So, week one of being a student in Valencia, Spain is considered accomplished! I should be ecstatic to not have to wake up at 8 am. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Instead, I find myself waking up around 10 in the morning on a Friday, worried about all the assignments that will be due on Monday, the next class session.
The Valencia Project host class sessions which are scheduled Monday-Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Those who struggle with Spanish are expected to attend the 10:00 a.m. session which provides beginner Spanish lessons. I am one of the students who attends the 10:00 a.m. class and remain there until the regular class session (from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.), is over.
Three hours may seem bad but, I enjoy the class sessions where we learn more helpful tools to help us excel in our selected field of multimedia journalism. Hence, the three hours are not challenging for me. My faith in Christ Jesus has pushed me to my limits this week as I tried finding my way through Valencia, Spain, school work, and my personal life.
Upon my arrival in Valencia, Spain there were numerous obstacles that hindered me from seeing the bigger picture. On Monday one of the professors instructed us to write a story about a memorable experience. Once I started writing I begin thinking about the experience I had while applying for one of the Fund for Education Abroad scholarships.
I recalled the Horrific experience of an almost missing deadline for turning in my application to FEA. The fear of losing the opportunity of studying abroad and interning for such an awesome communication program burdened me. Nevertheless, I was able to make the deadline for the application, became a finalist, and ended up acquiring the NAFSA Tamara H. Bryant Memorial Scholarship.
I was more than a conqueror!
However, this first week of classes threatened this mindset of being more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. I am a perfectionist at heart therefore, every assignment given to us this week I wanted it to be the best. But, with technology sometimes mistakes happen and you may not get the work you hoped for. I had to learn that this week while rushing around the city of Valencia as an investigative journalist. This is the real world of journalism, this is the hands-on experience my professors warned us about, this is where I worked so hard to be.
Yet, I was being ungrateful, stubborn, and disobedient to the calling of God. This week, I was impatient, temperamental, and stubborn. This week I was human.
I was discouraged when people did not speak English and I wanted the best stories. I was frustrated when I failed to remember basic Spanish and underestimated my strength when challenged to give more.
I was upset. Upset with God because I couldn’t hear the clear voice I usually hear when God speaks. I was annoyed when things didn’t go as planned. I was too overwhelmed, preoccupied, and unavailable to obtain the peace I begged God for.
Obstacles were on every street I walked to and fear welcomed me at every place I visited. Unworthiness filled my thoughts as I struggled to understand everyone and as one of the only black girls enrolled in the program. Defeat slowly swallowed me in its sand dune hole.
I was longer more than a conqueror.
I rummaged the city of Valencia not realizing that while I wondered where this place or that place was located, God was wondering where my faith had gone?
The first week of classes are now over and it’s time to prepare for the next upcoming weeks of class and assignments. As I prepare to slowly unwind this weekend, I recall the time I almost missed the deadline for FEA. I recall years ago when I was told I wouldn’t make it as far as high school, let alone college. I recall the times I wanted to give up during the journey before studying abroad in Valencia, Spain. I recall being homeless prior to moving into my college dorm back in August of 2016.
I recall persevering and overcoming those obstacles that for certain would hinder my dreams of becoming a multimedia journalist, actress, and director, from coming true. I recall the faith that has carried me thus far and remember, that I’ve come too far to give up now.
My faith never left, I did when I wrapped myself in all the assignments due. I am not perfect nor will I ever be and through all the lessons taught this week, I have truly learned to have peace that surpasses all understanding.