As of last week, my graduate school curriculum is 50 percent completed. I will be honest with you: this semester was a long one. It taught me sacrifice, dedication, and also how to prioritize.

I set aside days each week to work solely on school and work. Once getting home from my job, I wouldn’t leave again until the next morning. And I read probably 1,000 pages of textbook material, completed two group projects, two individual projects, and took way too many exams. (So many that half the time I reviewed what the exam was over minutes before the exam…)

And somehow I survived. And passed each course with grades that I myself am amazed by.

So why does this matter? Why do you care to read about my latest semester of graduate school?

Well, you probably don’t. However, I have a feeling that you have all experienced a period like this in your life. It may have been 16-weeks, or maybe not. It may have been related to school or a career, or maybe not. Either way, you underwent a time of complete dedication and commitment. It was probably rewarding, but it also came with challenges.

When we live lives that aim to achieve goals, that pursue hobbies and dreams, and that hope to make a difference, we are bound to find ourselves learning about sacrifices, dedication, and our priorities.

Whether you are pursuing a relationship, an athletic achievement, a career as an artist, a higher position within your company, or just hoping to be a really good parent, chances are you have learned a lot about these three things along the way.

And it’s beautiful.

We learn some of the greatest lessons about ourselves and this life when we are in the midst of challenging times that consume our hearts and steer them in the direction God intended.

What are you pursuing? What period of life has left you feeling the way I did last semester?

Keep pushing. It will all be worth it.

And one day, it will come to fruition, and you will smile with a full heart.

I am 50 percent done. And in one year, I will be better fit to make a difference in the lives of my clients and the people around me.

You can do it too.