This Saturday I graduate with my Master of Communication Disorders, which means I will be a speech-language pathologist (therapist in less fancy language). This week is one of reflection for me. This has been a long, hard road and I want to remember the lessons I learned along the way. In addition, I don’t ever want to forget those people who traveled this road with me. It would be a travesty to look back someday and think I did this by myself, for that could not be more untrue.
I am so incredibly grateful to my friends for believing that I could do this and praying me through it. These women have been encouraging and supportive throughout this time and I want to take this time to thank them. Who am I blessed to count as friends?
They are women who came for dinner and ended up helping in my kitchen. They are women who watched my kids after school when my husband was out-of-town and I had a night class. They are women who wrote notes of encouragement, quoted renewing Bible verses, or gave me Starbucks gift cards to get me through finals. They are women who reminded me that what I was pursuing more than a degree, that I was pursuing a calling. They are women who reassured me that I was a great mother, even if their lives didn’t look like mine. They are women who offered to make my family a meal just to help share my load. They are women who prayed for me during the times of utter exhaustion and looming exams. They are women who rejoiced with me during times of success. They are women who pointed me to Christ through their words and actions.
Not only was I blessed to have an amazing network of friends going into graduate school, I was doubly blessed to develop several new friendships along the way. One of those friendships developed when God brought a compassionate, warm, upbeat woman to care for my girls the first two years of this program. I very well might have dropped out of the program if it were not for a certain child-care provider who let me come to her house multiple times during the day, camp out on her couch, and nurse my baby who refused bottles. She allowed us all to make her house our home-away-from-home and made us feel like family. She encouraged me with notes and small gifts which made those times away from my sweet girls a little more bearable. She kept my children late during the times Chris traveled and I had a night class (and she would save a plate of dinner and send it home for me on those nights too). She was a huge support during times of transition and change.
Another friendship developed when a kind, older woman in our church offered to watch my girls when they were sick and couldn’t go to school. Although I only took her up on it once, it was the idea that someone was willing to care for my puking girls if I absolutely had to go to class or an externship that day. Since having a sick child was not considered a valid excuse to miss class or a day of externship, this offer was so helpful and I adore this woman for making it.
These women and their prayers and encouragement were so instrumental in completing my degree. Thank you ladies. You know who you are.