Today I start my final semester of undergrad studies at Liberty University Online. I can hardly believe it's here. I still remember sitting in my car on a blistering hot August afternoon in 2009, looking at the back of an envelope with tears streaming down my face. Scrawled on that paper were five classes, Theology 202, Creation Studies, American History, Gospel of John, New Testament Survey 202. It turns out this was my launch code.
Through three and a half years of embarrassing, lonely, heartbreaking homelessness, my ongoing education kept me sane. It provided me with one good thing I could point to and say "See...something I am trying is working. I'm not a total failure"
It took 6 semesters to finish my degree. Of those 6 semesters I was homeless for 5. I studied by dashboard light, or in FedEx office or the library or restaurant. I kept my belongings in a self storage shed and swapped out my books as each semester ended and a new one began. I was studying in my car but in my heart I was a student on Liberty Mountain and I was not going to wait another ten years this time. There were times I thought I'd not make it. In a more perfect world I could have graduated last spring but my world hasn't been perfect for a while now. I'm glad. I'm glad the road was rough and hard and difficult and I'm glad I had to overcome bigger obstacles than many others to get this degree. I'm glad because it showed me that I am still an over-comer. I am no longer defined by the collapse of the mortgage industry...as of this morning I am 8 weeks from being Robert Craig Daliessio, Class of 2012, B.A. Religion, Liberty University.
"A man is not measured by what it takes to knock him down...but by what it takes to keep him down" --Dr. Jerry Falwell
If I can do this, you can do this. Once you dream a dream, you must never,ever,ever quit!
High Hopes everyone!