The first semester of my second year in campus was very challenging. It ended badly because I was unable to raise school fees. This meant I couldn’t sit for exams. I really prayed and studied hard. ‘God is not unfair; He won’t let me down, and things will be smooth soon. Relax and wait for a miracle,’ was what I told myself as I approached the end of the semester.
Early in the morning, Mel and Fay, my best friends and roommates, left me in the room to go sit for the first exam. We had been revising together the previous night, and I was left alone in our room. I cried, not because I was in a prayer mood and was pleading with God for a miracle. Rather, I felt that God was unfair to me. I was disappointed, and my heart was heavy.
Nothing seemed good to me; I had nothing to appreciate God for. Later that evening, I barely wanted to see my friends again. I didn’t want to be with them. However, Fay told me these words that I remember to this day: “Your faith is being tested, and if you fail, you will surely be tested again.” Unfortunately, her words fell on a dry heart and did not yield anything.
We want God to do things the way we want them done. Accepting His will when we are hurting is not easy.
The exam period passed, and all I experienced was pain and tears, but I had to dust myself off and rise.
At the end of the second semester, my situation was the same. I had fee arrears, and exams were approaching. On top of that, students were going to Mombasa on a field research trip upon the completion of exams. Only students who had paid fees on time were allowed to go on the trip.
Apart from missing the exams, I was also going to miss the field trip. This was terrible! I had no choice but to make sure I didn’t fail the ‘faith test’ again. Once bitten, twice shy, right?
Early in the morning, Mel and Fay left for the end-of-year exams. I was left in the room again. This time, I looked at things in a different way. God had granted me good health, a chance to be on campus, a roof above me, a meal on the table, shoes on my feet, and many blessings! I decided to focus on the positive side.
During that period, I would take time to revise with my friends. I would help with cleaning and preparing food as they got ready for exams. All through, I was strong, and I had a song in my heart: ‘I have seen your love and compassion; God, I am grateful’. I would sing this song every time the slightest thought of disappointment came to mind.
It wasn’t easy. I know you can imagine the frustration of not taking exams for a full academic year. What of the field trip to Mombasa? Missing it broke my heart. I had no strength to imagine that Mel and Fay were going to Mombasa for a whole week without me.
They didn’t want to leave me behind, but things were just out of our hands. I watched them pack their bags as I tried not to think about it. I tried singing and even sleeping, but nothing was helping.
But then news broke that the trip had been postponed to the following week. Not only that, I also received a call from the school department saying that I was on the list and would go on the trip.
To date, no one knows exactly how it materialized. All I know is that I went on the trip, and my fee balance was also miraculously cleared.
Although I had to sit for exams later, I managed to pass very well.
I thank God it happened because you get to read this testimony. Isn’t that great?
When trials come your way, make sure you do not fail. God will bring it back to you again and again. To get to the next level, you have to pass. It is not hard because He always has your back.
It is easier said than done, but reading about how Job, Daniel, Elijah, and Hanna overcame obstacles gives us confidence that we can too. The practical bit is never a walk in the park. When you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, you realize it is hard to be patient.
Mostly, we find ourselves complaining, full of anxiety, and finding it hard to pray. That is why we should always pray for strength during our happy times to get through the dark times.
I have learned to pray harder when things are okay, because tough times are inevitable.