Before completing my undergraduate degree in social work, I had decided to attend Florida International University in Miami, FL to complete my graduate program.
The university offered two options for the master of social work degree.
One option, the advanced standing program, which included a full time course load and internship simultaneously, took only eight months, while the other took two years. At twenty one, I decided to complete the eight month program.
One of the requirements prior to starting either program was meeting with an advisor. I was so excited! I was going to map out my graduate courses and discuss my plans with him/her. I remember the day I met with my advisor like it was yesterday.
After we introduced ourselves, the advisor began to ask me some questions. She asked if I was currently working and if I planned to continue working throughout the program.
I told her, “yes.” She said, “No. You can’t work full time and do this program.” In my head, I thought, maybe she was right.
She asked several other questions and I answered them. With each question, my excitement and confidence faded. These were her final words to me: “You cannot do this program. You are going to fail. I am going to make a note in your personal file stating I advised you not to do the program so that when you fail, they would know I advised you not to do it.”
I walked out of my advisor’s office in tears feeling hurt, disappointed, and discouraged. I was devastated. I never expected to hear those words from someone whose job was to guide and encourage me.
Some time passed after my meeting and I talked to God. I asked God if I should complete the program. The Holy Spirit inspired me to call eight close, influential people to me.
I called my former pastor, sister, mentor and five others. I was nervous, wondering if one or more would say no. One by one I called hoping they would say a jubilant “Yes!” I remember my pastor’s words especially; “You’re young; you have the brain. Why not? Do it!”
As I got closer to the last person, I breathed a sigh of hope. They all had to be in agreement. As God would have it, all eight said yes! That was God’s sign that I should complete the advanced program, and I did.
The director asked if I was certain and I told her I was. In April 2007, at age twenty two, I completed my master’s degree in eight months and walked across the stage a proud graduate with a 3.57 GPA. I am so glad I went to God!
Sometimes, you get discouraged by strangers. Sometimes, you get discouraged by those you love and look up to the most, and it hurts.
But, in spite of who discourages you, causes you to doubt what you can do, know that God’s yes is all you need. Once you have that, believe you have all that you need to make your dreams come true.
Until this day, I am not sure why this woman told me what she did. Whatever the reason, her words wounded me, but thank God they didn’t defeat me. I pray you always know that you can truly be and do anything with God on your side.
When God Says Yes, Nobody can say no.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)