Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Freedom!!... Sort Of.

Hello everyone! No, I didn't forget about y'all. Yes, there were a couple of times when I wanted to write but couldn't. Why? Final project (a 3-week Bible study on the Davidic kingdom covenant), lots of reading, a couple of weekly exams, and then the final exam, which I literally finished 8-9 minutes before it was due last night. Basically, if I could study instead of doing something else, I chose to study. That means I had to decline on a couple of outings, I didn't do much reading for fun, and I was basically glued to the kitchen chair (I study best at the kitchen table). Now I understand why people would tell me that I would no longer have a life once I started grad school. Still, I am done for the next two weeks... sort of.

While I do have a two week break between the end of the Spring quarter (yesterday) and the beginning of the Summer quarter (June 27th), I have a lot of reading to do to prepare for the class. I think it's almost 100 pages or so before then? I already purchased all the books I'll need and I'm going to tackle the readings... next week. I just want to have this week to catch up on sleep and maybe watch some of my favorite Hallmark movies on Feeln. Did I mention I was warned that grad school would mean I'd kiss my free time goodbye? lol.

Even though I don't have much of a break between quarters (the longest is about 3 or 4 weeks in the winter), I've found the program to be very rewarding. My spiritual life has grown in ways I never anticipated. Yes, the program is intense and rigorous; it's not for the faint of heart. They want us to know these things like the back of our hands, which means a lot of reading, a lot of memorizing, and a lot of hard work. I have to get started on paper/projects weeks before they are due. I have to stay on top of the assigned readings, the lecture videos, and the quizzes every week or else I'm doomed. The comprehensible exams at the end are still slightly panic inducing.

Last night, before I took my final exam, I had this moment where I had a mini breakdown in confidence. "What am I doing in this program? I can't do this! Stupid anemia makes it hard for me to remember anything. How am I going to remember anything from weeks ago when I could barely remember when I took those quizzes that same week (or the week after)?!" I quickly looked up the website of the local school that offers an 18-month program to get me back into the SLP field; I was that discouraged. Then I remembered that this was most likely some sort of spiritual attack. I'd been fine before it. In fact, I had never been so sure that this was the path God wants me to take... up until the final exam. Not even the 10 total hours of revision and exam-taking helped.

I had a conversation with God half an hour before I took the exam. I broke down in tears as I said, "I can't do this, God. I can't remember these things. I tried. I tried my hardest and I can't remember most of what I studied. This anemia is just kicking me down. I slept almost 10 hours today and yesterday. I'm exhausted. I can't concentrate. I can't remember. I need Your help. I'm weak but You aren't. You're going to have to do this for me because I just... I can't. I can't do this by myself. If this is the path You want me to take, You're going to have to help me out. If I don't pass this exam... I'll look at something else. Please help me."

I prayed the prayer to St. Joseph of Cupertino. I asked the Holy Spirit and the Sacred Head of Jesus to enlighten my mind. I also bugged the Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope St. John Paul II (my school's patron saint), Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, St. Catherine of Siena, and any saints that could intercede for me. I did better than expected on the multiple choice portion of the exam. I have no idea on how I did on the essay portion of the exam -- the hardest part of the exam. I tried. I did my best. Now to wait and see what my final grade will be. After the disaster that was the Fall quarter, I'm admittedly a little nervous because a low grade will disqualify me from the program.

As someone who has struggled with academic pride in the past, last night was a wonderful lesson in humility and a reminder that I can't do things without the help of God. I'm not Superwoman. I'm weak. I need God to help me often. I still have a long way to go in the humility department; something I think many of us will struggle with in one form or another for most of our lives since pride is such an easy sin to fall into. Thankfully, God reminded me that He's there for me when I feel beaten down. I can do all things through Him... and He'll be there when I feel like I can't go further.

Okay, I'm going to keep rambling on so I'm going to stop here. lol.

I hope to write daily (or almost daily) during my break. We'll see how many topics my little fried brain can come up with. lol.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to finish a book I checked out nearly 3 weeks ago and is due at the library in about 2-3 days.  I'm about 54% done with it. Hashtag: challenge accepted. ;)

I hope y'all have been well and are having a great week thus far. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

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