Updated: Mar 29, 2021
My pastor keeps giving me good fodder for my blog. For this I thank him. 😉 This blog post is mostly a short story. Enjoy.
One day a young woman graduated from High School, valedictorian of her class. She was not only intelligent, she was also patient, decent, kind and respectful. Her father could not have been more proud. The day after she graduated, her father presented her with an old used car he had bought for her, years earlier, to give her upon her graduation. “I know its an old car sweetie, but I bought it at a great deal. Now I want you to take it and sell it and you can keep the money for it.”
He instructed her to take it to the local used car lot first, but the salesman there explained it wasn’t worth much because it had a lot of miles and no infotainment system. She came back and explained it to her father what the salesman said.
He nodded and told her, “Now take it to the pawnshop.”
She grudgingly took the car and drove it to the Pawn Shop, but there they offered her even less for the car, explaining it was so old, it could only be scrapped for parts. She came home and told her dad what the pawn shop owner had said.
The father nodded and told her “Now I want you to take it to the Auto Club.”
“But Dad, why would I take an old car to that fancy place?”
“Please”, he said, “Do it for me?” “Okay dad.” So she did. She drove the old car to the Auto Club and was shocked!
She drove the old car home much more carefully than before. She flew into the house, ecstatically telling her father how the Auto Club offered her $100,000 on the spot for the car! How several people had recognized it right away as a Vintage Nissan Skyline R3-- a collector’s item!
When she paused to take a breath, her father slowly walked up and put his hands on her shoulders.
"Daughter, I want you to remember this, for the rest of your life, for as long as you live-- keep looking, keep searching until you find the place and people who recognize your value and appreciate you for who you are. Don’t be upset if no one sees your value, it just means you’re in the wrong place and you need to move on.”
Your broken heart and people’s bad intentions can set you into the place you need to be. If that “special someone”, hadn’t lied to you, you might have married them. If that old friend hadn’t ghosted you might never have met anyone new. If that old coworker hadn’t lied about you, you might still be in that old job. (Such as Joseph in the Bible.) Never stop looking for the place you belong, a place where you are appreciated and valued for who you are.
This story, this message, hit me harder than I can say. I wish I had heard this word years ago. I’ve mentioned in a previous post how I crashed and burned out of a college major. Here I will go into more detail.
I was never liked in that major. I was never wanted in that program. When I entered the program, it was my first time in college. I was so nervous and excited. I wanted to talk to the teacher, who was also the head of the program, but she was impatient with all my nervous questions that first day. I learned quickly not to ask her for help. Through the years I spent in that major, her impatience came and went based on her mood. Looking back on those years, I wish I had heard this sermon before. I wish I had left that program sooner. Through panic attacks, anxiety and every academic setback, I persevered. I believed that if I could just prove myself, I would be accepted. I stayed in that major, working, studying and improving and by the time I reached the last classes, I was highly skilled.
I. Was. Good. But being highly skilled wasn’t enough. During my internship, someone I had counted as a friend, lied about me in an observation report. Later in a meeting, as the head of the program read aloud her false report about me- she was smiling. The Student Advocate I spoke to try and defend myself, told me I would be allowed to stay in the program only if I submitted to, (among other things), weekly sessions with the very teacher, the head of the Department, that I was having so much trouble with. I learned right then, this so-called student advocate was NOT on my side. I had expected my heart to start pounding again but I felt oddly calm as I left that meeting that day. To continue on in this major would mean dealing the very people I was having so much trouble with on a regular basis. It would be part of my job. I decided right then, I would not work with these people. Ever. I would not put myself through anymore of this misery.
It was over.
I was done.
With only two credits away from graduation, I left the program. I managed to hold it together until I got home when it all came rushing out. I was heartbroken. Words cannot describe how devastated I was.
The truth is, that wound still hurts. Going back to school after that trauma was an act of bravery for me. I learned the very hard way that hard work alone doesn’t always get you where you want to go. For you to be able to succeed, you need to be in a place where you are allowed to succeed. I should have dropped out and switched majors the first time the program director got after me for asking a question during study time. I should have left after the first time she got after me for not knowing the meaning of a term I’d never heard before, or that time she seethed, “I don’t know another way I can explain this to you!” Each of these incidents happened in front of the whole class. My classmates knew better than to be friendly with me.
After I left the Program, I took a few miscellaneous classes that would allow me to at least have an associates degree in Liberal Arts. In all of those classes I was welcomed with open arms. The teachers were friendly, the classmates were kind and talked to me. It was a night and day experience. I didn't just do well- I excelled.
More than one teacher asked me if I would consider majoring in their pet program. It was during the same time I found a new job, in the same college of all places, (different campus), that was a Godsend, a job where I was appreciated and valued.
I'm currently taking basic art courses for Graphic Design. The work is rigorous, but the teachers so far have been approachable and extremely helpful and as of this writing I am doing well. I should never have wasted my time being where I was not wanted. I should have shaken the dust off my feet and moved on sooner. I wish I had not had to learn this lesson the hard way. I wish I had heard this sermon sooner.
So how about you?
Is there some aspect in your life in which you need to move on?