Then came college. I could not only choose classes, but a major. I could feed my fascination for history and people in all their variety.

I headed to the anthropology department which is where I encountered out-spoken Dr. Professor (obviously a fake name). You either loved her or you hated her. She scared me half to death. She didn't just talk at us. She expected us to respond, and if she disagreed, you knew it. I got quieter, hoping she wouldn't notice me. "Lord, get me out of here in one piece."

God, had other plans. Dr. Professor called on me repeatedly. She told me how and why I was wrong. I knew my opinions were valid, but what difference did it make?

One day, I gave my answer. I don't remember what she said but the implication was clear – only a complete stooge could have missed such an obvious point. I may have been painfully quiet, but I was not stupid. And I told her so. I told her that my interpretation was based on my background which was no less valid than her own. Then I froze. I was bitching out a professor. A professor who was completely expressionless.

"Lord, let me live through this. I'll never speak up again."

Then Dr. Professor threw back her head and laughed. "I was so worried. If I didn't get you to stand up for yourself the world was going to eat you alive." I'd prayed for years for someone to stand up for me. The Lord sent a maniac of a professor to push me into doing it, and I've never entirely retreated back into that shell. I think this was also part of His plan, because my experiences have given me an outspoken approach to certain situations.

"Mom, they're picking on him because they think he's gay. He said he's going to kill himself."

A week after Tyler Clementi's suicide, I stood in the school counselor's office. My son wanted to talk to her too, so the bullies would think he turned them in instead of suspecting their victim, but he also wanted my input. After all, I do have a way of making heard.

Thy will be done.

Thy Will

Not my will, but thy will.
I try to hold this
in my mind and my heart
as I hold my worries up to You.
Thy will
may not mean a quick fix
or the easy way out.
It may take weeks
to come together.
But it is Your way,
The Way,
even when I cannot spy it
through my nearsighted take
on the world.
The World You lovingly hold
in Your hand.


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