Summer school will be concluding this week though the exact end day is uncertain. I struggled painfully this past week and needed a great deal of encouragement from my favorite classmate. He did an excellent job of helping me explore the causes of my sadness so close to the end of school. I recognized that I was feeling overwhelmed by the intensity of my varying emotions all summer long. It was leaving me fatigued and sorrowful; then I was wracked with guilt because I knew that others are in much more advanced summer school while I was sitting there and complaining.
However, even those struggles last week were a lesson in themselves. I was grateful that in my times of darkness my initial response was to repeat God’s truths to myself and to cry out to Him. I also learned that my heart has grown in its compassion towards others. I noticed that I literally feel the pain that other living beings are experiencing, whether they are human or animal. My Love pointed out to me that this is a gift for it allows me to pray for them in a much deeper way. Finally, when my joy does return after a time of absence, I appreciate it so much more. It illuminates my life with its presence, and I become all the more determined to hold on to it.
In my introduction to this Summer School blog series I stated that I was learning to trust Jesus as He guided me through His summer syllabus. He knew what I needed to learn the most. What did I need to learn the most? I needed to learn that I do not need to fear God’s refining fire, the operative word being “God’s.” I don’t seek out difficulty, and I certainly like an orderly, predictable life that is filled with laughter and all of my loved ones around me. I certainly do not desire to ever be parted from my Love and Best Friend again! Yet I have experienced God’s faithfulness firsthand this summer.
He is a strict teacher and a comforting counselor. He does not miss a single opportunity to either teach a new lesson or review a past one. He provides individualized instruction in general topics since He knows my unique weaknesses and tendencies. And when I lay down my pen after that final exam this week I will know that I have passed. I am a stronger student. I am a more sincere prayer warrior. I am a more empathetic listener. I am more appreciative of the little blessings, more patient in the waiting, and slower to speak my opinion. I know that I have been forged in God’s refining fire and I will be all the more radiant as I walk down the aisle to meet my husband who went through the fire with me.