Not- So-Distant Horizon of My Life

There is something magnificent about watching the sunset.  Radiant shades of red, orange, and hints of yellow paint the sky. The distant horizon holds the triumphs of today and the promise of tomorrow. It also reminds me that the hardships and struggles of today end, and tomorrow brings new beginnings.

ON the not-so-distant horizon of my life, I see the finish line. I will be graduating college with a degree in BA English & Professional Writing from Regent University in just six months--May 9, 2015 to be exact! I am so excited that I can hardly contain myself. When I think of how close that finish line is, I break out into a happy dance— much to my kid’s embarrassment.

So what’s the big deal?
 I know more and more people are graduating from college these days. Some have multiple degrees. Some return years later. Graduating from college the first time, second, or third is quite a feat. Quite honestly, my hats off to anyone who graduates college.
I did not go to high school. Really. I dropped out after the ninth grade, and I am not sure you can even count my freshmen year considering I skipped most, if not all, of my classes. Technically, I had an eighth grade education when I entered college at 40 years of age.
A Little History
My youth was slightly challenged, to say the least. I’d like to say my family put the “D” in dysfunction, but I think a host of other dysfunctional families claimed it first. I was a troubled kid. My family called me a rebel. Really, I was the black sheep. I was in-and-out of institutions. A runaway. A street kid. I entered foster care at fifteen. School didn’t matter. Survival did. So I quit.
So why go?

I reached a wall. I homeschooled my kids through elementary school. I learned right along with them, but then things got harder for them and for me. I could not teach them past my own education level. Broken and ashamed I reluctantly put them into public school. I didn’t think any college would accept me, so I found a writing program affiliated with a college. I wrote a letter and was accepted. A bonafide miracle!
Interestingly, a letter landed me in a girl’s home. Funny how writing affects my life. Along the way, I realized I wanted more and transferred to Regent University in 2012.
The Challenge

Before I embarked on my college journey I asked God to help me stay the course, NO MATTER WHAT!  I didn’t not want to run away when things got tough, nor did I want to quit. I wanted to show my kids that no matter what obstacles life may throw at them—EVERYONE—including them, can overcome the challenges and reach their goals.

External Obstacles
The year I started school, we became homeless for five months. Really, we lived in a friend’s 8x10 garage room. We were candidates for a home extreme makeover. Honestly. We lost, and lost the home. We eventually found another home, two weeks later my husband left on his sixth deployment for Afghanistan. That same year, I had three back-to-back surgeries. The following year, my husband returned and his PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) was off the chain causing us to separate. The military forced him to retire after twenty-six years, and he left for Iraq, as a civilian contractor, for a year.
My husband returned. Jobs for veterans are not as abundant as people like to think. He remained unemployed for six month before finding a job. All the while, PTSD was tearing our family apart. Forced to separate again, I laid it all on the line. Either God was going to answer twelve-years of prayer for my husband or he wasn’t, but I couldn’t help him. Another miracle! That was last November. We are together by the way…a story you can read more about when my book is published.
I had surgery on my cervical spine this past May. I learned I can’t run anymore because of my spine…still getting over that one.
My mother recently passed away. Her death devastated me. Her life ended before we could really get to know each other. I may never recover from this one.
I have another spinal surgery in three days.

Internal Obstacles
I had to fight a constant internal battle. Every day of studying was a mountain to climb. The foundation I would have received in high school was absent. So each lesson became a dual study…the high school foundation and the collegiate in-depth. Most days I cried through my lessons, but I refused to give up. College—even though I schooled entirely online—forced me to be incubated from life. All I could handle was family and school.
There is so much more to internal obstacles. Be on the lookout for some in-depth stories on the battle within.
And that’s only scratching the surface…

The Point
Life is relentless. Waves of hardship roll over me and my family. Every day I cling to Christ to accomplish my goals; including graduating from college. God’s grace sees me through each and every day, without Him none of this would be possible.
A Little Encouragement
Whatever your dreams, whatever your goals--DO NOT QUIT! Dreams come true when you overcome the obstacles that try to prevent you from achieving them.
You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look and you’ve climbed a mountain. Tom Hiddleston

 

Labels: ,

Just Turn The Page: Not- So-Distant Horizon of My Life

Monday, December 8, 2014

Not- So-Distant Horizon of My Life

There is something magnificent about watching the sunset.  Radiant shades of red, orange, and hints of yellow paint the sky. The distant horizon holds the triumphs of today and the promise of tomorrow. It also reminds me that the hardships and struggles of today end, and tomorrow brings new beginnings.

ON the not-so-distant horizon of my life, I see the finish line. I will be graduating college with a degree in BA English & Professional Writing from Regent University in just six months--May 9, 2015 to be exact! I am so excited that I can hardly contain myself. When I think of how close that finish line is, I break out into a happy dance— much to my kid’s embarrassment.

