Confrontation

This week has been enjoyable. This statement can sound general and plain but at this point, I am very okay with that. Monday was tough because Monday is Bible day. Bible is my least favorite subject because it reminds me of my theological shortcomings which make me feel insecure and unfit to be in seminary. Dr. Wall is a very intellectual man, and his writings and interpretations back him up for days. He is not the source of my tension. The tension comes in the way that it challenges the very being of who I am, how I live, and I am sure on an untapped level, what I believe.

The course structure is difficult for me because I do not have a theological background.  I have to read topics that are brand new to me (exegesis, canonization, etc.) and form an academically appropriate research paper, THEN go to class and learn about the written topic and discuss in groups and class about the topics. I am not complaining because I am learning good techniques and material, probably not what the rest of the class is learning because they are either 2nd year seminarians, from bible schools, have masters in theology, or are in ministry contexts already, but good material nonetheless. My grade reflects that I am behind. My writing style needs improvement but I am a good writer when I understand and can formulate adequate conclusions. Yet in bible I cannot.

The course is a dense subject and should be a series in itself therefore requires a lot of time to cram in a lot of dense material. Basically, the workload is heavy and I cannot devote the hours or days my classmates can because I need to work and I am supporting myself. The workload of bible 1 is heavy alone, but add ministries t/w PWD + Theo ethics 1 + Practicum + Class Meetings + at least forty hours of work = not enough hours in the day. And those are only the planned things, throw life’s curveballs and God’s tests, that is a whole new equation.

Somehow, I am managing a B average except bible is calling me on my BS because I will be lucky to get a C, and I have never struggled to get a C! I’m confronted with the issue of competency which is not something you want to struggle with as a:

  • single
  • young adult
  • woman of color
  • on her own for the first time in a big city
  • in Seminary
  • learning how to adult.[1]

Bible is essentially telling me that I am not doing things right because a C is barely passing, a D is not for people of caliber, a “C is not for people named Carrington Phauve Wilson.”[2] Thus, Bible and all my courses are grading me not only on my ability to retain knowledge for future vocations, but also on my ability to be an adult and juggle multiple moving pieces while swimming in shark infested waters.

Seminary is not a place to start failing. Adulthood is not a place to start failing. Yet…here I am.

I understand my reasoning is pretty misguided and my mother reminds me and reveals little by little that my life, when I was under her roof and protection, has been a series of events of struggle that force her to constantly rely ad God and learn new things while making my brother and I totally oblivious to the struggles. As I tell her about life and what I am learning in class and life, more life than class, she tells me her struggles, a new tier in our relationship.

I have learned from my family and experiences in life thus far, that whether I am in school or not, I will always be learning and will always be in a struggle where there is constant need for God. He will continuously bring me to the alter at his feet where I admit my shortcomings and He loves me through them while pettily telling me “You just gotta learn the hard way, and that is why I love you.”

In summation, bible is making me painfully aware of my spiritual-emotional-psychosocial state and I have to make changes in many areas of my life. My trials over the span of the last two years have hinted towards this, but not I am confronted with it and there is no more avoiding. It is time to confront the constructs, beliefs, and ideologies and change them for good. I am having to start with beliefs because my beliefs are what prompt my actions, and I believe some wrong things about myself, life, and theology.

 

[1] Adult (adulting) is a verb used by young adults who are learning to manage themselves and the responsibilities of life. It is understood to be the process of the transition from young adulthood into adulthood.

[2] Carlos and Vanessa Wilson have always raised my brother and I that B’s are the lowest your grades should ever be. In college, the expectations were adjusted because we were “on our own” and C’s are okay but don’t make it a habit. However, if you were a sophomore, C’s will mess up your transcript for graduate school, and doctors and lawyers do not make C’s.

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