This last weekend I had the opportunity to go to Myrtle Beach for a girls weekend with some of my friends from North Carolina. It was such a fun, and well needed break, especially since Derek had been late from work every night the previous week, and was leaving for a business trip this week, it was a great refresher to help get my energy up. I loved North Carolina for a lot of reasons, but I mostly fell in love with the people. I had so many friends between the two places we lived there, and every single one of them are spiritual giants in my life. I feel like I've gained so much from the relationships that I formed there, and I feel like each of those women have given me so many parenting gems that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
While I was on my girls trip and talking to these ladies I kept thinking, why did Heavenly Father move us away from these people? And if He was just going to take them all away, why did we even need to be there in the first place? I just mentioned that one reason is that the women were all spiritual giants for me, and have greatly impacted the way I want to raise my children, but I think that there was another, very critical reason as well.
When we first moved to Durham, NC, Derek had just barely started his undergrad, and had gotten a job working for Netapp, so we moved and worked there while Derek finished his undergrad online. Our entire plan was work for a few years, finish the undergrad, and then get a job and be done with school.
But then when we were living in Durham, our entire church congregation was full of young families like Derek and I. The only difference is that 90% of them were either Duke or UNC Chapel Hill students, who were pursuing very rigorous degree programs. They ranged from MBA's and various master degrees, all the way up to med school, residencies, and PhD programs. The entire time we were in the ward, Derek and I thought, "good for you, but not for us." We respected and admired what our friends were doing, but since Derek was just barely starting his undergrad, the idea of more school seemed unpleasant.
Then we moved to Cary, NC and it opened our eyes a lot. Cary is not a college town by any means. In fact, its a town filled with a lot of very wealthy families who are climbing the career ladder in a wide range of professions. Most of the families that we went to church with in Cary were established families who had the houses we one day wanted, the cars we one day wanted, and the family life that we hoped to have at some point.
Over the year we lived there, we learned that 90% of these families got to where they were because of grad school. Derek and I quickly learned that in order to reach that level of success that we one day hoped to have, we would have to put the time in now, and do graduate school. So when he finished his undergrad degree in December of 2014, we started applying for jobs all over the country, knowing that in about a year, Derek would start an MBA online, while working full time in his new job.
Here we are, just two years after moving to Georgia, and Derek's MBA is almost done. We never waited the year to start the MBA, and dived in head first shortly after getting here. Derek's MBA has already blessed our lives so much in his current role, and in future opportunities to come. I'm grateful that we were able to witness both sides of the grad school life. The side of being the poor families that are barely getting by, to the product of what happens to families just eight years after making that commitment. I think it's safe to say we'll always be grateful for the lessons of humility and endurance that we learned while living in North Carolina, and they are lessons that will bless our family the rest of our life.