“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” I wanted to share my “then and now” to help readers see that nothing of great value happens by chance or wishful thinking. My parents always counseled my sisters and I while growing up; that in order to be successful, quality schooling must not only be received but also used in turn, to enhance and serve our generation. My parents are a daily reminder of the results yielded from hard work, perseverance, and faith in God as they have lived out a life of faith and experience the blessings of God. Whenever a seed of doubt comes into my mind whispering whether I can accomplish what I have determined or I hear negative comments from peers who say there is no point in obtaining an education in the current economy – I remember my parents encouraging me to never give up on my dreams.
An insatiable thirst for learning was instilled in my sisters and I at a very young age. The strong academic foundation we received from homeschooling allowed me to quickly advance in school so I was able to graduate high school early and start college at 16 years old. Throughout college, there were many instances where I was academically and mentally exhausted due to course loads, work schedules, or other stressors. I just couldn’t wait to simply graduate, secure a job, and start enjoying my life! If anyone had told me in college that I would now be working on my PhD degree, I would have laughed in disbelief, because going back to school was not on my radar at all.
I am extremely grateful for my parents’ constant encouragement and guidance. It is easy to give up in the face of challenges; and risk the development and attainment of strong godly character that can sustain lasting achievement. Furthermore, my parents helped me recognize the opportunities and possibilities available through receiving a quality education and this realization has, in turn, inspired my lifelong quest to continue to attain knowledge and use the acquisition to serve my generation.
While we can receive many encouragements from parents, siblings, friends or the community of supporters, an intrinsic motivation to succeed in the face of all odds is what keeps one going. I know this to be true. While people can offer encouragement, if one is not willing to put in the effort or make sacrifices to achieve long-term goals then nothing will ultimately get accomplished. It will not always be easy, but it will definitely be worth it .☺