Like the rock being rolled away from the tomb, this weekend has felt like the resurrection of my own soul.
From whence the countless days of study my mind hath prevailed, it felt as if there would never be an end to the grinding, arduous task of pushing my faculties to complete one more problem; one more page; one more concept of Mathematical computation from which there was seemingly no end.
This was just the final chapter in three years of study. Coming into the field of education as a Lateral Entry Teacher, there were the required Education Classes to be taken that my Engineering degree never afforded. This in conjunction with the learning curve of applying the pedagogy real-time was my learning curve which became a daily experience. But, yet, God in all his wondrous glory, finally answered the prayers for wisdom. So that this weekend, the first, since having recovered from another round of illness the previous, has set me free to pursue the path the Lord hath prepared well in advance.
Deep within my being, there was an awareness of His hands upon the pages of events which would unfold.
Weeks before, the singing engagement for the New Hope SDA Church in Valdese had to be postponed because I had contracted the flu. Too sick to make it out of bed, it had to be delayed; which just so happen to be this weekend.
Then, out of the blue, another church, one we had been members of before leaving our farm and previous life, Cumnock Union UMC, called asking if I would be interested in returning to sing and speak. Miraculously, it was the same weekend. This all happened before the upcoming test that was scheduled for March 22nd.
In my heart, it felt as if God was telling me, that this would be it; this would be the final attempt, the one in which I would pass. He was preparing the pathway of the future because it was time to move on.
I didn’t realize it then, but those words would be more prophetic than one might realize.
Adding to the feeling of culmination, the weekend before the test, my laptop decided that it had enough and was going to finally die. Contrary to my disbelief, I asked God to again give me the wisdom, and through a few more attempts of using the education from my previous career, something inside me clicked again; the feeling of confirmation. A voice whispered, “Before you leave this afternoon, the sign of things to come will be that your laptop will be working better than ever before.” Within an hour of that voice, after an upload, a couple restarts, and driver addition or two, suddenly, the old laptop finally responded. It wasn’t just fixed from the current problem, but as He has predicted, it suddenly began working better than it had in almost two years; Divine IT Guidance at its best!
From that point forward, there was a feeling of God’s hand upon each new day.
Yet, He wasn’t going to let it be easy. A new cold began to overtake me so that by the morning of the test, Friday, March 22nd, I literally debated going or not. Shaking my head in disbelief, I struggled to the cupboard and took enough cold medicine to hold me through the duration of the exam.
“This can’t be happening,” I thought to myself.
A couple of hours later, in a cloud of medication, I walked into the testing facility, unsure of how much it might affect my ability to focus. Once more, God wasn’t through with me. When I met the test administrator, after handing me the sign-in sheet, unlike previous tests when I either had to ask for or was never close enough to obtain it, I was given my favorite locker number: God’s number in my mind, #3. (God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit). Then to add to the feeling of confirmation, unlike before, I was also given light colored paper; something I had complained about in previous attempts since the paper was so dark it was hard to see the marks of a pencil.
As I sat down at desk #3 in the testing lab, my body began to tingle with the power of God surging through me. The first few questions were a cloud of foggy, cold-medicine induced confusion, but once the surge of energy fully kicked in, I went back and corrected those and then began pushing onward.
Before I knew it, the 2-1/2 hours was nearly up.
Again, unlike before, at the end of the test, after having fully completed the test and had time to go back over questions that I was unsure of or needed more time to solve, I sat and saw 30 seconds remaining. I bowed my head in prayer and when I said, “Amen,” the clock showed three seconds remaining. When the timer ended, and my hand clicked onto the next page, tears began to fill my eyes.
There on the screen was the answer to three years of night classes, almost 10 months of study for just one test, isolation, withdrawal from the world, and diligent obedience to my newfound career; A Passing Score!
It was one of the most surreal moments of my life; here I wanted to shout, but I was so sick I could barely breathe.
Throughout the ordeal, I had vowed to celebrate with a cinnamon roll and coffee whenever the day came that I might pass. Instead, the reward that morning was to drive back home and go back to bed and try to recover from the illness that had overcome days earlier.
I would remain sick in bed the rest of that weekend, while outside the warmth of spring tapped at my window sill. Sunlight sparkling through the closed slats of my bedroom windows, taunting my fever-racked body.
Eventual, healing would begin. This weekend became even more precious as the days of this last week counted down. By Friday I was like a student ready for the end of the school year. My energy level was off the charts.
When Saturday morning broke, I was as a child waking before the dawn in anticipation of opening gifts under the Christmas tree, it was long before the light of day when the bed couldn’t contain my eagerness any longer. Jumping from beneath the covers, the anticipation of the joy of the day’s events kept gurgling up into my heart, like the overabundant rapture, frothing to the surface; the Spring in my soul had returned.
“Today, the new journey begins,” my mind said.
From the moment the fellowship and sharing began at New Hope, the blessings only increased.
There was so much to be thankful for and yet, so much more to come.
Later, when the rear tire blew out going down the Interstate at 70mph, I was unfazed. For in my mind I had already contemplated getting off at the next exit to get gas. This was God’s way of saying, “Yes you will!” Within an hour, there were two new tires on the back of the car, and I was once more off to my destination for the second half of my weekend; God was with me each step of the way.
Resurrected like our Lord and Savior, my spirit has been revived. Like Jesus, the grave could not contain him; God defeated Death, and from its dark domain, Light will forever be in the world.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
Thanks be to God.