Sometimes test time comes and there is success. Sometimes test time comes and there is failure. This past week found me feeling both success and failure in the same evaluation. We had our first language evaluation after being in class for a little under eight weeks. There has been a lot of growth and progress. However, there are still those areas that need to be improved.
I (Phyllis) felt pretty good going into the test. I have grown in confidence and have been out among people more. However, I still have a long ways to go! Honestly? I broke down crying in the middle of the whole thing and couldn't seem to recover. Failure. That's all I could hear in my mind. We've been here for how long and I'm still no where near proficient? I told myself all sorts of things like, "I'm never going to get this....this is supposed to be an 'easy' language....I've never been a bad student, so why is this so hard?....." As you can see, not productive at all.
I got home and just felt emptied. Spent. The next morning, I got out my journal and started telling Jesus how I was feeling. Sometimes when my emotions get big, I need to just lay them before Jesus before I can read God's Word or really 'hear' it. I poured out all that emotion for a couple pages and then a song came to mind....I couldn't recall all the lyrics, but I remembered enough to lead me to 1 Corinthians 13:1 which is the verse from the Bible that the line I recalled was from. "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol." It spoke mounds of comfort to my hurting heart! It wouldn't matter if I HAD mastered the language already IF I can't speak it in love.....
I shared with my language helper that day of my failure, but also of how the God of the Universe took the time to remind me of His truth. How did Jesus reach people with the Gospel? He became a baby. He gave up His eloquent language of angels and men and humbled himself to be confined to the restrictions of an infant....he had to learn how to talk just like you and me. And how did he do it? He SPENT TIME around people. He GREW with them. What an eye opener this was for me! It made my Savior more compassionate and understanding to me than I have previously known before because He 'gets' it! It IS hard to learn, but our God is gracious enough to reach down and relate to us. He's done this before, and He is the One working in and through me. There are other lessons to learn in this season too, not JUST the language.
Please continue to pray for our language studies....and that we would be teachable and humble enough to learn 'other' lessons in this season too!