When I see her posts today, I still remember those days when she would just cry. She always said, “I am just lucky that I am a clerk. I have not finished my college education. This is me for the rest of my life.” So, I asked her, “Why? What is your dream?” Tears would fall as she relates her story.
She would recall her childhood when their family was almost without anything. She would go to school, walking and hoping that no one would see her. She would pretend to go out during morning and afternoon breaks but she had no food to feast on. She would just cry in the restroom until the bell sounded. She would go back to her classroom with a smile. That was her life until she finished her high school in a public school where everything was for free. Her uniform was a hand-me-down from the employers of her mother who was a good cook. She devoted her time to household chores and reading. She always dreamt to be a teacher.
“But now, this dream of becoming a teacher is gone. I am just grateful for my work,” Lory would say.
One day, Lory asked permission from her employer if she can go to school after work. This would mean her leaving work before five in the afternoon so she would not be late. Her employer turned down her request. Lory just cried.
“This is what you can do, I told her. Get enrolled in subjects that start at six in the evening. You do not have to hurry. You must be patient. Go ahead and enroll. Do not let others hinder you from your dreams. Just keep things to yourself. Do not tell a soul. Go!”
And indeed, she enrolled. She would show me her grades at times. No one knew that she was enrolled. I took the risk of being discovered. But I was willing to get the axe for her.
After all her difficulties, a wife, a mother, a clerk, a student-teacher, Lory survived. She graduated with honors and her husband and children were so proud of her.
“Ma’am, do you think I should apply already for a teaching job since I have graduated now?”
I told her to stay put and be grateful for the opportunity given to her by her employer even if they did not know about it. She should stay for at least two more years. Since she was already trusted in the office, she should be training someone to do her tasks, too.
She did just that. She stayed for another three years while she took the board exams. She passed! So, she was ready now for spring. Autumn is gone and she is welcoming Spring!
I have not seen her for years. I just see her FB posts which are all heartwarming. She has become an exceptionally good Professor. Oh yes, she has completed her Masteral course, too. Her students love her. I saw one post where she got the award. I am so happy for Lory (not her real name, for confidentiality). She never gave up on her dreams.
The seasons in life come and go. When we are at our weakest point, God is strongest. It is how we use our time for Him that matters most.