Thursday, April 5, 2018

Failure is the best teacher

At my college graduation, 2010

As a young 21-year-old approaching my college graduation, I decided to apply for graduate school. I was excited and felt strongly that I should apply.

I only applied to BYU since Ben had a steady job and we had no plans of moving. I had excitedly told a few people who were close to me. I even knew a few people who were also applying to my same program. I made plans for the future and dreamed about how much cooler I'd be with a masters degree. And then I got the dreaded news: I didn't get in. It's that sinking feeling. What's wrong with me? I'm left out. What did I do wrong? Why is everyone else so much better than me? Not to mention embarrassment. I have to tell my boss (who had been hoping to keep me on as a grad student). I have to tell those nice people who wrote me recommendation letters. How could I be so dumb?!

And then I wondered... why did God want me to do this?? Why would he want me to apply, only to not get in?

I was so so sad about it all. However, not long after I found out I got rejected, I found out I was pregnant with Cheyenne and I got quite sick, so my sadness quickly changed to a focus on something else.

Now that I have completed my masters degree, seven years now after the first time I applied, I can see a little clearer. I had to apply back then so I would already know what my degree would be in when I would receive a prompting to go back to school. I had to apply back then so I would know how serious to take the application, to go and meet the academic counselor and seek her advice. I had to apply back then so Ben and I were already comfortable with it, and so I knew to look for a non-thesis program (Ben's nearly did us in!).

As a 21-year-old getting rejected seemed confusing, but really it was simply a stepping stone to the right time, the right place.

Why is it as mortals it's hard to wrap our heads around rejection? Why can we not believe that God would want us to do something that would have a "negative" outcome? Naivete. God is an excellent teacher, and failure is one of the absolute best ways to learn.

The time I first applied, 2010

Pregnant with our first baby, Cheyenne

Graduating with my masters, 2017

Our family when I graduated

More inspired thoughts on how positive failure is here:

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