Monday, September 15, 2014

Education, Affirmation, and Determination

Last week I experienced how affirmation inspires determination. A couple of years ago, I learned of a course called “Perspectives on the Worldwide Christian Movement” at the New Wilmington Mission Conference. It sparked my interest. But there were lots of reasons why I couldn’t take it: 1) I couldn’t afford the course fee, 2) I couldn’t drive to the unfamiliar area that was an hour away for the weekly classes, and 3) I didn’t think I was capable of doing the work. The next year, I received a personal invitation from a woman who thought I might enjoy the class. Again, it was too expensive, too far to drive and doubted my abilities. This year, when the information went out about the course, it was still too expensive, but being held right in my neighborhood and my curiosity and desire to take the course was beginning to override my doubts, but more importantly, I really felt like this is what God wanted me to do.

Even though I was going to struggle to pay for the course, my biggest concern was still my ability to do the work. I never went to college (I took a few basic entry level courses twenty years ago) and this course is offered to seminary students towards their degrees. I was concerned about whether I am intelligent enough to do the work. So I was a little nervous when I walked in the door Monday night for the first class. That’s when God surprised me with a special blessing. When I went to pay for the class and pick up my books, I was told I was “paid,” my balance was $0. The woman even showed me on her computer screen telling me that those who had paid were in black and those that owed were in red and my line was black. After checking to rule out computer error, I was told that God has arranged for someone to pay my class fee for me. Wow! God is so good!

As I worked through the readings and study guide and answered the review questions this week, I was thanking God for my anonymous benefactor for the two beautiful gifts I received: 1) the financial gift that made it possible for me to attend without over-stressing my budget and 2) the knowledge that this someone has faith in me that I’m capable of doing the work and backed it up with the course fee. There were several times this week when I wondered if I took on more than I’m capable of and then I remembered that this person, whoever they are, believes in me and I kept pushing through. And I know that for the next fourteen weeks, every time I face a challenge, whether it is insecurity or finding the time to do the work, I have the blessing of this special affirmation to push me to take one more step, read one more page, and answer one more question. It’s amazing what we can do when we realize that God believes in us and sometimes he lets us know it in a tangible way.


Common Household Mom said...

Well, I believe you can do this course.

Audrey said...

I believe in you...and I'm sure that He believes in you!