Andrew and I met about eight years ago (2006) when we were attending Hillsborough Community College here in Tampa bay.
We should have graduated in the two year span it usually takes to finish courses in a community college, but life had other plans for us.
We were both apart of InterVaristy on campus, working dead end jobs, and paying our own bills. Some semesters we couldn’t afford to take classes, so we would just work. However, time began to catch up with us and before we knew it we were married without our degrees. This was not in our “master plan” at all. I grew quite depressed and jealous. If i can be vulnerable and honest I remember talking to Andrew and saying If we have dedicated our college years to serving Jesus how come we aren’t graduating like we hoped to. Why are our friends that aren’t even believers graduating before us? Maybe I should just stop doing campus bible studies to focus on school so I can be done?
It looks so ugly now that I see how my envy blinded me from just celebrating my friends wonderful accomplishments. In all honesty, those thoughts and words plagued me for years though. Depression began to embrace me as well. “You’re never going to finish”, “Another uneducated black woman”, these dark thoughts would take me to such lows I found it hard to just enjoy our marriage. I wanted to be successful. When you get married in the U.S. you’re SUPPOSED to be successful. You know? The not so glamorous house yet still in suburbia, one golden retriever, maybe 30″ flat-screen in each room, nice trips once a year, and steady income to keep us comfortable .
We struggled for years with this subject alone. Sometimes I would bury the thought of college deep down I would mask my unhappiness with nonchalant responses. “Yeah, I’ll finish when i’m ready” knowing damn well I was ready NOW , but our bank account wasn’t . So I vented to friends, asked them to pray with us, and for us. We continued to serve in our ministries and grow .
Intervaristy 2010 dance party
HCC IVCF sonburst 2009
March 2010 Spring Conference IVCF
In 2013 Andrew’s dad wanted to meet with us and have dinner. I was nervous thinking maybe he saw what I carried around with me for all these years. The shame of not finishing anything I started with, or the shame of not succeeding (at least to the world’s eyes). Or maybe the shame of bringing Andrew down with me.I knew for sure we were going to have an intervention. However, we enjoyed dinner at Acropolis and laughed and enjoyed one another’s company.
He even asked me, “Have you ever thought of going to school for Broadcasting, you speak so well?” My heart sank. Of course I thought of going to school for Broadcasting. My current major is Mass Communications and I fell in love with Television Broadcasting since I was a pirate. I still had it after all these years, and his compliment affirmed something I tried to bury deep down, along with any other dream I once had.
After dinner we walked back to our car & Andrew seemed extra giddy. I asked him what was up and he let me know that his father had offered to help us pay for our last semester at HCC. By this time my heart was sort of numb to the subject of school.
I am such a skeptic I felt this couldn’t be true. Through my greatest unbelief and lack of trust ,Jesus sure did slap me a “I told you so” when Andrew and I both finished our complete last semester together in HCC last fall. We even took a class together and had a large presentation on the Mineral diamond.
In late March, Andrew is getting ready to float on to one of his greatest loves, Music Production . I have one last graduating course (5 weeks) with HCC and on to USF I go.
I know things didn’t happen the way we planned at all. Some would say we missed out on so much, or we could’ve done better. Those all may very well be true. However, I think of all the beautiful people that we have met along the way, all the lessons we learned through our impatience, anger, bitterness and jealousy. Would we have appreciated it if we graduated at 21? Would Andrew have wanted to open a studio that serves the homeless artist that don’t have an outlet for their beautiful gifts?
Rock band night HCC IVCF 2010
Who knows… I do know that Jesus remained faithful when I was not.