[Originally Written] Mon. 23 June 2014
I am the over achiever. Or rather, I was the over achiever. My mum called me this morning and she sensed the deflated spirit I'd had for a couple of months now. I normally get out of my ruts pretty easily, but this rut had attached itself to me since March. My mother told me I had no confidence, that I focused too much on the smaller things in life. She said, ultimately 'God is not going to congratulate you on the degrees you had'. Well of course he wouldn't, that notion sounded absurd. But I was living like my degree would be detrimental to my spiritual, emotional and physical health. University has taken so much out of me, because I have allowed it to. Coming from school where everybody recognised me for being the one with distinctions and 'A' stars, University paid me no mind. I was branded the one 'most likely to succeed'. But suddenly, nobody really cared about how many 'A's I had. This was difficult because grades had been my livelihood for as long as I can remember. For the most of my life, much of my self-worth was in education.
So when I got my grade back for my final major projects a few days ago, I cried, and I cried some more. I'm so fickle. This is so fickle. I didn't see the point in anything anymore. So when my mum called me to discuss what I'd be wearing for my graduation, I immediately put down any mention of fancy dress wear because I didn't think I had deserved it. This morning my mum schooled me. 'Where is your confidence, Sherida, have you stopped reading your bible? Is Jesus going to ask you for your qualifications when you meet him?Why are you so anxious?' I couldn't give an answer for any of her questions because I had never once stopped to think about why I was working so hard. My qualifications so far hasn't brought me much further than any of my peers. Despite my super high school grades and college grades, I'm still in the same boat as those whose efforts weren't quite Super Sayan. But they are okay.
I remember speaking to one of my friends at uni about grades. I was just going to comment on how disappointed I was with my 'A-', when he told me with a wide grin that he got a 'C+'. 'But how can you be okay with a 'C+'', I thought to myself. He said he had bigger plans than getting the highest grades in University. His vision superseded the regimented marking criterias and assessment sheets. It is only now that I realise this. I have been tunnel-visioned. This morning, my mum let me know that I ought to be grateful, so grateful. What was I trying to be the best at? Who was I trying to be the best for? Where are these qualifications going to take me in the grand scale of life? And it is this revelation that I want to share this morning, 'Jesus doesn't care about your status'. Life as a Christian ought not be a popularity contest, or a battle of the smartest or strongest. If "the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7) and he is all I am aiming to please, then why do I deceive myself in thinking that physical things matter? In addition, if He has told me to be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6-7) then why do I hyperventilate at the prospect of not knowing what my future entails? Last night I went to bed with a heavy heart and an anxious mind, this morning, those things are flipping around. I have to think in the grand scale of things. It can become very difficult to focus on Jesus when there are little things biting your feet. A lot of the things that we experience are often minor, but they build up so vast that you forgot where you were in the first place.
I never thought anybody could tear me away from education, but I can feel myself being slowly peeled away. I have to know that God wants what is best for me, he knows what my heart desires and knows what it was take to get there.
[ETA] Fri. 27 June 2014
Reading back on this with a less heavier heart. I have accepted that we are in a perpetual state of battle. I have to say though, I was not expecting it all to be this hard. Also I have to be super honest, I'm scared and excited, but then I'm scared again. I wrote all of that on Monday with a seemingly good ending, but there really is no good ending. Plus I don't want to go home. There's nothing there. I'm so unmotivated to get a job as well, so this is a deadly combination.