By: Mandy Hill
I met my husband Nathan the summer after I graduated from high school. In the fall he began his fourth (final) year of of his BSc and I began my first or freshman year of my BComm; at neighbouring universities!
We were fast friends. While our friendship was growing we would often meet at a central location between our school’s campuses and share lunch or breakfast….we fell in love over those times together. Getting to know each other, gazing into each other’s eyes. I was beginning to feel like I was on top of the world.
Halt…….I started getting marks back from midterms, papers, etc. C’s?? What in the world was this?? Didn’t these professors read my high school transcript? I was at the top, people!!! All A’s! You can’t give me C’s, this isn’t right. Unfortunately, I allowed those initial marks to determine my worth for the remainder of my time spent attending that university.
At the end of my second semester I was actually placed on academic probation for my marks in one particular class. This was devastating to me and I don’t think I ever truly recovered. I did enter my second year, but faded out after my third semester. After coming away from high school, at the top of my class….to this?? I felt like I had lost something. Did I mention my husband is incredibly smart?? Like first class honours, university medal kinda smart? That didn’t help….
Not only did I let myself down, I now had this amazingly smart fiancé who I didn’t feel I belonged with anymore…..I felt like I wasn’t good enough and that he had two campuses full of incredibly smart, amazing women that would be a much better match for him.
Fiancé? Yes, the night before the last exam I ever wrote at that university, my husband purposed to me! It was December 7, 2003.
Oh sisters, I struggled. My fiancé and my parents were so wonderful during that time. They affirmed their love for me, encouraged me, told me my marks were not going to determine my intellect or my worth….
I went to work full time after Christmas. My fiancé and I decided to get married on July 10, 2004. The next six months were spent planning and prepping for our big day. Shortly after we were married we moved out of the city into a town where my husband was hired into full time youth ministry.
After a year of being unemployed and falling deeper into the pit of self-doubt I received a phone call. The man on the other end confirmed that my employment insurance was running out…but that because I did not have a degree or trade, that I qualified for a program with the government that would allow me to go back to school.
I went through so many emotions…..A second chance!!!; I can’t do it; But I’m married now…is that even ok? I’m not smart enough….
Well, sisters. It took all I had in me, but I went to that meeting. After much prayer and petitioning with The Lord I registered for nursing. I walked into that college with my shoulders slumped and my head down. But, it was in that place and that very time that I knew I was exactly where God wanted me to be. He used those years to help put back the pieces of my heart’s hurts. He healed the pain of my failures.
….and I walked out of that college with my shoulders back, my head held high, my diploma in hand, and as the valedictorian for the 2007 graduating class! When Jesus restores, he doesn’t go halfway! He gave me something far more valuable to me than improved marks; he renewed my hope in a bright tomorrow.
I am not a failure. And neither are you.
Dear heavenly and gracious Father! Thank You that You are a God that restores hope. Thank You for blessing me with restoration even though I felt like the very last person who ever deserved it. For my sisters who are out there struggling with the weight of a failure, Jesus, I pray that you will lift that off their shoulders and pour Your hope into their soul. Give them strength to move forward and allow them to see their worth in You. Thank You for being a wonderful God, who cares so much and truly gives the very best. I love You! In Jesus name, Amen.