Remember how I was so smrt and knew everything and got a scholarship and was just so great?
It was the first semester of my second year of university at UBC. I “scraped” by in my first year, getting mostly B’s and C’s…some of the lowest grades I’ve ever seen in my entire academic history up to that point. There was this cell biology midterm that changed everything. For the first time anyways. I took notes, read the textbook, re-wrote notes and basically studied harder than I’ve ever studied. The BIO 200 midterm was on cell mitosis…when a cell divides…and there was an essay question asking for a description of how certain proteins worked to make the cell division happen. I wrote the best I could to describe what I best understood.
A week later, I receive my midterm back. There was an angry red line slashed across my written essay, a comment that read “waste of time” written in the margin….and a whopping 22% midterm grade circled at the top. It shattered my world. It broke who I thought I was. I always got 90% or higher. I always got honors. Wasn’t I supposed to be smart?
Not sure why I told my parents what happened….but I got a phone lecture that night. Something about how I must be incapable of taking care of myself and how I must be lazy and wasting my life. Sobbing, I called my aunt who tried to comfort me. And I don’t really remember the rest of that semester. I finished the course with a D grade. I lost my scholarship. I lost the chance to get into pharmacy. So I dropped all my science courses and filled my second semester with the Arts and Humanities. At the end of the second semester I received confirmation that the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Calgary accepted me…so I moved back home. Head hung. And depressed.
Through that period, I heard God tell me that He could bless me with intelligence as much as He could withhold understanding from me. “I” am not the one who knows everything….God is. I was making “my smarts” my source of security and my idol…and the God who loves me more than I can begin to grasp, smashed that idol. He was right…I had gotten too proud and self-reliant on my accomplishments. I felt really really humbled. And broken.
God didn’t leave me that way…I learned He does not despise a broken spirit and contrite heart. Slowly He rebuilt my confidence…in HIM this time, instead of in “my” intelligence. I got D+ grade in my first year of Commerce, in FNCE 317, to remind me of this. But in the end, I graduated with distinction, in both my degrees. I was amazed…not at myself, but at the goodness of God. Seriously, glory to God!