Monday, November 18th was my Senior Cello Recital in Pierce Memorial Chapel on the campus of Wheaton College. I thought it was going to bring Jesus back to earth. Literally all I could handle thinking about prior to my recital was… my recital. I couldn’t think past my recital because I would’ve been distracted by everything else I needed to do. Now that my recital is over, and no, Jesus has not returned to earth yet, I suddenly remember everything I need to work on and complete.
It’s funny God’s plans for our life are never our own plans for our life. Often we are left confused as doors close and no new opportunities open. I found out last Wednesday that I didn’t make it into the Education Program at Wheaton College. Acceptance into this program was necessary for me to student teach, which was necessary for my degree, Music Education, and therefore necessary to graduate. I haven’t thought about what this means until today, Tuesday, the day after my senior recital. My senior recital consumed my thoughts and my decisions for the past week and a half.
I’m disappointed, frustrated, embarrassed, and discouraged by my rejection from the program. I’m disappointed because I was under the impression that I was going to be ok, and I would make it into the program. I’m disappointed because I’ve spent 5 years working towards a degree that I now, will not receive. I’m frustrated because I’ve spent thousands of dollars at Wheaton College for seemingly nothing. I’m also frustrated that I wasn’t rejected a long time ago. I’m embarrassed because I’ve worked so hard to get where I’m at and I have nothing to show for it. I’m discouraged because I don’t understand where I’m supposed to go now or what I’m supposed to do. It feels like the past 5 years have been incredibly stupid, foolish, and worthless. I’ve worked my butt off to stay in school, to do my best, and to pay for school. And I’ve been left with nothing. Ok, nothing is an exaggeration, but I don’t have a degree. Which was the goal.
The bumps I’ve had in my career at Wheaton College have been too many to count. I’m not sure why, but everything works against me at Wheaton. I was called to be here, I wouldn’t have come if I didn’t know God wanted me here. I’ve learned so much academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually, that I’m a completely different person from when I was a freshman. God has taught me about himself, the body of Christ, music, myself, relationships, education, families, kids, and plenty more.
I have too many thoughts running through my mind. My first thought is what now. I’ve been rejected to the program I needed to get into in order to graduate. So what do I do now. My initial reaction is to figure out if there is any possibility of graduating from Wheaton with another major. What is really frustrating is I have enough credits to graduate, but all of those credits don’t count as a degree anymore without being accepted into WheTep (Wheaton College’s student education program). My advisor told me to transfer. Where? How many credits will transfer? How long will it take for me to graduate? I also have this thought and temptation to just drop out of school. It’s mostly just a selfish, stupid, self-pity filled thought. But there is a temptation.
Really what it comes down to is I’m discouraged. Is God trying to tell me that he doesn’t want me in education? Is God trying to show me that these years I’ve spent studying education and music are not actually not what he wanted me to do with my life? I’ve been questioning a lot of why I’m here at Wheaton. Why did God call me here? I didn’t want to come to Wheaton. I came here because God told me he wanted me here. The reason I’m in education is because I love kids. I was just starting to get excited about student teaching and being in a school and teaching. But now that I have been rejected from the program, I’m confused. I’m left wondering what I’ve been doing for the past five years of my life. Honestly, it feels like it’s wasted. Because I was working towards a goal and that goal is no longer possible.
This is where I’m at. I’ve been tired of school and ready to graduate for the past 3 years. I’ve been questioning why I’m in music ever since I came to Wheaton but I’ve confirmed that I love music and I’m passionate about it. But I’m not good at it and it’s not easy for me. I’m just frustrated that I’ve seemingly wasted thousands of dollars on a degree that I will not get. It just doesn’t seem fair. And I don’t understand why this is happening to me. My career here has been anything but easy. I’ve always felt inadequate and like I don’t belong at Wheaton because everyone around me here is talented at everything (at least that’s what it feels like, but it’s kind of true).
I also know I love kids, but I wonder if my love for kids and their growth and development will ever go away. This semester I’ve done the least amount of babysitting in my five years here. And I still love kids and being with them, but I haven’t had time to and I haven’t really felt a deep longing to be with them. So I wonder if my love for them will fade away.
I’m not a fan of unexpected switches in life plans. But I’m ok with them. This isn’t my first choice of how I would want my life to be, because I’d much rather be graduated next semester. But if this is the way it’s supposed to be I’ll be ok. I trust that God knows what he’s doing even if I don’t. Sometimes what seems to be the easy way to us humans may not be the best way. I think God has to continually teach us this as frustrating and hard as it may be. Somehow I wish it would be easier each time but it never is. I’m waiting to see where God leads me and what the purpose of my momentary frustrations and struggles are.