Before I knew her, I wasn’t sure of her. She was brave and free, and I was not. I was uncertain, cautious, and questioning. No, I am those things, still. And yet, she is me, too–the version of myself that walks down a path that not many trek with the wind at her back and the horizon in sight.
At the beginning of this summer, I was grateful for a break from the routine of school and places to be and things to do. A much-needed rest from reality I was desperate for. The thought that this was the first official summer for my oldest son, and I only have 12 more with him until he’s an adult…well, it’s not lost on me that time flies. Have you heard that recently? (I’m joking, of course you have. If you’re a parent, you know. Everyone tells you. No one shuts up about it.)
I wish I could remember the exact day that this summer changed, though. I wish I could remember all the details, but they probably don’t matter. I do remember hearing and feeling the persistence of God. I was asked recently how I heard God, how He speaks to me, and how I know it’s Him. I don’t always know it’s Him. But the more I let go of myself and embrace Him, the easier it is to decipher when He’s speaking.
He gave me a nudge, like He was standing next to me, shoulder to shoulder. We were standing at a crossroads. I was ready to continue the way I was going, still looking in that direction, in fact. That was my plan. It wasn’t always my plan, but for the past year, it was the plan. And God sauntered up to me right when I was about to move forward and said, “Well look. If you’re going to do this, now is the moment I want you to do it. Today.”
I had been thinking about going back to college for a long time. But I also really didn’t want to. I didn’t want to add something else to my life that just sounded exhausting and stretching. The thought of it, however, would come up almost every week. And every time, I pushed it out of my mind with a, “That’s stupid.”
But one day, He wouldn’t let me let it go. And for some reason, I decided to be the most obedient I had ever been. In the same day He said to go back to college, I got on my computer and started my application and never told anyone. Eventually I widened my circle to four people, and I waited to hear back about going to college, which I never wanted to do, but for some reason decided if I wanted to hate something enough, I might as well make sure I really hated it for sure.
August 14 I start my first day of classes at Moody Bible Institute Distance Learning in a Ministry Leadership program, the same day that my oldest son starts his first day of first grade.
In the moment that I heard God say it, I knew I needed to act immediately or I never would. And my inaction? I would’ve regretted it forever. When I told Evan, he was wonderful and supportive and all, “Okay, do it.” The part of me that wanted him to question it got smaller, and the part of me that was ready and willing grew bigger.
And let me tell you–I am excited out of my dang mind to start classes. I don’t even know what’s wrong with me. My only bargain with God was that He would make me love it. Look at me now.
I told a friend this week that this is the craziest and dumbest thing I’ve ever done. She told me, “No, I think it’s brave.” I’m taking that and running with it.
2 thoughts on “She Is Me & I Am Her”
You are brave Janelle. I think it’s admirable you’re taking college classes. I’m sure you’ll do great, and God will honor your “crazy and dumb” thing. No doubt He has good things ahead for you.
Thank you, Doug! I appreciate the encouragement and affirmation.