This past week before spring break was quite a crazily busy and stressful one. I had so much to do and what felt like little time to do it in. What I worried the most about was a presentation that I was giving yesterday. This was a presentation on the French Revolution to be given in French in 5-10 minutes. After making it through my presentation, I sat down and was feeling relief run over me to have it overwith when something happened that boggled my mind.
Let me give you a little background. I have this French literature class called “Major French Writers” that has caused me much grief and frustration this semester. This was my first French lit class and it seemed that it did not matter how many hours of work I put into this class, I was not getting the kind of results I wanted. The professor whom I have had before, seemed intimidating and hard to please who seemed to have an uncanny talent for sending a lot of homework at the last minute. After feeling absolutely slapped down by this prof on one occaision when she sent out a mass email in which she stated that we needed to take responsibility for our own learning, I nearly lost all motivation to even keep trying in that class.
So, on this particular morning I was sitting in my desk with my elbow propping up my chin as I was preparing to have to think through Voltaire’s definitions that we had read, when she pulled up a desk in front of the class, sat down, and told us something that made my mouth nearly drop open. She began telling us how she had taught this class before at other universities and had not nearly had so much trouble getting a class to respond as she had been having trouble with here. She had realized a few weeks earlier that something in our class was simply not working since no one seemed to be doing very well or had been willing to respond to many questions in class. She realized that it was because the department had stopped having the beginner’s classes read literature, so for all of us this was the first time we had begun reading French literature. She had realized that she had expected us to have a reading understanding of French far above what our level was coming into this course. She also admitted that she felt she had graded things differently than she probably should have with this understanding in mind. She asked us permission to basically start over with a clean slate this last half of the semester and we would have the chance to better our grades without having the first half count against us.
All of us were in shock and there was silence for a few moments. The prof asked us to tell us what our frustrations were and suggestions for making the class easier to understand. I was still sitting there stunned but shared some of my concerns as well as most of the rest of the class did. At the end of class she gave us an evaluation to fill out to let her know what is working and what isn’t working basically and she left with the instructions to drop it in her faculty mailbox when we were through. I have hope now that the class will improve and I might actually start liking French lit, but we’ll see.
This was such an answer to prayer. I had prayed that the Lord would help me understand the French I was reading because I was struggling so much. I would sit and read passages over and over and over without really understanding a clear meaning of what was going on. The first composition had not gone well, and I felt at a loss of what to do. So, discouragement had set in and I was unsure of whether French was really what I should have gone into. In all my hopes of things improving, I never would have thought she would have said what she did in class. I have never had a prof do that before!
The most amazing part of this story though is what happened outside of class. In the midst of my struggling and stress, I have had two wonderful Christian people tell me that they had been thinking about me and one even said that she had felt a burden to pray for me. What an encouragement from the Lord! I’m always amazed at how He works.
So, yes, what seems impossible with us, is never impossible with God!