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My husband and I started dating when we were 19 and just-turned-20. We got engaged when I was 20 and I was married two months after my 22nd birthday. For some people, that’s normal. For some, it’s nuts.
When we were planning our post-college life together, my husband knew he wanted to go to graduate school for math. Not that many humans have a passionate love for mathematics, but Mr. V is one of the few. He wanted to get his PhD and teach math at a college.
When he started applying to graduate programs, I also wanted to go on to get a graduate degree – a master of divinity. I’d been involved in the church for so long, from singing in the adult choir with my dad at 6 years old to leading youth worship to being the president of my college’s Baptist Student Union, that I really couldn’t imagine doing anything that wasn’t ministry. When Mr. V went to talk to Vanderbilt, I went along and interviewed at their divinity school.
A few months before graduation, though, I stepped back. Divinity school would take three years. I really wanted to have kids four to five years into our marriage. Would it be worth it to get my degree? Not to mention – someone would pay for Mr. V to go to school, but not for me. And how the heck would we afford that?
I decided not to apply to schools after all, even though all the schools Mr. V had applied to were near divinity schools or also had them. He understood and was probably relieved, to be honest. I felt relieved, too. I didn’t really want to go to school for another three years.
So what WOULD I do once we moved? Mr. V chose Vanderbilt as the place for him, and we planned our move to Nashville – 10 hours by car away from Richmond, Virginia, the place I grew up and went to college and where my parents still lived. Just a little daunting.
We graduated, picked out an apartment in Nashville, got married, moved, and Mr. V started graduate school – all in about 10 weeks. Not to mention my dad’s best friend passed away from cancer two days after our graduation, while I was in Nashville.
With the divinity school dream behind me, I gravitated toward my other strengths. My degree was in English, but I didn’t want to teach. I was in the home of many of the major Christian publishing houses, and I decided to apply to any editing or writing job I found. (And then, once I was working in daycare full-time, ANY job I could find at those places.)
After several months, I got a call from a very Southern lady named Martha. She interviewed me in her cubicle. And that’s how I escaped daycare and found my way to LifeWay as a customer service rep. I wrote – didn’t even type! – my notice letter to the daycare director and was out of that place. On November 1, 2004, three months and one day after our wedding, I started my first “real,” office job.
To be continued. (See Part 1 here.)