So what’s the big deal?
 I know more and more people are graduating from college these days. Some have multiple degrees. Some return years later. Graduating from college the first time, second, or third is quite a feat. Quite honestly, my hats off to anyone who graduates college.
I did not go to high school. Really. I dropped out after the ninth grade, and I am not sure you can even count my freshmen year considering I skipped most, if not all, of my classes. Technically, I had an eighth grade education when I entered college at 40 years of age.
A Little History
My youth was slightly challenged, to say the least. I’d like to say my family put the “D” in dysfunction, but I think a host of other dysfunctional families claimed it first. I was a troubled kid. My family called me a rebel. Really, I was the black sheep. I was in-and-out of institutions. A runaway. A street kid. I entered foster care at fifteen. School didn’t matter. Survival did. So I quit.
So why go?

I reached a wall. I homeschooled my kids through elementary school. I learned right along with them, but then things got harder for them and for me. I could not teach them past my own education level. Broken and ashamed I reluctantly put them into public school. I didn’t think any college would accept me, so I found a writing program affiliated with a college. I wrote a letter and was accepted. A bonafide miracle!
Interestingly, a letter landed me in a girl’s home. Funny how writing affects my life. Along the way, I realized I wanted more and transferred to Regent University in 2012.
The Challenge

Before I embarked on my college journey I asked God to help me stay the course, NO MATTER WHAT!  I didn’t not want to run away when things got tough, nor did I want to quit. I wanted to show my kids that no matter what obstacles life may throw at them—EVERYONE—including them, can overcome the challenges and reach their goals.

External Obstacles
The year I started school, we became homeless for five months. Really, we lived in a friend’s 8x10 garage room. We were candidates for a home extreme makeover. Honestly. We lost, and lost the home. We eventually found another home, two weeks later my husband left on his sixth deployment for Afghanistan. That same year, I had three back-to-back surgeries. The following year, my husband returned and his PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) was off the chain causing us to separate. The military forced him to retire after twenty-six years, and he left for Iraq, as a civilian contractor, for a year.
My husband returned. Jobs for veterans are not as abundant as people like to think. He remained unemployed for six month before finding a job. All the while, PTSD was tearing our family apart. Forced to separate again, I laid it all on the line. Either God was going to answer twelve-years of prayer for my husband or he wasn’t, but I couldn’t help him. Another miracle! That was last November. We are together by the way…a story you can read more about when my book is published.
I had surgery on my cervical spine this past May. I learned I can’t run anymore because of my spine…still getting over that one.
My mother recently passed away. Her death devastated me. Her life ended before we could really get to know each other. I may never recover from this one.
I have another spinal surgery in three days.

Internal Obstacles
I had to fight a constant internal battle. Every day of studying was a mountain to climb. The foundation I would have received in high school was absent. So each lesson became a dual study…the high school foundation and the collegiate in-depth. Most days I cried through my lessons, but I refused to give up. College—even though I schooled entirely online—forced me to be incubated from life. All I could handle was family and school.
There is so much more to internal obstacles. Be on the lookout for some in-depth stories on the battle within.
And that’s only scratching the surface…

The Point
Life is relentless. Waves of hardship roll over me and my family. Every day I cling to Christ to accomplish my goals; including graduating from college. God’s grace sees me through each and every day, without Him none of this would be possible.
A Little Encouragement
Whatever your dreams, whatever your goals--DO NOT QUIT! Dreams come true when you overcome the obstacles that try to prevent you from achieving them.
You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look and you’ve climbed a mountain. Tom Hiddleston

 

Labels: ,

4 Comments:

At December 10, 2014 at 11:52 AM , Blogger Sarahbeth Cole said...

I figured I would just skim this article to see what your blog was about. After the first sentence, I was hooked. I don't mean that in a fascinated sense, but in an emotional sense. To see all that you've been through (and are going through) and how God brings you through it. You are a living testimony of how faithful God is! I am truly inspired by you and hope to have your faith and endurance when I "grow up."

 
At December 10, 2014 at 8:48 PM , Blogger Samantha Coon said...

Sarabeth,

Gorgeous name by the way! Thank you for your comment. Every time I wrestle about writing, God reminds me that my journey--including the suffering, is for someone else as well. I am equally inspired by your blog...keep writing! Let me know when you "grow up" because I think that isn't until we cross over into His kingdom, until then I know He is parenting me every step of the way and I still have a lot of growing up to do:)

 
At December 13, 2014 at 10:35 AM , Blogger Chris Malkemes said...

There you are my sweet friend. Thought I would travel over to see you (really, honestly the Lord placed you on my mind). What a pleasant joy to find you're still writing here and sharing the beautiful story of....(drum roll please) Nothing is impossible with God! Love ya girl. Don't forget I'm in your corner....~Chris~

 
At December 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM , Blogger Samantha Coon said...

Hi Chris,

Gosh its good to talk to you again. I've had a pretty tough time dealing with my mother's passing the past few weeks. I knew it was coming, but I am still I struggling. It was enough to just to get my homework done. I am going to write about it, but not for a little while, I need some distance between me and all that has happened. I am also trying to keep my end of the bargain with my readers, that is, write! And write more frequently, so thanks for checking in and always encouraging me. Plus, I love all of your writing and I realized I really need this online fellowship:) Glad to be back. Hope you are doing well my friend. I'll stop by and catch up with you a bit later.

Thanks so much Chris.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home