I wrote my name on a test and gave it right back to my teacher in high school. It was senior year. Algebra III/Trig with Mrs. Sutton.
I’m not sure why I took that class. Perhaps because my friend was taking it. Perhaps because Mrs. Andrews from Algebra II thought it was a bad idea. I do know I put no effort into learning the material.
I wouldn’t even try.
Words cannot shape the sentiments I discover inside my life these days.
My lack of effort was absolutely a cover. If I didn’t try, I didn’t fail. I was known for my English flair. Words came easily. I flourished and thrived inside the sonnets of Shakespeare and writing critiques of the Canterbury Tales. Even then, though, I wasn’t really trying. I was only doing what came naturally to me.
No sweat off my brow.
Eventually I found myself a cardiac nurse at a local hospital and began to hear things like, you would make a good unit nurse.
Instinctively I rejected the notion. I am not critical care nurse material. I am the girl who does not do math.
I don’t try things I can’t do.
After being convinced by others, I did in fact go. I made the transition to the Cardiac Care Unit with much trepidation. Much doubt. Just enough courage. I studied a lot and learned even more. My stay was short and sweet, however. I was a newlywed working nights with no end in sight. I needed to be a newlywed working days, so I left. That was about thirteen years ago.
In the mean time I worked in the hospital float pool, had babies, helped at my daughter’s preschool and served on staff at our former church.
In ways I hated, He pushed me. In ways I resisted, He pressed me. In ways I fought, He untangled me.
Creator still unfolds me. Confronts me.
See, I’m almost thirty-nine years old and find myself, most amazingly, back in the Cardiac Care Unit. I find myself back in school. Facing the very math I refused to even try when I was seventeen.
I’ve been finding out that if I’ll try, I can absolutely do it.
I was so misinformed.
I thank God because what else can I do? His grace, the way He makes me face myself, is stunning.
You might read this and be awesome at math. Maybe it’s your poetry…Your Canterbury Tales. But I ‘ll bet if you rake your fingers across the scary, no-way-I’m-doing-that, places of your heart you’ll find your own misinformation.
John 8:32 says this: Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
We don’t know the truth about ourselves. We live misinformed. And we make decisions about who we are and who we can be from faulty data.
The Message says it like this: If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.
Sticking it out with Him is in fact experiencing Him.
He is the giver of the great re-do.
Creator presses against our faulty thinking with desire and hope and possibility. Gives us the courage to do what we declared we never would or could. Spurs us on until we discover the truth about ourselves.
Until we are just a bit more free.