Milestone Moments

This week I experienced a milestone moment in my life. I finished my last class in my Masters of Psychology Program.

I know this is not like becoming a brain surgeon or an astronaut…but for me it may as well be.

When I was growing up, I didn’t really have aspirations of doing anything more than just getting a job. I didn’t think about what college I would go to, what career I would choose or dream about buying a house and having a family.

My life as a kid was about survival, and when you are just trying to make it through the day, there is no place for dreaming. Dreams were dangerous. Dreams required hope and that was elusive and risky.

Unfortunately for me I continued to believe that hope led to disappointment well into my adult years.

Despite the fact that I walked with the Lord, served Him with my heart and my lifestyle I still was holding out. I was afraid to hope and believe that somehow there was more for me.

Fast-forward many years. My daughter was getting ready to start Kindergarten and I began to think about what I wanted to be when I grow up. This process went on for months as I took career assessment tests, temperament tests, spiritual gift inventories and read any book I could get my hands on.

During this time I began to open my heart and mind to the possibilities of my future. I knew I wanted to marry my vocation and ministry – but how? What would that look like?

After months of searching, reading and praying along with the results of my testing it became clear that becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist was the best fit for me…. but there was a catch.

In order to become a therapist, I had to go back to school. I had started college 20 something years ago, but had never finished. This had been one of my biggest regrets in my life.

Honestly I cried when I read all the academic requirements. This was going to be a long process that would call for endurance and determination. I doubted my abilities, intellect and if I had what it would take to complete this program.

The prospect of over four years of schooling and then 3,000 hours of clinical supervision to get my license was enough to make me question God and want to choose another path.

Fortunately for me, I have a very encouraging and understanding husband.

He was all in from the moment I first uttered the words, “I think I want to go back to college”. He has stood by me every step of the way. He has been my greatest source of encouragement and without him I know I could not have accomplished this goal. He stepped up huge to enable me to be a full time student. Taking on laundry responsibilities, making dinner and being home early so I could go to class. I never once had to worry or feel guilty about my academic pursuits, knowing that my husband had the home front well under control.

He kissed me goodbye as I nervously went to my very first class and greeted me last night as we met for a victory celebration! I am married to a wonderful man and I am thankful to have a partner in life who would sacrifice on my behalf.

Aside from being married and being a mom – finishing school is my single biggest accomplishment. I’m not trying to toot my own horn; I am honestly still surprised that I finished. As it sinks in and I begin working next week I’m sure the reality will hit. But for today I am enjoying looking back at all the moments that led to this one milestone.

What milestones in your life have you accomplished that you thought were impossible?


6 thoughts on “Milestone Moments

  1. Carrie says:

    First, Congratulations Karen! Awesome job. Our stories are similar…I never finished college. It was more important for me as the responsible first-born to just get a good job (plus I had no patience!). I returned to college 6 years ago and am SLOWLY working towards my AA in Psychology. Not finishing college the first time was also one of my biggest regrets!

  2. Melissa Yue says:

    Well, if anything, you are definitely a skillful writer, Karen. I hope anne Arundel county schools gave you that! The fun part is hearing the sound of your voice as you say tell your story. I can hear your twists of sarcasm-maybe it is just irony.  I remember when your life was full of chaos and mere survival. I am so greatful that you have met your unintended goals succesfully. Keep us laughing.

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Thanks my friend…yes, you know me warts and all! You read my words well – sarcasm and humor are almost always in there somewhere ;-0 I’m thankful for the way God allowed us to meet many years ago. Grace & Peace to you sweet friend.

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