15 December, 2005

Am I stupid?

Apparently, hard work is not the only prerequisite to getting what one wants in life. I earned a D yet again in General Chemistry II. How? Why? I don't even care anymore that I'd need it for physical therapy school. How can I work this hard AGAIN and still be stupid enough to earn a D? A second time?

What does this mean to my scholarship? If I don't get that GPA up higher, then they're going to permanently stop $5,000 of those $11,000 that made my freshman year so easy.

I feel like an idiot. I won't work any harder, because school would have to become my first passion and priority. I can make that happen, but it's not right. God is my first passion and priority.

Why did it seem that God was leading me here? When I graduated from high school, all my wildest dreams had come true. Literally. I was pre-accepted into the nation's 3rd best PT school, I was going to an inexpensive college close to home, I had scholarships that more than covered my tuition & expenses, I loved my church, I was bonding well with friends, and I was well-provided for in all other aspects. I needed nothing. I thought that all this pointed to the fact that I should head down the pre-PT road, so I did. And now? It seems God has taken away that dream, and that ability, and the mental stamina it takes to get through a 2-hour multiple choice exam.

I should read the book of Job. And I think I will.


Towropes said...

I'll see you soon, but here:

there's no need to "forecast grief," as Elisabeth Elliot says. You don't know what's around the bend. It's very good---it's something we can smile toward (Proverbs 31:25). you'll be all right, sister.

and it seems clear enough you've taken the right steps. be careful not to let present struggles limit your future or negate your past. Keep seeking wisdom, keep humbly "walking through the doors God opens"--and above all, do not fret (Psalm 37). His eye's on the sparrow. You're doing well to be in his hands.

Wes said...

I can't offer any profound sayings, but I can try to encourage. God is in control, and from everything I talk to you about, you know that. Life comes at you at the speed of light, theres not always time to react. I know that you'll make it though though. We're all behind ya.

Anonymous said...

God gave you a brain. Part of his plan for your life is you taking a leap and using it. God loves you - he doesn't take dreams away from you. Sometimes life is just hard - it has nothing to do with whether God wants you to have something or not - it's just hard. It is the nature of human existence. It breaks my heart to hear you say that God has taken away your ability to study. Ask yourself - why would he do that? Why would he create you to get a fantastic score, and all those scholarships, and then take it away from you? If that's the kind of God you worship then why the hell are you a Christian? I think that you have to look inside your own heart - what do you want to do with your life? Whether you do physical therapy, or become a garbage collector, God is big enough to be able to use you! So if you want to do physical therapy - really want to do it - pull your finger out and hit the books! And your chemistry ones, not the book of Job (a noble text, but one not likely to have much information in the way of Chemistry) Stop praying that God will help you pass - he gave you a brain and the ability to work hard - he's already given you the skills to pass, you just have to use them!

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

I am really curious to know your identity, "anonymous." Whose heart would break to hear this? And who would use phrases I don't understand (pulling my finger out...of what)? I also am curious to see if you will leave a reply to this. Some responses to your comment...it was very interesting. It brought up points that I haven't heard before. Also considering that it's been more than four months since that post.

God loves me, yes. He has a plan for my life. But I can take two roads: I can make God's plan my dream, and though my life may not be easy, it is full of God's grace. I can also dream my own dreams, which may make life easier or harder, and may still be full of grace, but it is not God's will. That would be sin. My issue here is not that God can or can't use me, it's that I may not be where he has guided me.

For this particular class, I had studied. Perhaps not as well as I might, but I was trying to balance that class with 12 other credits as well as coaching and a job and church and a family. Sure, I could get an A in that class if I gave it enough attention and effort. The problem there is that I do not think God has called me to give my primary focus to academics. I am to study God constantly, more so than Chemistry.

Also, where did I say that God has taken away my ability to study? I've been sick for the last 10 days, yeah, and my mind is rather illogical currently, but when and where did I say that? Just curious...and hoping you'll reply...

