Detour Ahead!

Sep 10, 2013

I started out as a music major in college. When I decided to go a different direction my sophomore year, I chose Psychology with the intent of not stopping until I had obtained my Master's Degree in counseling. My last year of college was the hardest I had ever worked in school. It felt like I finally had a focus for the future and I was working to bring my gpa up while also working part time to gain experience in the field.

I studied hard, took the GRE, was proud of my score, and began applying to grad school programs. Because I was trying to graduate early, I was taking 21 credits during my last semester so I didn't have to take biology, my only class left, during the summer. I took 18 credits at my college, and the last 3 at the community college in the same town. It was an awful class and between the load I was taking and working, I had little motivation or energy left to put into this biology class.

I thought it would be a breeze, but little by little, I let myself get behind and ended up failing the class. I was mortified. Here I was, about to officially graduate college with the transfer of one class. Now I would have to spend my summer retaking the terrible class instead of taking a nice break like I had planned. Meanwhile, I had interviewed and been accepted to every single graduate program I had applied to and had made my decision. I got my own apartment in that little town and planned to start the program in the fall.

That summer, I signed up for the biology class and was able to transfer my job to the local office. That job's hours didn't cut it, though, so I was forced to take a retail job and a third job babysitting some during the week. I was all prepared to pass this class, transfer it to my college, get my official diploma, and start grad school. Also, I had been applying and interviewing for degree-specific jobs all summer and had several offers pending my diploma.

This is where I'll get honest with you instead of telling you I was just busy....I slacked. I just knew this class would be a breeze. And you know what? I failed. Again. By this time, my self-esteem was at an all time low. Here I was, an accomplished student with drive and ingenuity, and I couldn't even seem to pass a 200 level biology class.I decided to use my last resort- taking a competency test at the local higher education center. If I passed, I wouldn't be required to take biology and would finally be able to get my diploma. This would mean I could start grad school and accept one of the jobs I'd been offered.

I studied my butt off. I remember clicking submit on the test and going to the moderator for my score. 1 point. Literally, one point away from passing. I think I probably cried in my car for an hour before leaving the parking lot. I was devastated.

After recovering, taking a deep breath, and coping with the situation, I went home, signed up for my third biology class online. I had to email my advisor and let her know that grad school was on hold for now. And no, I did not share my embarrassing story with her! I continued working three jobs, lived in my adorable downtown apartment, and finally, praise Jesus, passed that stupid, ridiculous biology class.

During all of this, Michael and I got engaged and he was finishing up his last semester of his engineering degree. He attended a job fair and through a combination of his hard work and the grace of God, was offered his current job. Because of that, I had to turn down one of the job offers I could finally accept because we would be moving. We moved, I finally got one job and I recovered from that crazy, up and down year.It took me awhile to work through this turn in my life. I struggled between thoughts of "God's will" and my personal responsibility, and the only thing that I could come up with is that it worked it worked out. And I had to get to a place where I was okay with that.

I often think about what would had happened had things been different. If I had passed that first semester, I would have probably had to uproot in the middle of my grad school career when we had to move. I probably would have been working, making more money than my three jobs combined, but would not have been met with an opportunity to learn humility or know what it truly felt like to surrender the unknown to Jesus. So although life took a turn that I wasn't expecting, and one that was honestly a bit mortifying, I'm here now- this is where I'm supposed to be and I wouldn't be exactly here without the detour. 


  1. I really enjoyed this post, Kelsea! I only knew a tiny bit of this story, I had no idea it was such an ordeal. You wrote about it so beautifully.
    I'll never forget the first time I failed something... and how much it stung.

  2. Wow, Kelsea. It sounds like you really went through a rough period, but God, as always, knew exactly what was going on. I would've cried in my car, too. For a long time. But it's so neat to know that God's plan is the best one :)

  3. I feel like I can relate!

    I transferred colleges after my freshman year. I was semester away from graduating when they told me 2 of my previous classes did not transfer in correctly and that I would have to retake the same classes at my new college. That put me at 23 credit hours my last semester of my senior year taking the same two classes I had already passed a few years before. It's wonderful though when you get to see God's perfect plan in the end.

  4. I always find it amazing how God can take any situation and use it for something good! Yeah, having to take biology three times sucked. But - God used it for his own timing.

  5. Thanks for sharing! I would have been mortified to fail too. But god was working the whole time. Crazy, isn't it?

  6. I can really relate to this post. I had some class struggles in college that put me behind, and not just a little but A LOT. I've always believed that God doesn't give us what we want - He gives us what we need.

  7. Thank you for sharing! This is my senior year and I have had to take on extra courses to graduate on time. Remember everything happens for a reason!
    Anyway, I just found your blog!
    So excited to now be following!
    I look forward to keeping up!


  8. Wow, this story was so powerful to read. I am currently going to college and I'm at that point in my life where I feel like I have so many decisions to make and that the weight of the world is on my shoulders. This really just goes to show how God is so in control of everything and His way is always best. I know it had to have been so rough at the time but God has rewarded you in so many ways and you are right where He wants you :)

  9. I can so relate to this post. I had so many struggles my first couple of years of college, I thought about giving up but without those struggles I wouldn't be where I'm at now

  10. Everything happens for a reason...or so I've been told a million times. It's always interesting to look at the past and think about "what if." Who knows what would be different. But as long as you're happy in the place where you are, it was all meant to be. Beautiful post.