Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Lesson To Learn

With all that I have been going through the past week, I am sure the Lord is trying to teach me a lesson. I know that things can happen for many reason, to draw us closer to Him, to help us learn to depend on Him, to strengthen us or even "just because".

For those of you who read my post about the struggle I was having with regard to my Reformation paper, you will recall that I was very stressed about it and had decided that I wanted to drop the course. You will also recall that I spoke to the lady from the registrar's department (I'll call her J) at church on Sunday about this. She was able to calm my fears and give me reassurance about this whole situation.

On Saturday night, I prayed about the situation and I told God that whatever it was He wanted me to do with regard to the course, then I would do it. I told Him if He wanted me to drop it I would, but I also told Him if He wanted me to continue then I would. I just needed for Him to let me know by Sunday because the paper was due Monday.

Well, after talking to J, I felt I had my answer. God wanted me to continue. Wonderful. I was hoping He'd let me drop it to be honest with you, but I obeyed and continued...mainly because I didn't want to get an automatic 'F' for dropping at this late date (which I would get even if I had an A up to that point).

So, I am still in the course. I then thanked the Lord for answering the prayer and for His guidance and for J's reassurance as well. My next request was to ask for His help and the words to say in the paper because I really didn't know what I was doing with this paper. It was the hardest one that I believe I have had to write to date. I told Him my biggest fear was that I ended up doing this wrong and although I stuck to the topic, I feard that I didn't write what I was supposed to about the topic (eschatology in the Reformation). Well, I still don't know if I have written it correctly, but I can't do anything about that now.

So, to get back to the whole lesson part now. I believe that the Lord was/is trying to teach me to persevere, to not take the easy way out. The easy way would have been to drop the course and not deal with the whole paper and presentation issue (we have to do a 10 minute presentation on our paper in front of the class as well and I don't want to present something that I did wrong, so that is part of the fear I have).

I believe the Lord is also trying to teach me (again) to rely on Him, to put Him in my schoolwork and to do it for Him. I can so easily tend to get caught up in the schoolwork and not include Him in it. While I will pray for help or even thank Him for the possibility to go to school, I often just leave Him other words, I focus on my work more than Him.

I know I have to learn this for a reason. I have no idea why, whether it is just a "life lesson" to learn, or if He has something specific planned for me later on in which I need to be able to persevere and rely on Him without giving up. Regardless of what the answer is, I need to remember to let Him help me and not try to do things on my own strength.

I also think He is trying to teach me that it's ok if I get a C instead of a B. It's not the end of the world if I do. Because for me, I feel that I need to get high marks or I am dumb. I know that isn't true, but to me high marks are very important. I think too, that because of my age (36) people expect more out of me, or that at the very least I should be getting high marks. Part of this is just a personal thing, part of it is pride, and yet part of it is also wanting to get praise for good marks. Those are things I have to get rid of: pride, wanting praise for what I do (so that the focus is on me...making this a selfish thing).

So, that is what I have been thinking the last couple of days. God is probably trying to teach me a lesson that I need to learn (or relearn). It's hard and frustrating, but no one said it would be easy. And if it is something I need to learn, I am sure there is a reason for it and I will one day find out why.

Now, with what I have left of this semester, I need to remember to keep Him in all of this; to put Him ahead of school work, to seek His guidance, and to do what He wants me to do. Now, He just needs to give me the strength and energy to get through the next 3-4 weeks...


Lorna said...

hi Shelley
thanks for stopping by at my place!

I too am a 'mature student' and a friend explained it to me. As older women (grr) we work hard, and push ourselves hard. I think it's good up to a point but performance orientation can creep in, and we allow ourselves to believe that only As or B are enough (as you too struggle with) or worse that our worth depends on it.

It's a cruel trap.
We need to cultivate the attitude that we do the work and that's enough - whatever the grade - and irrepective we are loved by God.

I hope the reformation paper goes well. It sounds very interesting.

Maggie Ann said...

Shelley, I am impressed with your diligence and faithfullness to your classes and to the Lord! The prize is always before us...I think you are well on the way to achieving it!

Anonymous said...

you go, girl. we can never go wrong when we follow Him. sometimes it's hard to understand His ways or we may never understand at all but He knows best. just hold on and do your very best.

praying for you...

Joe said...

Well, a "C" may not be the best, but it is not a bad college grade.

God bless.

Dave said...

Shelley, your last paragraph somes it all up. You are putting yourself in His care; you are seeking His guidance; but above all you are acknowledging that He is in control.
May God bless you and keep you.

Maggie Ann said...

Hi Shelley, I'm not a prize fudge maker by any stretch of the imagination *smile*...thats why this recipe is not only delicious but easy...just boil 12 minutes. It does sound different, but take my word for it, if you like pumpkin...this is good...did I mention very sweet? Hope you are having a good day. blessings to you.

Jezreel said...

Hey Shelley! Thanks for the comment on my blog. Figured I'd stop by and see what was goin' on in your bloggin' world. Good on you for keepin' on keepin' on!

Hope you're having an awesome weekend!


Mustang Girl said...

I had a melt down moment lastnight myself re: school work. Like you I have my research paper and a presentation in front of my past profs. with out going into details here, i am feeling better but I am at the point were I am ready to walk across that stage, accept that diploma cover and celebrate, and scream for happiness!!!! :)

God bless! .:hugs:.