My life changed in an instant a week ago as a result of a prompting from the Lord. I make a habit of talking with God and listening for His answers, and I am often surprised at the answers I receive. Last week I received such an answer and was greatly surprised. As my long-time readers know, education has always been important to me. I love to learn. I do a lot of reading and studying on my own. I graduated with honors from high school and thought my education was complete; after all, I was equipped to be a good secretary, my career of choice until I became a wife and full-time, stay-at-home mother. Somewhere along the way I developed a desire to gain further education.
I planned to go back to school when my fifth child began kindergarten – until my sixth child was born about the time he started school. I put off going back to school for various reasons that included duties at home and extensive callings in the Church. I took various classes, both on line and at the local university, but had to stop due to family responsibilities. Then BYU-Idaho started the Pathway Program. I wondered if this was the program that would work for me. I prayed about it numerous times but received what I considered to be a “no” answer. I wondered if my time for getting a further education was past, and I decided to simply move on with my life.
Last week I barely th ought about the Pathway program, but I received a resounding “YES”. Apparently, the answers that I thought were “no” were actually “not yet”. I was shocked! There is no other word to describe my reaction to the answer. I immediately moved forward with registering for Pathway, but I continued to wonder if I was receiving the right answer – the answer that He was sending. Why now?” How do I work school into my schedule? How am I supposed to do all the things Thou hast asked me to do? I do not yet have answers to many of my questions, but I did receive confirmation many times that I am to start the Pathway program; therefore, I will be starting classes next week. I do not know what the Lord has in mind for me, but I will move forward one day at a time and trust the Lord. I do not know how it will all affect my blog. Maybe there will be big changes; maybe not.
For those who have never heard of the Pathway program, it is “a distance-learning program from BYU-Idaho. Its purpose is to extend a flexible, low-cost opportunity for Church-sponsored higher education to thousands of students in a growing number of locations around the world. Pathway has soared from three pilot locations in 2009 to more than 85 today from Alaska to South Africa. More than 6,000 students have been touched by a Pathway experience.”
Pathway consists of online courses taught by a dedicated faculty with students gathering locally once each week to share academic progress and to attend a religious class. Local Church-service missionaries are called to give support and to provide encouragement. There are local groups for students 18-30 as well as students 31 and over. Students are taught gospel-based principles and life skills.
The first year of Pathway consists of three semesters of five credit hours of classes, classes that prepare students to learn at the collegiate level. Students take one college class and one religion class each semester. These classes start at the very beginning with life skills and Book of Mormon and move on to Math and English classes with more Religion classes. “From the very first class in life skills, students experience an unexpected energy and an improved capacity to learn at the collegiate level. They even take an active role in teaching other students.” Students report an increase of the Spirit in their lives as well as better time-management skills.
I expect a good experience for this new assignment from the Lord. I consider my gardening class last fall as a practice class for my new endeavor. I suppose that I will be able to find a new travel schedule that will accommodate my schooling schedule. I know I can accomplish hard things as long as I keep my trust in the Lord.