What’s happening on my insides is hard to describe. It’s like when you eat something intensely scrumptious and so freakin’ amazing that there’s no amount of “MMMMM”s or “THIS IS SO GOOD” that will be able to properly express yourself or convince someone else that it’s truly that delicious. You just want them to try it for themselves.
That’s how I feel when I try to tell you about how humbled and thankful I am for God’s faithfulness to me. One year ago, I was just entering my summer of academic turmoil. I was taking genetics and general physiology in one summer session, having my faith tested so much that I would write “trust” or “faith” on my hand so that whenever I spiraled I could have that gentle reminder. After all that struggling, I found that I had to withdraw from one of those summer classes at the same time that I received an email that I had been put on academic probation 2.
I wanted to run away from God. He wasn’t holding up to His promises that things would change. Things were getting worse. I was telling God that I wanted to trust and have faith, but I was hitting a point when I needed to know what the heck was happening.
Fast forward one year.
I’m entering a summer when I’m marveled by God. I just had the most incredible year as a child development major. I loved what I studied, and I might even remember some stuff. I checked my grades and considering how much grace I needed this past semester, I was totally good with it. Then a week later I was just gonna take another look at those grades, and was FLOORED when I saw that I totally missed my academic status: DEAN’S LIST. WAT.
If you don’t want to read anymore, here’s my testimony in a song. It’s so beautiful. At least just listen to it. ah.
If this is your 100th post you’re reading of mine, you know my whole story and might even be sick of it. If this is your first post, here’s the full story in a post called “God is Faithful.” If you’re too lazy to read it (but if you’re not convinced God keeps His promises, maybe take 5 minutes hehe), basically I was really proud in my academics and God needed to humble me and my parents. A biology and pre-med hopeful has become a child-development major who’s holding off on completing pre-med requirements until after graduation. I’ve gone from just excusing my mistakes because I was a freshmen –> academic probation 1 (which I didn’t tell anyone about) –> summer classes where things got worse –> academic probation 2 –> having trouble trusting God –> rebuilding my faith –> getting removed from AP2 completely –> DEAN’S LIST!
It’s just incredible. My heart is welling with thankfulness right now. You know, it’s not just because I’m not on academic probation anymore or anything to do with worldly accolades, it’s because I’ve come to a deeper revelation of who God is. That’s something that has no price on it. If I tell someone my GPA, no one would know the story behind it. How much work, doubt, and pain it took to get it there even though for a pre-med… it’s not the best. However, I made it my goal after seeing my transcript and not even noticing the Dean’s List part that I wanted to make all A’s during senior year. Not so it’s something nice to say or report to my parents, but there’s something in me that wants to give God the chance to WOW me even more. To use my seeds of investment in my studies to show my earthly dad that God can redeem anything. To make this testimony that seems to keep teaching me more and more about God expand into something crazy. Something that people can’t help but say is because of God. That’ll require faith on their part, but I think it’d be amazing to say that after four years at Tufts, God got me to graduate with a redeemed GPA, a passion to pursue, and a heart full of gratitude. And hey, what would it be like to tell my dad that God got me to graduate with honors? I don’t even know if it’s possible if I calculate it, but I’ll let God do His thing.
This past semester, I was confronted with academic situations that made me way uncomfortable with how familiar it felt. How I had not done my part as a student, how I was pretty much screwed for the exam the next day, how I felt like I’d never learn my lesson with time management. This is how I knew God taught me something. Freshmen and sophomore year, I would condemn myself. I’d believe Satan’s lies that I didn’t deserve a miracle, that I shouldn’t ask God for help because I didn’t deserve the grace, that I should just give up. I’d have long nights of helplessly trying to cram the material in on my own power. I dwelt in my failures and mistakes, figuring I didn’t deserve the help. I had no revelation that what the cross represents applies to academics too; I didn’t realize that everything I cared about, God cares more about. Junior year spring. I literally did not touch a textbook for two straight weeks because I couldn’t stop thinking about how my heart was shattered for children who are trapped in sex trafficking. It was an awful, depressed pit, but once I fought the enemy back, God pulled me right out. [for more testimonies about that check out February 2012 posts]. Then it hit me that I had a lot of catch-up to do. Instead of listening to Satan’s lies that I didn’t deserve extensions on quizzes or that I couldn’t pull it off, I told God that I walk in grace. I told God that I needed His multiplied wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” -James 1:5. I knew that He wanted to help me, so I asked and He gave freely. Yet, I was floored when I got As on exams that I only studied 2 hours for when it needed at least 20. When professors who didn’t know me at all gave me extensions right and left. When appointments and classes got cancelled giving me more time to study when I desperately needed it. I started to Walk the Walk of true faith.
Now that I’ve had a bit of time to reflect, God didn’t change the situation. He changed me. He changed me for the better. When I faced the same situations this past semester, I just spoke back God’s promises instead of doubting them like I used to. I stood firm, told Satan to shut up, and walked forward knowing God was going to come through. THAT was the difference. THAT is why I saw the results I wanted when I was on academic probation. God has taught me about what it looks like to be humble but authoritative co-heir of Christ.
I have faith in Jesus to heal every disease, to catch every tear that falls, to be everything that anyone ever needs. I use these lessons to remind myself of God’s faithfulness, but I don’t dwell in His faithfulness. I dwell with HIM. I live because He lives in me. So I don’t share this so you focus on the faithfulness of God to ME and dwell on that, I share this so YOU will desire HIM as well. Don’t desire the revelations, desire JESUS. Desire the relationship with GOD and just see where that adventure takes you.
While I’ve been home, I’ve been going on runs almost every day. One day, I realized that one summer ago, I was running away from God. I knew I needed faith. In that post, I knew what I needed to do: embrace grace. I still struggled so hard because I was just trying to do it in my own power instead of resting in God’s power. When that got frustrating, I Avoided God. When I finally relented and gave Him the control back, I ran back to Him. That’s what I thought at least. Truly, He never left me. It’s like I was that rebel kid attached to God with an elastic cord. I thought I was making headway all on my own, but God knew I’d come FLINGING back into Him when the tension in the cord reached its point. Now, I willingly lean back against Him and hear His heart beat. I’m never gonna try on my own. It just doesn’t work.
The more incredible part of all this? It seems like throughout all of this, people have noticed. The most common thing I hear from people is that they see a passionate faith for God. Isn’t that funny? Even when I felt like it was so small, God always shined through. So today, I just hope that if people see my faith, they’d not see ME but find themselves face-to-face with the Savior. The One I have faith in.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” -Psalm 100:4
Just because this is a special post to me, I will leave you with some special songs to me in addition to “Never Once”.
1. “You Will Reign” holds a lot of emotional attachment for me. It made me weep last summer because I had no faith to sing it. Then when I ran back to Him, I hoped in it. Today, it’s my anthem.
2. “Constant.” When I wavered, He never did. When I walked through fire, He was making me brighter. Just every word of this song rings true for this testimony.
3. “Promises.” Just a taste of how excited I am that God is so faithful to His promises
4. “The Stand” just wraps up my ultimate response to all of this. Just standing in awe of the One who gave it ALL.