I am so happy to share Trice’s story with you all today as part of my Joy in the Mess guest post series! God does incredible things amid the “messes” of our lives and I love being able to share some of those with you all through these incredible women. Be sure to check out Trice’s blog and social media handles down below!
I remember that day so clearly I looked around and saw all of my peers some were crying, others had huge smiles on their faces and here I was just torn. “Presenting the Class of 2008!!” and just like that high school was over, there was no going back this was it. While most of my classmates were hugging and throwing their caps in the air I was standing there crying. I had a plan, I was going to attend college at Liberty University and major in Nursing and then become a neonatal intensive care nurse at our local hospital. My plan was solid, I had the support of my family and friends and all I had to do was pass my classes and get my degree. I met my parents after the graduation ceremony and we took the usual graduation photos and went over dinner plans for later that day.
I remember my father asking to drive me around to my car but I just wanted to walk of course my Aunt insisted that I ride with her to the next parking lot. As soon as we reached my car I jumped out and got into my car, as I started driving away a wave of depression washed over me. I was slowly learning that no matter how solid my plan was for my future I wasn’t ready for this part of my life to end. I had been battling depression for a few months leading up to graduation but I figured that it was me just stressing over my next step in life.
Summer came and went and before I knew it my father was moving me into my dorm on campus and although we lived ten minutes away from campus I insisted that I lived on campus. After we got my room set up my father hugged me and prayed over me. Depression always had a way of sneaking back into my life at the most inopportune times, here I was at the school I wanted to attend majoring in Business and I still wasn’t happy. I wasn’t comfortable with the intense nursing program at the school and fear caused me to take the easy way out. My father always wanted a business major in the family and I was going to be the one to get that degree. Fear and depression ate away at my spirit bit by bit and by the spring semester I was not only failing out of college but I had once again changed my major back to Nursing. I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, I knew for sure that I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t able to articulate what I was feeling on the inside. After many conversations with my father we decided it was best that I leave Liberty University and attend the community college.
The summer of 2009 was very tense, my depression was getting worse and my father couldn’t understand how I could almost fail out of college considering that I always had good grades in high school. On the inside I knew I wasn’t applying myself to my studies like I should but I wasn’t content with studying business or nursing. I knew that I had to attend college and that I had to figure something out soon. In the midst of the darkest season of my life God brought a shining light into my life. I started volunteering at my churches summer camp and I fell in love with those kids. Something amazing happened when I started working with the kids, life started to become brighter. But now here I am considering changing my major once again and ultimately taking a huge pay cut in my future job opportunities.
My family was very supportive during this time in my life they understood that I needed to figure things out and that it was going to take time. The fall of 2009 I began attending our local community college and school became easy for me, I was able to meet some amazing people and I fell in love with teaching.
In 2013 I graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a 4.0 GPA with honors! Looking back on my college experience I still feel the shame and guilt of not graduating on time but I understand that God had to work on me. I had to learn how to manage my depression and ultimately I had to learn to trust in God and know that his timing was perfect. What I considered a messy milestone turned out to be one of the greatest miracles in my life.
I am truly thankful for my experience and I am no longer ashamed of what I went through.