Tuesday. 8:04 pm. I get an email. It was a grader for my probationary paper. I opened the email and read it.
“I assigned your Paper 5 a grade of 2.72 which is not a passing grade (3.0 or above is passing). I have some comments to share that I offer to you for more attention.”

Crap. I read it over and over. Not knowing what exactly it meant. I literally could not move. And could not believe that I screwed this up for me. The prospect of starting this all over was devastating. And it really felt like someone knock the wind out of me. The email said that some of my answers were not long enough. And in that paper, it came out so long, that I cut out some stuff to fit in the page limits. I guess I cut out too much, or the wrong things. I also assumed that I would have a chance to expand on the answers during the interview.

I didn’t know what to do. I went to bed the earlier I have this year. Because I couldn’t function. Everything was numb. My future, bleak.

My mind was so filled with things, I could not fall asleep. The idea of failing has always been a fear of mine, and I always tried everything in my powers to prevent me from failing. In many ways, it’s not very Christian, because I tend to rely on my own strengths. This time, there was nothing I could do. My fate lied in the hands of others, and the hands of God. Could I share with you… it wasn’t the most comfortable of feelings. My fate was in the hand of God. I should be comforted. I should be given strength. But it was uncomfortable because the control was in God’s hands, not mine. 

I couldn’t sleep. And though I’m deathly scared of sleeping pills, I took an ambien that my wife got prescribed a year ago.

I woke up this morning to see my wife off to work.
I grabbed my bible, my wife’s guitar and started a small worship service on my own. It reminded me of the Biblical times when they work up early and walked up to offer a sacrifice to the Lord.
I just prayed for forgiveness. For not being able to trust in God and that everything is in God’s control. I begin to understand that I’m still young, and I have plenty of time. Disappointing as it maybe, I still have a lot of time. I put it off 3 years, why not 1 more?

I also prayed for forgiveness in being arrogant and assuming that I’ll pass. I was already planning on what I need to say for the interviews, practically did and thought everything but purchase the plane tickets. I thanked God for this painful lesson in humility and that I shouldn’t assume everything or anything.

I didn’t know how to face this Sunday. Didn’t know if I’d be able to preach. I basically assumed (again) that this was it. If one reader didn’t like my paper, I’m sure there were others.

But I was at peace today, after being in prayer and meditation. Come what may, God is with me still.

A couple of minutes ago, I got an email from Rev. Nakano.
This is what he wrote:
“I know that you are waiting to hear from others
about your paper scores…. but I wanted to give you
a “heads up” about them so that you can proceed with
travel arrangements….
Without giving you the scores (I want to allow them
to communicate with you about the paper scores, and
the feedback that they have for you about them)….
…. I can say that your scores have reached a level that
will allow the interview portion to go on.”

WHEW.
Praise be to God. I just don’t know what to feel anymore. I’m at Starbucks, and I said, “oh thank you Jesus” and the people around me looked at me.
I feel stupid that I fell short on my papers. But I am thankful that I still get a chance to interview.

This was a very draining two days. But I come away with learning a lot about my shortcomings and a second chance, I feel like.

So, now to go and purchase my plane tickets…

2 Comment on “In Which a Whole Night, I Felt Like a Failure

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