (blinders) to realizing our Higher Power by:
- experiencing (living in the NOW)
Whitfield, pg. 137
Writing this blog has opened up my mind and hopefully my heart to what came before. The writing classes I took 1994 - 1998 cracked the vault a bit, but there is still much hidden and not remembered. The key word is "choice." I have choices. I am not a victim, I choose my reality. I write my own story; create my own reality. Living in the now is a very beautiful thing. I thought it would be too scary, but it is energizing and freeing.
I will tell a story that I don't like to think about, because it is laced with fleeing and quitting. I was a good student in high school and would have been a better student had I not worked at night instead of studying. I did study, but usually the minimum. I was tired. I still made the honor roll and got A's and B's. I could have been a high honor roll student. No one noticed or encouraged. Although, it would have been unacceptable to fail or even be mediocre.
My counselor in high school called me down and offered me the opportunity to go to a fine college--Colby College--on a scholarship. She was an alumnus and she would lead me through the process. I didn't know any better. I shied away thinking I should go to a Christian college. So... I looked for one I could afford and settled on Lincoln Christian College in Lincoln, IL. It was still more than I could afford, but they had a Kroger store and I knew I could work there.
It was unacceptable in the culture we lived in--upper class church and upper class school [lower class neighborhood!] that I not go to college. My friends that mattered at the time were going to college.
There were no college visits. No parental support offered or expected. I just packed up on the appointed day and my boyfriend [future husband] drove the one-hour trip to drop me off. This was orientation week--lots of meetings and doctrinal brainwashing. It didn't take very many days for me to realize that my view and the college's on eternal security and God's grace were WAY different.
One morning the President of the college spoke to the incoming freshmen. He said that his door was open, and we were to come to him with any concerns or questions. So, I headed to his door that afternoon. It wasn't open. He didn't see me, but another executive did. I voiced my concerns and quickly surmised that I wouldn't change their stand on these or any other issues. This was the Church of Christ, after all. How could they be wrong? I was a Presbyterian and eternally secure in my knowledge of my Lord preparing a place for me in heaven where I would without a doubt go when I died. No matter how many sins I commit in this life--I am forgiven. I only need to confess my sins and I am forgiven. That is the way of the cross.
I called home and said come and get me. So, that weekend Dad and CA drove down to retrieve me. I was forlorn. I had failed. Would I have to go to the brand new junior college and be humiliated? I cried and I prayed. CA was gentle and kind. He took me to see The Sound of Music. Later that afternoon I heard him talking to NC and they both said that they wouldn't have given up; they would have stuck it out at least for a semester at that college. I was furious at CA and told him so. I would tolerate no disloyalty. We both learned something through that experience. I was learning to trust, but this was a bit of a set-back. In the 42 years of our relationship he has never betrayed my trust--maybe little things--but CA I trust with my whole heart.
Two days after arriving back from this misadventure, my Christian college of first choice called to say they had an opening and I was off to Bible college. I had a fun roommate and lots of friends. The classes were absolutely challenging and the competition unbelievably tough. These Christian kids were SMART. I was just an hour from CA's college and we liked that. But, ultimately I wasn't cut out for a Christian college. I wanted more academics and I had no money. I left at the semester, got a full-time job and went to the junior college part-time until getting married after CA's junior year in college. It was the Viet Nam era and CA faced either the Navy or the draft. We wanted to have one full year together before he entered the military for an uncertain future. He was 21 and I just barely 20 on the day we married.
For years I felt shame in running away from school #1 and not sticking it out at school #2. During counseling 27 years later I realized that I did the best I could. I was so busy getting my basic needs met... I was so very young and on my own with no financial resources... Where were my parents in all this? I remember mom wanting me to stay at the Bible College #2 and offering to get a job to support me. I didn't believe or trust her. She was incapable and I knew it.