But reality started to hit. First exam!
Well, I think I need to explain a little more on what I meant by first exam.
The Church History total score consists of:
- 3 exams each valued 20% (total 60%)
- 1 assignment valued 40%
The first exam was scheduled to be held on 18 August. And two weeks before that, from the 13 chapters that will be tested, I only have read first three chapters. After I read chapter 3 I just stopped reading it, totally not interested. I really thought the book was boring.
But God has its own way to change me. To make me realise that studying Church History is part of His plan to shape my understanding and my life. He let things happened in my life that encouraged me to enjoy the process of study.
1. The letting go of A. This is the most important lesson.
I have been stressing myself with my own expectation to get A. I used to always told myself that I need to get minimum B because it is a requirement to continue my scholarship and to continue to study further. I felt stressful and unsecure. I need to get good score, but I don't like to read the book. How????
In these times, God has spoken so many things to me. Through my quiet times and through the lecturers. Gradually, I changed the way I think.
The main point is not to get A. The main point is to give my best and leave the result to God. I remember vividly my OT lecturer said in class, "God does not accept you because of your score. Whatever score you have, whether it's A or not. God has accepted you. God has accepted you for who you are." Amen! :) At that time I felt very peaceful and secure. Yup, God accepted me. It is ridiculous for me not to accept myself. And why should I worry about what the scholarship organisation or what the church think of me if GOD himself accepted me?
2. Primary source
While I don't like to read the book, I like to read the two articles that the lecturer gave to us as a material for discussion. The articles are amazing!
One told about how people must undergo 3 years of church membership class! In the early church, they took matters more seriously. They would examine the job, the life and the character of the cathecumen. My church membership class is only 6 months, and in most of my classmates' church are even shorter. The day before their baptism, the cathecumen must pray 6 times a day and fast (!!!) And there are many more requirements. It shows how significant baptism was for them.
The other article told stories regarding martyrdom in Lyons. It was so mind-blowing and heart-wrenching. I can't imagine myself in their situation.
They are heroes of faith. Their suffering and death brought glory to God. What an example to follow.
3. The presentation on martyrdom in Friday chapel service by my Church History lecturer's family group.
It was amazing, to see martyrs from all parts of the world, including Indonesia, particularly among the Bataks. Interestingly, they also presented about martyrdom in Japan.
Well, I am definitely more theologian than historian. I'm so weak in memorising years. Fortunately, I've got a theologian lecturer that prefers to find theological values from events in Church History compared to memorising years, names, and places. Thank God :)
After the gradual encouragement, I started to gain interest in Church History and began to read my Church History book again, chapter by chapter... No pressure on me. I told myself, "Relax, Ita. Just read chapter by chapter. If in the end you cannot finish all the chapter, it is okay. Just enjoy the reading and the process of learning. If in the end you score low, It is okay. There will be two more exams after this. And there will be assignment. There are still chances to improve your score. Don't be too hard on yourself. It is the first exam anyway. As long as you have done your best according to your capability, any results will be fine."
I feel secure in His everlasting arms and His unconditional love :)
Peace and security is needed most in exam. If we are stressful in facing the exam, it will be more difficult for us to remember the things we have studied.
And... How's the result? I'm satisfied. Definitely higher than I have expected. *Well, that's basically what happened when you lower your expectation :p*
Really thank God! :D