When I didn’t get accepted to university

Originally appeared online in the teen series Turning Point -  March 5, 2024.

A few years after finishing high school, I decided to upgrade my exam results from my final year of high school by retaking some of the exams. This is a common practice in South Africa, where I live. I did this in hopes that I would gain admission to university. When I received results that met the requirements for admission, I applied. But I wasn’t accepted. 

Feeling hopeless, I turned to God in prayer as I’ve been learning how to do while studying Christian Science. I also contacted a Christian Science practitioner and asked him to pray for me. The practitioner reminded me that, as the image or reflection of God, who is perfect, I am complete. To me this meant that I couldn’t be missing any quality I needed for progress or success. He also said that God’s law of good is always in operation, which helped me feel less worried about the future.

As I thought about these ideas, I recognized that I really am a loved child of God who is made, according to the first chapter of the Bible, in His image and likeness, just like everyone else. Since I’m made in God’s image, what could I lack? If God is perfect and good, I must reflect goodness, intelligence, and ability. As I prayed, I found these ideas flooding in. I could see that God was communicating with me, and I felt immense peace and love—and lots of gratitude. I kept praying and studying, and my fear subsided.

One thought in particular came to me that changed the way I was thinking about the process of finding, and being accepted to, a university: I’m not a victim of being placed on the waiting list of a school due to “space constraints.” Although this appeared to be what was going on, my prayers helped me recognize that it couldn’t be the truth about God’s creation. The truth is that God abundantly blesses all His children, and no one can be left out, because God’s goodness is limitless. I continued praying this way, and also recognized that, as the reflection of God, who is Spirit, we are spiritual—and this means that our experience can, and does, reflect what’s really true. 

At the beginning of 2023, I applied to more universities. One school rejected my application because they could obtain only my old exam results, not the upgraded results, and the other declined due to space constraints. I turned to prayer again and let go of how I wanted things to turn out, instead trusting God with every aspect of my life. This Bible passage resonated with me: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

I thought, “I trust You, God.” I affirmed this for myself three times, and on the third time, an angel thought—a message from God—came to me, which was, “Thank you, My child.” I felt calm and loved, and I knew without a doubt that it was God reassuring me. I wasn’t worried.

A month after that, I got an email from the university that had had only my old exam results, saying that I had been granted admission. To me, this outcome is best explained by this Bible passage: “Help me, O Lord my God: . . . that they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, Lord, hast done it” (Psalms 109:26, 27).

God takes care of each and every one of us. I am so grateful to God for all the blessings that He has bestowed on each of us as His loved children.

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