Thursday, September 30, 2010

Disappointed I'm a "failure"

I'm hoping I can find some hope as I type this blog and give voice to my disappointment, but I apologize in advance if this entry is more depressing than inspirational/encouraging. I shared in an earlier blog message that I was working on some graduate classes with the intentions to complete a master's degree in educational leadership and then move into a career as a school administrator (principal). Unfortunately, I got an A in one class and a C in the other when grades finally posted from Professor X. In order to be admitted to the graduate program, I need As and Bs on the first two classes I take. Therefore, I was blocked from moving forward.

I decided to focus on the obstacles much like other things Satan throws at us (lustful thoughts, pride, anger, etc.) and address the issue head-on. Well, after much communication back and forth, I finally met with the professor and explained that because I received a "D" on my final project, my B in the class dropped to a C and I would no longer be able to move forward in the program. We reviewed the paper together. I pointed out that he took off 28 points because I made the same citation mistake every time I used in-text citations (28 times). He pointed out that I was a few pages short and seemed to be confused on some of the content (independent variables and data analysis in particular). I confessed that I was confused and asked what I could do to get the paper grade changed so my course grade was adequate for admission.

He threw me a lifeline and said that I could redo the research proposal and submit for an updated grade. He explained that in order to receive a different grade, I would need to do more than fix the citation mistakes - I would have to address the content issues and really impress him with my revised paper submission. I spent hours making those corrections, changes, additions, etc. and got the final paper back today. The comments on the rubric say that when the rewrite was allowed, it was with the understanding that nothing less than perfect would be accepted and that although I've made significant changes and improvements, it's not perfect and therefore, he would not be changing my grade (at all...not even a little bit). I am a teacher myself and have always encouraged students to do their best and provided the supports to get them there. Nobody is perfect though so revisions are allowed and improvements are recognized and rewarded. Not so in this situation. Because I am not perfect, I am a "failure" with this situation. Since a C precludes admission, it is just as damaging as an "F."

To add insult to injury, the deadline to appeal to the department chair and Dean has now passed me by and since I believed my changes were going to get a B because they were so significant and I did not know my grade outcome, I did not file one. Do I ask for an exception to the deadline when I preach to my own student teacher candidates that deadlines are there for a reason and exceptions should not be made unless you're dying on the side of the road and can't get here?! I work with these individuals too so I do not want them thinking less of me as a professional because of these education issues. Do I ask the department chair for permission to re-take the course (WITH SOMEONE ELSE, since two other professors now teach it for their students) and hope that graduate classes can be replaced with new course grades like allowed at the undergraduate level? I can't complete the program elsewhere since the transcript still follows me. If an appeal is granted, I would never be successful in this professor's other classes. It's a small program - I will have him again. Do I ask the professor if he's willing to budge a little bit since I did make progress and not be such a stickler for the impossible standard of perfection on take two (knowing that if I at least get a C on the paper, I will get a B in the course based on my previous test grades, which were As and Bs)? Do I risk further disappointment when he says NO because he can?


I know God has plans, but I really felt like continuing my own education in a field that I am currently working with plans to do the principal thing and benefit my community someday and come back to higher education as a professor once I have that experience was right. Now what?

"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life." Right now I'm struggling to find the goodness and mercy in this situation. I see it clearly in my salvation and relationships with others (thank you family and friends for telling me I am not a failure myself as a person). I will not fall into a pit of despair and depression over this because I'm not giving him that kind of power over my emotions, but I am really disappointed that my best is not good enough and that I would be considered a "failure" in any circumstances. It goes against my very nature. I've always said if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it right. I'm all in or nothing at all (right or wrong even).

Where do I go? back to my knees again!! Lord, give me Your wisdom for handling this situation or accepting that my plans are not Your plans. I've seen that in my romantic life already (at least, thus far) and fight those disappointments as it is. You will not give me more than I can handle, but please understand I am struggling with imperfection, disappointment, and failure. Help me not to fail You, Lord. That's what really matters anyways.

Thanks for your prayers,

P.S. A glimmer of hope maybe, but still kinda depressing after a re-read. I'm not going to bother with a re-write though....they don't seem to be paying off for me lately! ;-)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Holy Hunger

I'm sure I'm not the only one this has ever happened to, but man was I hungry when I stopped at Wal-Mart today after working late. I fully intended to run in, grab the dog food, orange juice and spring mix salad greens, but ended up wandering aimlessly down some of the other aisles, picking up a few things that I "needed." Truthfully, it will save me a trip next week, but still...I did purchase groceries that could have waited, just because I was hungry at the moment.

