I see the look on their faces when I answer their question, “Where did you go to school?” Meaning college of course. Inwardly, I look down in shame, scuff my feet and blush crimson. “I don’t have a degree.” There is usually an awkward pause, “Oh……” I can imagine what they are thinking. They wonder how I managed to finagle a job here at Intel. One of the places where education is held in very high esteem, in fact, you can’t get hired here now without a degree. But back when I was hired, you could. And I did.
And now it’s seventeen years later…..and I sometimes think, I wonder when they will catch on and fire me.
And I always have to qualify it with something, like…”But I have had SOME college.” And I have, and I really liked it. My first course I got an A. I was so proud of that, I can still remember the feeling I had when I went to the board and saw it posted there. By MY name. A few years ago I took English 102 and I was sure the teacher’s main objective was to make my experience as miserable as possible. And I like English.
It was a battle, but I passed with a B and I think it killed her to give it to me.
I get the same feeling when people ask me if I have kids or….. Ahem….. grand kids, now that I am older. I feel somewhat branded by a sense of shame, like they will automatically think I don’t like kids. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have a niece who I would jump in front of a truck for anytime, anywhere.
Note: If you feel shame today that is either self imposed or pushed on you by someone else, either intentionally or otherwise, know that it’s from Satan. Jesus died and rose again to release us from that.
And really, people just want to understand. It’s easier to put people in a box and classify them. It’s too confusing for them otherwise. It complicates things. People don’t want to spend too much time figuring people out. And I really don’t blame them, I’m the same way. I like things simple.
So here’s the deal:
I don’t have a wonderful husband with three beautiful children, although if you do I think it’s wonderful. I believe healthy marriages and families make a strong and happy society. I believe in family values more than anyone I know.
I don’t have a degree of higher learning, although I think education is wonderful. If you are going for it, I am a little bit jealous and I wish I would have done it.
I do, however, have a wonderful home and a God who loves me and accepts me just as I am. I have lots of love in my life, including that of my family and a best friend and soul sister who I know would give her life for me without a thought. We do live in the same house, but we are not gay for those who may have wondered. Seinfeld moment here, let the reader understand if they have seen the episode.
I am a living testimony of a Mom who always said she didn’t care how far I went in school as long as I had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and for that I will be forever grateful.
My life is a living testimony of God’s provision and care because when my brand new husband died, God came near and never left my side by surrounding me with people who refused to let me go.
As I get older I get a bit wiser. I have learned to care more about what God thinks of me than strangers. I rest in the people who know me and love me, and when it comes right down to it, people are really too concerned about their own lives to pay too much attention to what’s going on in mine or yours.
Bein real today.