Have you ever had a dream deferred for nearly 40 years?
I took my Graduate Record Exams in the spring of 1975, and just this past Friday I received a letter from Wheaton College Graduate School informing me that I’ve been accepted for entrance this fall into their new cohort program in Biblical Studies.
Nope, the letter wasn’t lost in the mail all these decades. I wasn’t wandering in the desert like the Israelites either. My dream of attending grad school has simply been deferred until now.
The following is a personal statement from one of the essays I submitted in my grad school application:
For me, pursuing my M.A. in Biblical Studies is not so much a means to an end as an end in itself. I am not seeking this degree for “where it will get me” but rather what it will give me – an in-depth exploration of the length and breadth of Scripture along with courses in theology and Christian ethics.
I have always loved learning, and I worked hard to excel in my studies in both high school and college. Throughout my undergraduate years at Wheaton, my intention was to go on to graduate school to pursue my Masters degree. The question that stumped me at that time was: which one?! My first love is creative writing, but while at Wheaton I majored in speech communication with a minor in secondary education. I enjoyed radio broadcasting, competed in national forensics competitions, and was accepted into the drama workout group that qualified me to perform in theatrical productions on campus.
I took my GRE just prior to commencement in the spring of 1975 yet still wasn’t sure what area of graduate study to pursue. In the meantime I became engaged and subsequently married to the man who has now been my husband for 35 years. Since he was a teenager, Mike knew he had been called into ministry, and he arranged his undergrad courses and served as a youth pastor with the clear goal of entering seminary upon graduation.
When Mike and I married in 1976, he entered a three year M.Div. program and I embarked on a great adventure with God. It was no sacrifice for me to postpone grad school at that time. It would have been a waste of time and financial resources when I still was unclear as to why I needed an advanced degree.
Amazingly enough, God used my B.A. from Wheaton to open numerous professional doors for me in the decades to come. I acted in summer stock, taught adjunct courses in business writing and public speaking at a small college in New Hampshire for nine years, had my own radio show for a time, and later spent 11 years on the staff of the regional association of evangelicals in New England.
Though I had never been a Bible teacher, my ministry position led to numerous invitations to speak at conferences and retreats. In the past 20 years, I have spoken over 300 times throughout the United States and abroad, and teaching the scriptures during the evenings and on weekends has become my passion and the joy of my heart. In recent years I have longed to study the Bible in-depth “from stem to stern” to become better equipped for the ministry God has given me.
I also work full-time days in public relations at Tyndale House, where our corporate goal is to meet the spiritual needs of people through literature consistent with biblical principles. An advanced degree in biblical studies will be a significant asset for me professionally at Tyndale as well as personally in ministry.
Back to you, my friend. I hope my story might encourage you to believe that a dream deferred can one day become a hope fulfilled.
The best is yet to be!