“Every accomplishment comes from the decision to try.”
Last May, Ray graduated from UNC. As I was sitting there watching my kids’ reaction to him walking up on stage and getting his college degree, I vowed to myself that I would go back and finish as well. But, there was a catch. I would only go back if I didn’t have to retake the public speaking class that I received a “D” in during my first go round at UNC. How did I get a “D” you might ask? Easy. I wouldn’t show up on the days of my presentations. Well, I showed up for my first two, I believe…and that’s it. Not sure how many of you know this about me, but public speaking terrifies me. My two biggest fears are snakes and public speaking. That’s it. Terrifies me.
Anyway, I decided to meet with a counselor, and found out that I didn’t have to retake it! Music to my ears! Also, the icing on the cake was that I could probably finish my degree in 18 months to two years. Even better. I enrolled, and I am now in my second semester back at UNC.
I know for a fact that God has a sense of humor because as I was sitting in my first class (last semester), the professor began going over the syllabus and as I’m skimming at the same time I see in bold letters, Oral Presentation. Wait…I said I wouldn’t do this if I had to get in front of people and speak. Yet, here it says oral presentation? I stressed the entire semester over this presentation. But, when those 6 minutes and 40 seconds were over, I felt so proud of myself. I did it!
On to my current semester!! Feeling like a million bucks, the first week of classes I found out that I have a presentation in Every. Single. Class. Immediately, the balloon of confidence I was riding in popped. No way I can do this. I thought for sure somewhere in the syllabus I would find the word SNAKES too! Might as well!
Switching gears for a second, this year, Elijah decided to wrestle. He has grown so much as a person and as a wrestler. It’s been pretty amazing to watch his progress. My Elijah is so much like me, sometimes it hurts. He gets down on himself very easily, so when the arm of his opponent is raised, you can see his “balloon of confidence” slowly start to let out air every time.
Saturday was a rough day for Elijah. He did pretty good his first match, but his second match, it was a totally different boy on the mat. He was backing away from his opponent and every time he would get on his back, he would cry out to me or his big sister, Emaleigh. He was trying to do anything to get the ref, or his coaches to stop the match…but it kept going. It was really heartbreaking to watch as Elijah has never done this before.
He came off the mat, completely scared, defeated and deflated. He immediately called Ray. Now, I’m not sure exactly what Ray told him, but from what Ray told me later, it went something like this: He told him that his coaches or the refs would never put him in harms way. He told him that he has got to believe in himself because if he goes on the mat already defeated, he will lose. He needs to go out there, confident in himself, and he can win! He told him he has the tools that he has learned in practice to be a great wrestler…he just needs to believe in himself. And, most importantly, he told him that he is always with him. Although he can’t be there physically because of work, he is there in his heart…always.
The next match, Elijah went out and pinned his opponent in 57 seconds.
Just as Elijah needed a pep-talk from his Daddy, sometimes we all need that same word of encouragement from our heavenly Father. As I watched Elijah sitting on the bench after that awful match, I couldn’t help but think of how I started this semester feeling already defeated and how much I could use a pep talk myself. No, I don’t want to do presentations, but I know that God is teaching me something. It would be easy to just quit, or find other classes. But, I’m not learning anything if I am constantly sitting in my chair of comfort. I knew gong back to college wasn’t going to be easy…but I will finish on top, just like Elijah did.
Yesterday at church, I got the same piece of encouragement that I needed. Our pastor preached on having a vision. In a nutshell, there are 4 steps of vision:
1.The Spirit’s Prompting
4. Divine Clarity
Can I just encourage you (probably because I need to remind myself) that when you get to the uncertainty and the resistance of your vision (because you will get there), don’t let that stop you from completing the vision that God has put in your heart! Push through, persevere because seeing your vision come to pass in God’s timing will be totally worth all of the sweat, tears (and presentations)!