Grace ended today.
Not grace as in God’s, because thankfully, that never ends.
The grace from my student loans, however…that ended today.
Having to take out loans was something I struggled a lot with; I once joked I was going to run away and join the circus instead of starting another semester of school, because I wasn’t sure I should take out the money. (None of my skills lend themselves particularly well to circus life, however, so I did end up finishing)
Perhaps one of my biggest complaints is that the systems feels broken. I paid all this money for a degree that will theoretically help me get a better job, then will spend bunches of years working the job to pay off the loans I took out to get the education I needed to get the job.
When I am tempted to begin a cycle of griping and “How will I ever pay this back?” and moaning, it is good for me to stop.
Look at the pictures that adorn my walls, pictures of friends I wouldn’t have met otherwise, pictures of love and fun and laughter
Flip through my journals, reminding me of the good times and bad I experienced in college that shaped me.
Scan the books that now adorn my shelves, rereading words on God and communicating and grace and words.
Skim the notes I took in class, picking up starred bits that hit me anew today and remembering professors’ quotes.
Remember the professors and staff who taught and encouraged me and invested in my life.
My diploma is not made of 24 karat gold and studded with diamonds, as seems fitting considering the price tag of my education.
But when I am in despair over my loans, it is good for me to remember the things no price tag can be affixed to.
Two weeks before graduating, I wrote an “I’ll miss you” to my college, and I’m thankful I did. It is a good reminder of the valid reasons my heart broke a little as I received my diploma, and now again as I square off with my pile of debt.
About a week ago I wrote, “I took out loans to help get me through college; I never thought they’d teach me about Jesus.” Though I would never recommend taking out loans to better understand Jesus and the concept of grace, I am reminded of the intangible takeaways from my college experience.
There are some things no price tag fits on.
Til next time…