Sometimes it Takes a Mountain

September 23, 2018

 

Two years before the end of primary school, my grades in Math began to drop, and time after time, my parents got some of the best teachers they knew to help me outside of the classroom. Yet my confidence in Math dwindled, and my grades got poorer. It would become and remain a major hurdle throughout high school. I attended a high school with a fundamental science structure, and it was clear that you had no business being there if you weren't smart. Emphasis was placed on Math and Science, and a pass in Math was mandatory. If a student failed Math twice, they were asked to withdraw from the school. Thus, Math brought me to my knees, and I had this anxiety and fear of failing it throughout high school.  l remember thinking over and over again, if only l excelled in Math, my life would be so much better, and l will be so much happier. It was so bad that one day, in my graduating year in high school, after seeing the results of a test, my Math teacher, standing in front of the class called out, "Who is

Obichukwu Osakwe?" I stood up. He stared at me and shook his head. He looked stupefied. This was exactly what he said to me "l feel so sorry for you. You have a long way to go. I feel sorry for your future."

My teacher's comment left me feeling very dejected. Already, I had been worrying about what I would become in the future. Never mind l excelled in other subjects, but Math! I also had two brothers who were outstanding in Mathematics. One would eventually follow our dad's foot step and become an Engineer, and the other chose to pursue a career in Medicine. Me? I quietly resolved to become a lawyer, so that l would never again be intimidated by Math. Oh the peace that flooded my soul when l finally figured it out. "I would be a lawyer, and l wouldn't need Math!"  Well, that was not to be because I had to get four years of college first before going to law school. l then decided to study International Relations and French. Not only did it sound cool, there was no Math! My dad was concerned about my choice. "Why don't you study computer science or information systems?" When l got into college in 2002 they were about the most promising careers. But, I couldn't purse a career in computer science or information system. I wasn't even going to try. Six years in high school was enough to let me know that l wasn't cut out for the sciences.  Despite my difficulty in Math, l still got admitted into the university of my choice and I also attracted the university scholar scholarship that completely covered my tuition and fees. I essentially got my college education for free. It was however compulsory that l maintained a certain high GPA in order to keep my scholarship each semester. Thankfully, my GPA was nearly a perfect score, and l never once faced the threat of losing my scholarship. After some advice here and there, l decided to go with the one who told me that if l went with Finance, l could end up in Wall Street, and make enough money and then go to Law school. It sounded like a plan, and l went for it amidst tears, anxiety, and fear. Fear and anxiety because I knew I was terrible at Math, and I thought of all the numbers that would flood my classes in Finance. I even worried I could lose my scholarship if I didn’t perform well enough. Surprisingly, l made As in my other classes, including the toughest classes in Finance and Accounting, and I even helped tutor other students. Thankfully, college was much better with available help at the Math Lab. I waited until my last year in college to take Calculus, which was mandatory in order for me to graduate with a degree in Finance. I would eventually make an A in Calculus, which made it possible for me to graduate Summa Cum Laude, sealing the job offer l had already received from Merrill Lynch while still in my final year of college.

 

Of course Math is so easy breezy for a lot of people.  Most of my friends are outstanding in Math. It might sound strange that with plenty of relentless hard work and tears in prayer was how l approached Math. Yet, it was as a young child, faced with this challenge and needing a miracle in order for me to be admitted into my exclusive science high school, (after not making the first round of admission) that  my faith was being developed. I was also learning how to tarry in prayer, and I learnt total reliance on the Lord's mercy. I didn't know it would also prepare me to battle for my freedom on my knees from other challenges I would encounter as a young adult.

 

Sometimes, we are faced with mountains that seem insurmountable, and maybe we think if only that problem was fixed, we would just live without a care in this world. However, through the challenges l have faced and the problems that have made me bow my head in sorrow, those problems that have made me cry many nights and even days, those problems that have left me feeling defeated, l learned to trust  and believe in the Lord for EVERYTHING.

 

Are you feeling tired, lonely, discouraged, angry, depressed, lost, hurt, and confused? Perhaps you know one or two people feeling that way. Sometimes it takes a mountain for us to unleash our full potential. It doesn't happen overnight, but at the end, you will see that God meant it for good. We want you to live, but not just live, you should blossom while at it. Here are the lyrics to one of the most profound and powerful songs l know:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9fXN3QKCWk

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obichukwu Osakwe?" I stood up. He stared at me and shook his head. He looked stupefied. This was exactly what he said to me "l feel so sorry for you. You have a long way to go. I feel sorry for your future."
 

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