A post about God’s love and continual grace throughout my walk with him.
When I was in high school, I read this Groucho Marx quote, and I remember thinking that he was crazy. Back then, I thought I was awesome. Why wouldn’t a club want me as a member, and why wouldn’t I want to join other elitists in a club that celebrated our superiority? God knew that it would take a lot (read: PAIN) to change my thinking, and that’s exactly what happened. I went from a 4.35 GPA in high school to a 2.95 GPA during my first semester in college. I lost my scholarship, lost respect from my peers and family, and also lost the pride I had for my own accomplishments. Through that drastic change and a few others, I learned that I am nothing without God and the gifts he has given me.
But I am stubborn, and I didn’t learn my lesson well enough the first time.
This year I was reminded of this lesson in a very different way. Instead of failing at something I thought I deserved to win, I succeeded at something that I knew I deserved to lose.
I got into graduate school.
I applied to the physical therapy program at the University of Kentucky along with four of my friends from Asbury. I thought that I could possibly get an interview because I would be an in-state student, I had good references, and I had a lot of volunteer work under my belt. Of course, I knew that all of my friends would get interviews too, because they had MANY more observation hours than I did, better grades than I did, and had pursued physical therapy longer than I had as well.
We all got interviews, and I was the last one to have mine. All of my friends said that it was easy and actually a lot of fun. They told me about how they had joked around with the interviewers, how they had been asked all of the right questions, and how they felt very confident that they had put their best side forward. My interview was different though. Afterwards, I told everyone that it went great, but I was lying. My interview was terrible. I stuttered over my words, I wiggled in my chair, I tried to crack a joke but neither of my interviewers thought it was funny. I asked all the wrong questions and felt like they asked questions that didn’t highlight my strengths. Afterwards I was so flustered that I got lost in downtown Lexington for almost an hour and missed my lunch date with two of my friends.
I was devastated. This was my one shot, and I had ruined it.
Two weeks later, we received the news: I was accepted into UK’s DPT program.
…but none of my friends were.
I can’t even begin to describe the emotions that swept over me in that moment. I felt so completely and utterly undeserving of this gift. I felt like I had suddenly been accepted into a club that normally would never have invited someone like me in, but for some reason made an exception just this once. I knew that whatever had happened, it was all God.
I don’t deserve to go to UK this fall. I don’t deserve to be a physical therapist. When I told my friend Jessica about what happened, she said that my attitude toward graduate school reminded her of how Christians should feel about our salvation. We are so undeserving of any love, grace, or redemption from God, but he still offers all of those freely. We should be eternally humbled by this offer, but instead we take it for granted.
Because of all of these events, I have chosen to view my acceptance into graduate school and my acceptance into God’s kingdom in a completely new way. In a culture that continually tells us that we deserve the best and that we deserve to be happy, I know better. I deserve nothing, and have been given everything. I am a steward of these gifts, and along with that comes great responsibility. How can I not strive to do my best for Christ at every moment? I am clearly here for a reason, and I don’t want to disappoint the One who gave all of these gifts to me freely. God chose me, and now I must choose to bring him glory in everything that I do. I am eternally grateful to him for everything he’s done for me, whether that is as small as getting me into graduate school or as vast as welcoming me into the family of God.
PS: to check out the last time I talked about physical therapy school, go here.