French Class: An Answered Prayer, A Better Choice

This is also a story about one of the classes I took at Barnard, it’s quite similar to the previous post, Remembering.

One of the things I’d prayed to do while I was at Barnard, apart from taking a visual arts/photography class, was to improve my French. I wanted to be fluent in it.

I was doing French at UCT and so wanted to continue with French class at Barnard in order to get appropriate class credit when I return to UCT and so that it would flow well with the continuation of my studies when I returned. I hoped to be doing “business French” at UCT and was happy to find there was an “advanced business French” class at Barnard.

In order to take any of the French classes at Barnard there was a French placement test. The thought of a test wasn’t exciting, being new to how tests at Barnard worked, but I figured it would go fine since I’d been doing French since high school and was close to completing the French major at UCT.

I wrote the test. Later, the French professor gave me back my score. It was some marks below what I needed to be placed in the advanced business French class. She suggested I take an easier class: the conversation class. I was quite disappointed with the idea because I thought I’d do well in the test and that I really needed to do the advanced business French class— especially since it would translate easily to my UCT coursework (and perhaps even give me an advantage, since it was possibly an advanced version of the UCT equivalent for that semester).

The French lecturer said she felt I would enjoy the conversation class more but also said I was welcome to take the business French class if I was sure I was up to the challenge. She allowed me to visit both classes and then make a final decision. Not long after being in the business French class did I realise that it was not for me. I did understand (some of) what was said but it was indeed an advanced level of French and with a higher workload.

The conversation class on the other hand was lovely. I really enjoyed my classmates, I was comfortable speaking and the outline of what we’d have to do for the semester was exciting. It was focused on improving spoken French and comfortability with the language in general. I took the class.

* * *

Like I’d said, one of the things I’d prayed for was to improve my French while at Barnard; I wanted to be fluent in it.

By the end of the French class I really was!

This was another lesson of how sometimes I think I need something, but God knows better. I could have struggled through the advanced business French class but it was not necessary (In fact: I found I couldn’t take French any more when I went back to UCT because there was a clash!) So I really did get to enjoy French and getting fluent; my final French class experience was beautiful.

If we pray to God and commit our way to Him we don’t need to stress when things don’t seem to go “our way” he knows way better and His way is perfect (Psalm 18:30)

There are countless beautiful examples of other times when I wanted something but got something else and found it was Jesus’ choice and way, way better! I am thankful that as a Father, the Lord helps in all decision making, leading us in the right way 🙂

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
-Proverbs 3:5-6


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