Having graduated from ORU 4 months ago, there are certain expectations that come with that.
Right out of the gate, you should have a job lined up because of all of the amazing connections that you made while you attended there. You should probably be married, engaged, or at least in a relationship. You should be plugged into a local church (or your church back home) where you can post about how much you love your city and love your church.
And it is so easy to feel like a little less of a person when you are one of the very few graduates who don’t have a permanent job after graduation. And trust me when I say I am not bashing those who do. I am extremely proud of all of my fellow grads who hit the ground running.
But there is still a handful of us who, well, didn’t hit the ground running. I can safely say that it isn’t like we haven’t tried. I spend hours online searching for a job literally every day. From applying to the non-profit of my dreams to apply to be a receptionist of a car dealership, you name it! If you think you have an idea of a job that I could apply for, I’m 99% sure I’ve already applied.
Currently, I’m living the glamorous life of being a server at a local restaurant here in Tulsa. I was serving a couple who were alumni of ORU. They proceeded with the normal conversation that most of my guests have with me.
“How old are you?” the gentleman asked. “Oh, I’m 22. I know I look 12,” I chuckled uncomfortably. “Oh, so you are older?” he continued. “Where did you go to school?” “I graduated from ORU this past April.” “Really?” the woman responded. “With what?” “Ministry and Leadership with a concentration in Church Administration.” “Oh man, and you work here?” the man asked. “That degree must have been a waste.”
I smile, awkwardly nodded (what else was I supposed to do) and walked away.
That degree must have been a waste.
That phrase has stuck with me for weeks. Was it a waste? Did I waste 4 years of my life studying something just to be a server at a restaurant? Surely God has something greater for me, right? RIGHT!?
Yeah, He probably does. Actually, I know He does.
The whole reason I came to ORU because I wanted to start my own ministry. My degree (besides my experience) is the one thing that could prepare me the most for that journey when it happens.
I’m a single, 22-year-old graduate from ORU. Was my degree a waste? Possibly. But the amazing thing about the God we serve is that He doesn’t need us to have a college degree (or a man) to fulfill His purpose for us. My degree does not define me. I am extremely proud of who I’ve become and I wouldn’t take those 4 years back for anything. (Yes, the title was click bait. #sorrynotsorry)
So if there’s anyone out there like me, who doesn’t have it all together, who didn’t graduate with a job lined up, who didn’t graduate at all, any time spent following the Father is NOT a waste. His plans for us are far above anything we could ever imagine.