The following school year, Justin got sick and had five consecutive surgeries which resulted in him taking the fall semester off. He dropped his classes and focused on his recovery. During his time off, he considered applying to a different school to major in youth ministry. Several mentors steered him away from this and encouraged him to pursue an area of study as a "backup plan" in case ministry jobs weren't available. After much thought, council, and consideration of his interests, he started the spring semester as a psychology major with a minor in religious studies. He was still part-time, but he was hooked on psychology. He had finally found his niche.
A couple semesters later, he started back again full-time. He had a lot of catching up to do since he had changed his major several times and was going part-time for awhile, but he kept with it. I graduated with my undergrad and started grad school in 2011, and Justin started work on his final research projects to complete his psychology degree. We got engaged in August 2011 and got married in October 2012, right before I was about to graduate from grad school and Justin was about to graduate with his undergrad. During the time leading up to our graduation, we planned a wedding, remodeled an apartment, went to school full-time, and worked. It was a whirlwind, but our graduations in May 2013 made it all so worth it. We graduated from the same university, and during the ceremony, they made a special announcement that we were graduating as husband and wife.
After years of grappling with illness and life changes, Justin accomplished his goal and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and religious studies.
|Justin and I at Notre Dame's Joyce Center for Indiana University South Bend's 2013 graduation ceremony.|
|Poor guy couldn't type any of his assignments for school.|
When Justin started the new job in Ohio, he had three semesters left of his grad program. This past weekend, HE GRADUATED!!! Despite all the travel, the late nights, and the sacrificed time, he did it. I'm one proud wife.
We definitely celebrated the occasion. A week before the graduation ceremony, some wonderful friends of ours threw Justin a graduation party at their home here in Ohio. It was great to celebrate with friends and family.
|Justin and I with Kirk and Heather at his "Ohio grad party." They were wonderful hosts!|
|Justin with some of our Impact friends at his "Indiana grad party."|
|The graduate - Justin A. Samson, M.Min.|
|He did it, he got his master's degree!|
As a side note, I just finished the first year of my doctoral program at Bowling Green State University. It feels good to be a second-year student now!