Saturday, August 13, 2011

Knowing What You Know

When I was a freshman in high school, nine of my fellow band members and I participated in the East Tennessee Solo and Ensemble Competition.  I'm the flutist on the front row, second from right.  (It amuses me to report that all the boys in the photo are my facebook friends.  None of the girls.)


Maryville College hosted the competition.  It was my first time visiting the campus, and I fell in love with it.

Years went by.  I studied hard and visited several other schools, but I knew I belonged at Maryville College. 
A couple other schools offered me full scholarships.  I still remember my mom begging me to consider how wonderful it would be to graduate from college debt-free, but she couldn't sway me.  Finally, my dad said: "Now, Sherry, she's studied hard, and she'll go wherever she wants to go."  So Maryville College it was.

And I can tell you, honestly: I've never for even one second regretted my decision.  I loved studying there; I was advised by amazing people; my roommates remain among my closest friends; and I'm married to my college boyfriend. 

Granted, I didn't marry Jim until thirteen years after we dated and eleven years after we graduated, and I married my son's father, first.  Still.  I'm married to my college boyfriend.

And, you know, I'd started to write: I don't know how to explain my knowing I belonged at Maryville College.  Then I realized I do know, and I deleted my words.   

So here comes the best part.  The heritage of faith part.  

After we accept Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit informs us.  His words are soundless and sometimes wordless, too, and it takes practice to "hear" Him well.  He's told me countless things that made no sense at the time, things like: "Get in your car right now."  And: "Take the bread to the church."  And: "Check your baby's mouth."  And: "Lay hands on, and pray for."  After each of the above instances, I learned in short order why I'd been instructed, and these experiences built my faith...grew my tendency toward obedience.

But, sometimes, it's taken years for God's plan to unfold.  Even now, I have unanswered questions about the 2005-2006 school year, when God called me away from a postsecondary environment and into a sixth-grade classroom.  I had a terrible time: cried constantly and experienced anxiety to the point that, many mornings, I got sick before leaving for work.  But the whole time I knew, and to this day I know!: I was called.  It's a 100% knowing.

Very much like my knowing I belonged at Maryville College. 

I've so many times refused to be led by the Holy Spirit.  I'm so thankful that--when it came to my college education--I signed up for the one for which I continue to pay instead of a free one.  Some things are priceless, and the photos below are proof:

Where Jim and I Met

Close Up.
On the Steps of the CCM, Where Jim & I Met

Erin's and My Daughters in Front of Copeland, Where E. & I Lived as Freshmen

And Walking Toward Pearsons, Where E. & I Lived Our Senior Year

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