This isn’t a story about redemption. This is a story about God’s grace.
Before I start, let’s all get on the same page. By redemption, I am not referring to the theological definition. I am talking about the redemption used in Rocky, The Last Jedi, and other movies. That is not what happened with physics. When I talk about God’s grace, I’m talking about when God chooses to bless us even though we don’t deserve it. I was blessed. I don’t know why and I don’t know if I’ll ever know why, but I was blessed in this story.
To those who have been following my journey, you know how rough this quarter has been. To those who don’t know, I suggest looking back at my previous posts, if you have the time. To those who don’t have the time or want the quick two sentence summary, here it is:
I never worked harder in my life than I did this quarter, some days working 12 hour days, and yet this quarter I’ve never received more F’s in my life. From my performance in my physics class this quarter, I was almost certain I failed as I didn’t get anything above a 50% on my tests, but somehow and some way, I passed.
Yesterday, I found out I passed and honestly, I’m still in shock. I feel like I shouldn’t have passed. Yes, my college grades on a curve and your grade depends on how everyone else does in the class, but I was pretty below average…on every single test. I was so prepared for failure, well, maybe not prepared, but I expected to fail. It wasn’t one of those times where you tell others you failed but you know you’ll pass. No, this time I truly believed I failed. I didn’t know how I could pass. Don’t get me wrong, because I passed doesn’t mean I passed with a good grade, but hey, I passed.
As I mentioned, this isn’t a story about redemption. This is not about how I worked my butt off and it paid off. I did work my butt off, but it didn’t pay off. I’ve never worked harder to get lower than a 40% on a final. This is a story about God’s grace, because I don’t know why I didn’t fail, but He allowed me to pass. The only way I did pass is because it was in His plan for me.
Now, what does that mean? There’s a couple things I’ve learned from this quarter (especially about passing when I thought I failed) and I thought I should share.
Just because I didn’t fail this time, doesn’t mean I won’t fail ever. As I mentioned in my last post, sometimes He says, “Yes,” and sometimes He says, “No.” I’m knocking on wood as I write this, but I could fail a class or a couple classes at some point in college. I wouldn’t like that and I would have a really hard time accepting that if it happens, but it’s still a possibility.
Don’t ask God for trust. This is more of a joke than something I really want you to take away from this post. I don’t know how many of you dedicated people have read every single post, but to those who smiled, you know what I’m talking about from my second post. Before the school year even started, I asked God to help me trust Him and continue to trust Him. To tell you the truth, this is the most I’ve ever had to trust Him. I definitely learned my lesson about asking God for certain things…kidding of course. Ask Him to help you learn certain lessons, but don’t be surprised if you learn it in a way you weren’t expecting.
These trials get worse. I know. Something you probably wished you didn’t have to hear, but it’s true. Before this quarter, I would’ve told you about that time during my freshman year of high school, but as of right now, my faith has never been tested as much as it was during these 11-12-something weeks. I know that my faith will be tested again and I can only hope I am more mentally, emotionally and spiritually ready for it.
Lastly, through this quarter I learned that I put too much of my worth in my grades. This in itself can be a separate post, but I’ll sum it up for you. It was hard for me to get A’s, but they were doable with enough hard work. This time it was different and because it was different, it made it even harder for me. I promise you, despite how I come across, I’m not okay. As happy as I am for passing, this quarter really messed me up mentally and emotionally. I know I’ll be okay eventually, but these things take time.
Allow me to go off on a tangent; I promise everything will connect nicely in the end. Be patient, friend.
This photo is one that I took on Monday, before finding out I passed. This was when I was almost certain I failed. It reads, “You are not defined by your grades.” Now, do I truly believe what I wrote? No, no I don’t. This is my goal though for my winter quarter and for the rest of the time I spend in school. Defining myself by my grades really messed me up because things went “wrong”. I can’t allow myself to define myself by my grades. I learned that the hard way. To whoever is reading this, take my story and my experience in the way that will most benefit you or someone you know. To those who are struggling in school and even to those who are doing well in school, you are not defined by your grades.
Here we are, the conclusion, the end. I passed and it still feels weird to say that, but I passed. Where do we go from here? Well, winter quarter is coming up quicker than I realize. As an engineering major, it doesn’t get much easier. My goal is to take what I learned through this quarter and find a way to apply it. I have no idea what is going to happen this upcoming quarter, but I will keep you all updated. Ultimately, if there is one thing I need to learn for this next quarter, or at least try to, it is to not define myself by my grades. Much easier said than done, but this is my goal, stay tuned.
This isn’t a story about redemption. This is a story about God’s grace. He allowed me to pass and I don’t know why.
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31: 8