Why was I in college and why wouldn’t God let me quit?



Faye Crawford begins the long educational journey she did not want to take.
Faye Crawford begins the long educational journey she did not want to take. Photograph: J Gerald Crawford

NO, GOD. I can’t do that!

Continuing my education was not my idea. The Lord wanted me to do something I thought I had no capacity to do. I tried to argue with Him.

I was thirty-eight years old. The idea of labs, studying, tests, and interaction with group discussions petrifies me. I would not be a returning student. I would be a freshman. I had no study or time management skills. I have no confidence. I protested.

God said, “ Return to school.”

“Do you know what it is like to be at the bottom of the class? By the time I reached high school, I was there. My name was not on the honor roll list. What had happened to me?

My academic digression began in the eighth grade. My school progress was hampered by poor vision and persisting confusion. Math was difficult. I had not developed the requisite cognitive instruments for deductive and abstract reasoning. Shortcut rules given to math formulas were not pragmatic. I did not know how to execute a rule correctly. I could not use formulas for high-level thinking to transfer academic knowledge. I acquired no logical mathematical system; therefore, there was no comprehension. However, I read with excellence. My brother, Bob, had taught me all the state capitals by the time I was five years old.

I was such a poor student my parents were told by a counselor that I was not capable of getting a college education. I followed school rules and didn’t make disturbances. I had no academic goals or motivation. I was lost in a fog of underachievement. My self-esteem was very low. I believed I was mentally challenged.

Faye Crawford in her graduation gown.
Faye Crawford in her graduation gown at Texas Women’s University

He would not leave me alone! God said, “ Return to school.”

My altercation continued.

My husband was going to Europe on business.

I had an opportunity to travel Germany, France, and Switzerland .

Again, I heard God’s voice tell me to seek a teaching degree.

There I stood looking through the glass at the airport.

I watched my husband and the airplane leave without me.

I had to face my weaknesses which outnumbered my strengths.

I had to learn to focus on the task at hand and follow through to completion.

What I had was a definite purpose. I was unwilling to fail. I learned to be persistent.

God was my survival mechanism. After all, this was His big idea.

I attended The University of Texas in Arlington for one semester where I studied Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, and Elementary Music. At night, I took an English class at Navarro Community College. I made all A’s except one B music. I was so timid that I could not sing primary songs in front of students who could actually be my children. I sang to my teacher in private.

A professor with Einstein-esque red hair touch my shoulder and demanded that I join him in his office after class. I panicked. Had I failed my first exam? As I entered his office, he slammed his hands on a cluttered desk , pointed to a huge stack of papers and yelled at me, “ Find your test !“ Nervously, I searched .” Silence. I was afraid to look at it.

A large red 87 was marked at the top. Relieved and confused, I sat still.

“I don’t give a damn if you never learn the crap that I am writing on the board,” he yelled,” I want you to learn about yourself.”

There were one hundred and twenty-five students in his lecture hall. This was my first direct interaction with him. How did he know what I was thinking and feeling? Why did he single me out? He had a gift for knowing his students. He wanted me to succeed. How did he know I could handle whatever rigorous and demanding assignments he gave me?

I don’t remember his name.

But I do remember the profound impact of a caring professor who calmed my anxiety.

The next semester, I transferred to Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. Driving one hundred forty miles each day through Dallas traffic, arriving in class by seven thirty, returning home by five thirty each afternoon and studying all night presented a struggle to manipulate all my responsibilities. Having a supportive husband and allocating chores to my teenagers, who played a valuable part in my success, the obligation of my excessive commitment was reduced.

Overcoming my obstacles, believing in myself, and learning skills necessary to succeed in college , became my passion. Adamantly striving to prove to myself that I was competent, I became receptive to the whole process. Cognitive of what I was learning and why I was learning it, I felt God’s hands forcefully on my back. I had no option.

Receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree with a Reading Specialization from TWU , a day of felicitation, produced unparalleled excitement and ambition to enter graduate school. Reaching my culmination , a Masters of Education was earned at Auburn University in Montgomery.

Whatever difficulties you may confront , be confident that God holds you in His hands. His strength holds you up so you can face anything that comes your way. I knew that God had called me to teach, so I committed my dreams and plans to the Lord knowing that He would see to it that they came to pass.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Related Posts