Anonymous said...

I envisage this getting into a rather long winded discussion, and to be frank with you, I'd rather not go there. I've read some of the other things you've written and there's a huge gap between what you believe and I believe that's not going to be bridged.
By the same token, I'm not asking you to change your beliefs. I'm just asking you to hear the perspective from someone who is perhaps a little older and has been in the exact place that you are.
I too used to spend hours wondering what God meant me to do as a career. I wondered if it was journalism, architecture, fashion, photography. I spent days praying, reading the Bible, looking for answers in between the lines.......
The trouble with doing this is that you actually spend so much time wondering what to do that you don't end up doing anything. The other problem is that there are plenty of Christians out there who are more than willing to tell you what they think God wants you to do - especially if it suits them.
I want to leave you with some thoughts - firstly I am sure we both agree that God made you. I also believe that he made your dreams - he gave them to you. So I conclude that if you follow your own dreams, you follow God's will. And from what I have read, I don't think you are about to go out and do anything you feel would dishonour him. (and when I refer to "dreams", I am talking about your passions, your talents, the things that make you feel alive)
I also believe that studying and being a Christian aren't mutually exclusive. You say things like - "i am called to study God constantly, more so than Chemistry." - who invented chemistry? Don't you look at what you're learning and how delightfully it all fits together and think that some higher power must surely be responsible for such beauty?
I do apologise for being so harsh to you - I speak from frustration at reading your blog and seeing someone who is obviously intelligent going through such a difficult experience. And I am sorry for offending you with the "pull your finger out." Ironically it's a rather crude Australian saying that my own chemistry teacher once offended me with 15 years ago.
May I suggest that you are not stupid? (if it helps I also have failed a chemistry test or two in my lifetime!) I still hold firmly to the belief that God gave us minds and I see so many Christians simply refusing to use them because they believe that questioning or contemplating what they are told is a sin.
In regards to your question about God taking away your ability to study, I refer to what you said -
"I thought that all this pointed to the fact that I should head down the pre-PT road, so I did. And now? It seems God has taken away that dream, and that ability, and the mental stamina it takes to get through a 2-hour multiple choice exam."
I still maintain that God does not take away dreams. I think you already know why you got a "D" -

"For this particular class, I had studied. Perhaps not as well as I might, but I was trying to balance that class with 12 other credits as well as coaching and a job and church and a family. " - You're a busy person! Of course you're not going to get As with that workload and all the other commitments.

I will stop blathering on in a second, but I want to leave you with two things - firstly, keep using your mind, keep questioning everything fearlessly - the true things can and will stand up to your investigations. And lastly - my name is Shelby........hope you feel better soon.

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Shelby, thank you for your encouragement and viewpoint! I'm so sorry it's taken me a while to write a response, but I hope you find it eventually. I'll try to keep this from being long-winded, too. I love theological discussions, and I've never heard this viewpoint before. I'm still "questioning everything fearlessly" in search of the truth. In my culture, it is acceptable to spend years searching for one's vocation, and I think I may have fallen prey to this, rather than stepping forward in faith.

Can I tell you a secret? My real dream involves no career at all. I would much rather get married and have children and devote myself to the service of my family and church. I don't often tell people this because they don't understand how or why I would want to do this, or why I'm in college pursuing an education that most think I will never use. Physical therapy has been a dream, it is true, but only as a temporary calling. One of my struggles with school has been that I'm not sure how much to invest in this "temporary" dream.

Can I ask a few more questions? I'm guessing you had difficulty in school and succeeded in overcoming them? How did that affect your faith? Also, when you say "there's a huge gap between what you believe and I believe," are you talking about theological issues, or cultural issues perhaps? As part of my quest to follow God to the best of my ability, I'm looking for different beliefs about God and how they fit into the Bible's teaching and how I can understand God in yet a different way.

Once again, thank you so much!