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Higher Still By Carrie Ross
At the age of 35 I found myself single again. My husband of 13 years left our home and even though we were seeing a marriage Councillor we never recovered our marriage. We were the mother and father to three beautiful children, so it didn’t just affect us, it was just as devastating to them that our family was broken.
The four years prior to our marriage separation I had put off going to university in attempts to making my marriage come together, hoping we could be the amazing family the Lord designed us to be. Yes I had attended church most of my life, but it was during this time I found Jesus in a way that I had never experienced before and even though my husband and I were not able to succeed at our attempts of restoration, Jesus was restoring me to Him. With his help and guidance, I began my journey as a single Mom and once again a student.
My marriage had taken me to Taber, a small town in Southern Alberta that is the lively hub for the agriculture industry. Having been raised in Blairmore nestled in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of the most southern Pass in Alberta, the last thought I had was to be an agronomist and if someone were to even mention the word agronomy I would have returned to them a complete blank gaze.
Post secondary school was not on my radar screen as a just graduated seventeen-year-old, regardless of the fact that most of my friends were either in college or university. For me a nice paying job with AGT in the heart of downtown Calgary was provision enough, and frankly I had no idea at the time what I would take even if I did want to go to college or university. However my dream to obtain a university degree never waned and was always in my heart even as marriage took precedence and each child entered into our little family. I shared with my husband that I dreamt of going back to school once all of our children were in grade school. When we separated our youngest was eight, school had been put to the wayside, but now I decided I would not wait any longer.
A friend’s husband happened to work for Roger’s Sugar Ltd the same time I was a lab tech in their quality control lab. He had the title of agriculturist and I watched what he did and asked him many questions. I was smitten by his career and it was at that moment it all clicked. I was nervous, scared and wondered what the impact would have on my children who were eight, ten and thirteen. It was the end of one journey and the beginning of another.
I don’t think those three incredible little people realized just how much God used them to help keep me focused. If it wasn’t for them, I may never have realized my dream. I was able to have good paying jobs throughout my life until then so the expense of a student loan and hours of work probably would not have come to fruition without them. We lived under what we call the poverty level for the entire duration of my 5 years of post secondary school. Two years in college and three years of university. They were the reason I would come home every evening to make supper for and to tuck into bed only to work till midnight doing my studies. As a younger sibling of seven children I was considered not very bright and that was something I needed to overcome as a student. There were insecurities but I had those three to tend to and I knew God had plans and purposes for each of them as he did me.
All three were remarkable and supportive. We lived on a small acreage just outside of Taber and they needed to take a bus to school. Two of my semesters I left them to catch the bus themselves as my classes in Lethbridge were early classes. Never once did they miss catching the bus, miss locking up our home or miss coming home. All three are wonderful cooks today as each of us took turns making dinner and eating our meals together, giving thanks to God. Thankful with for Him providing for us in so many ways that my children never missed out on any opportunity including time with their father as I chose to stay in Taber so our children would have access to both their Mom and Dad.
Today I hold a Professional Agrologist designation with the Alberta Institute of Agrologists, I am a Certified Crop Advisor and have obtained a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Lethbridge. I worked 13 years as a sugar beet specialist with Roger’s Sugar ltd which is now Lantic Inc. Three years with Viterra as manager of agronomic services, four years as an entrepreneur under the business name of cutting Edge Agronomy and currently a production research agronomist for Monsanto Canada Inc.
More than anything I am the proud mother of three perfected, healthy and God gifted children and the grandmother to three beautiful boys and one girl who remind me daily of my blessings. There have been so many trials, challenges, heart aches and much much joy and with God my life is being lived to the fullest.