As I drove home, I was thinking about my current condition in life, and started singing one of my favorite worship songs (below). I want to be more like Christ - more like the old me - but also new and improved as God continues to work in my heart and life. I have that "holy hunger" where God alone can satisfy. Yes, I have been broken, but I have not been abandoned by God in shambles and despair. His touch has healing powers, mentally and spiritually for me specifically, and I've seen physical miracles too (aunt's healing from cancer).

Of course, the danger lies in being so hungry we fill up the cart on things that are not needed or good for us. The caution is to make sure I don't get distracted by thoughts spending time doing things that do not honor God. Longing to fill the God-shaped void in my heart requires things of God, thoughts of God, and time with God. There are no substitutes. Because of the feast with God, I can then taste the sweetness of His blessings in my career, relationships with others, service, etc. Soooo, I must take every thought captive (and there are some I'd be okay with you knowing, but less okay with Him knowing and yet, it doesn't really work that way). I need to invest time and energy in this relationship so I don't feel famished and hunger for things/people that are not of the Lord.

The path to freedom continues. Thanks for your prayers and love!


P.S. Okay, okay, I confess I bought a bag of funyons. I won't eat them all at once though. LOL :)

Hungry, I come to you
For I know You satisfy
I am empty, but I know
Your love does not run dry.

So I wait for You
So I wait for You
I'm falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You're all this heart is living for

Broken, I run to You
For Your arms are open wide
I am weary, but I know
Your touch restores my life

So I wait for You
So I wait for You
I'm falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You're all this heart is living for

Songwriter: Kathryn Scott

Friday, September 24, 2010

My (not so secret) Love Affair

I have a confession to make. It's a pretty big deal actually. Are you ready for my not so secret truth to be revealed once and for all? I'm in love. Yep, and not just with the idea of being in love either, although that is certainly true too, being the hopeless romantic that I am. :)

When all hope is lost or when dreams are being realized
When I am at my worst or living life at my best
When I am alone or surrounded by others
When I sleep or when I rise
When I am busy or bored

There is someone who loves me throught it all - and IN SPITE of me in it all. This love knows no end, does not have strings attached, is not manipulative or abusive, and makes each day worth living. I've realized I'm never going to be complete without love and there's only one perfect love affair worth seeking daily anyways - Jesus Christ as the love of my life and Lord and Savior!! There is a God shaped void in my heart that looks something like....well, the CROSS. That's the plan of salvation at its simplest. Jesus died for me while I was a sinner. I can't earn that love. I can't lose that love. I can't ignore that love. I can't surpass that love. It's an amazing love affair.

So when you see some "mysterious" status messages about the "You" and "He" making me smile and have a reason for living, remember this not so secret love connection. Only when I am complete in Him, will I be able to really appreciate the love of any human man anyways. That's not gonna stop me from crushing' cuz I'm still the same hopeless romantic wanting what the heart wants....BUT, it does mean that I'm waiting for God to make that romantic connection. I'll just be in love with Him, seeking His will, sharing His love with others...and it will be enough. It's a God shaped void, so no B, C, G, J, or M that I've ever liked or like can fill those shoes anyways. It really wouldn't be fair of me to ask them to be a replacement for Jesus - too much pressure and setting them up for failure. The same is true for me - I can be a woman after God's own heart, but I can't save anyone - not from themselves and not from an eternity of hell if they do not make their own love connection with Jesus.

Thanks for your prayers (and love my dear friends),
Alissa :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Push it to the Limit(s)'s been a while since my last blog post. I've written at least one every day in my mind - usually on my 40 minute commute home from work - and yet, they haven't quite made it to print in this particular forum. That being said, a lot has been going on and there have been times where I feel overwhelmed, on the verge of a complete meltdown, etc. I probably should not be surprised when Satan catches me at a "high" and launches a new attack, and I know God never gives us more than we can handle. Mercy, but I wish He didn't think me capable of handling so much sometimes!! LOL

My quest for freedom has many facets: spiritually free of bondage, physically free of the unwanted pounds that do not reflect the real me I remember from childhood/early adult years, mentally released from baggage of past failings. A challenge has been to push myself to move forward when there are days I just want to give up and stop moving permanently. (These are the days I contemplate asking for help in the form of some "happy pill" but pride has kept me from asking, in much the same way pride keeps me from asking for any other help, even with my closest and dearest friends.)

So, I'm asking for that help, that accountability that I know is available. Help me push it to the limits and stay on track - spiritually, physically, and mentally/emotionally. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 and some of that strength is going to have YOUR flesh on it dear friends/family!

P.S. Today was a good day and I will rejoice in it. :)