My Reflections of Grace – Glenda Thomas’s Story

Join Glenda Thomas as she sits down to write about her reflections of Grace near the end of earning her degree. Running the race takes persistence and leaning on the grace of God each day. Here are Glenda’s thoughts.

“As I sit down to write my final discussion, I am teary-eyed. I am experiencing both sadness and happiness as I am just days away from completing my bachelor’s degree. My sadness, of course, is that I am leaving a family… the Grace Christian University family. The professors I have had over the years, the classmates I have interacted with, and the advising team, have felt like family. They have pushed me, encouraged me, and at times, corrected me. My happiness, of course, is realizing that I DID IT!

Winning the Race

As I reflect on the highlights and growth during my educational journey, I look back to the very first paper written during my first class. The title of the paper was “How to Win the Race of Endurance and the Requirement of Persistence.” Referencing Hebrews 12:1, I defined persistence in the race of endurance as, “a righteous decision which activates God’s ability and strength, propels one forward… steadily and causes one to remain even when in their own strength it appears impossible to hold on, to hold up, or to hold out” (G. Thomas, personal communication, 2018, February 17). Running a race is optional, but winning the race we run requires endurance and persistence. I would say my greatest area of growth over the years at Grace has been in learning the value of both, endurance and persistence.

A Test of Endurance and Persistence

As a late-in-life student, I already had lots of examples in my life of starting but not finishing. But this time, I wanted to finish and win. I had lots of opportunities to not finish this race. School placed a greater demand on my time, and I wanted to give up rather than miss family time and special occasions. When I was admitted to the hospital for five days with COVID-19 pneumonia, and took nearly eight weeks to recover, I didn’t think I could hold on. When my dearest brother suddenly passed away, my heart was so broken that I didn’t know how I would find the strength to hold out. But I did. I found strength because I had decided I would finish the race before I even started, and I was able to rely on God’s strength that propelled me forward when my own strength was not enough.

A Journey in Grace – My Reflections of Grace Christian University

There were those who offered a rightly seasoned word of encouragement along the way. I had something to gain from every course and professor. I will never forget Professor Kurt’s animated “Well done!” comments in his feedback, or Professor Scott Shaw’s words of encouragement while in their class. Education at Grace has afforded me greater credibility, as a believer, as a Christian, and as a professional. Having endured, I am now better prepared in my career, in ministry, and in life. The finish line isn’t always visible at the beginning of a race, but that does not mean it isn’t there. If we endure and persist, God will finish the excellent work that he has begun in us (Philippians 1:6). If I could describe my experience at Grace in one statement, I would say, ‘It has been a journey in grace.'”

-Glenda Thomas

What Can a Degree at Grace Do For You?

We always love hearing our students’ reflections of Grace. Each of us is on a unique path. We know that “…we are his [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) At Grace Christian University, we are dedicated to graduating Godly individuals who are prepared to serve Christ.

We’d love to have you join us. Request more info today!

 

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