Tuesday, June 12, 2007

His Burden Is Light

I haven't posted in over three months, but I'm back now. It's been crazy, but God has done some miracles in my life. Here's a quick recap of the past year of my life, to give background.

In June, 2006, after completing over half of my law school education, I was, through no fault of my own, not invited to return. I was devastated, because I had pinned all my hopes on finishing school, and I was afraid that this spelled the end of my legal career before it had even begun. The university offered me a chance to appeal the decision, which I did. After two months, they decided to deny my appeal, and they sent me packing.

I told very few people about this at the time. I told my parents and sister, a few close friends who ended up in the same situation as me, and my bishop. When nosy, but well-meaning people in the extended family, or at church asked me how I was doing, I put on a brave face, said I was doing fine, and that I was taking a leave of absence from school.

The differing reactions from the people I told were interesting. Some people offered the usual platitudes about everything happening for a reason, and how I would look back on this experience and be grateful. (It's probably true, but I certainly didn't want to hear it at the time.) Some people joined with me in blowing off steam by badmouthing (in confidence, of course) the administration, the professors, the school, etc. And some people just said, "I'm so sorry. This [stinks]," and they mourned with me.

I thought about picking up the pieces and moving on to another law school, but I found out that I would either need permission from my old school, or I would need to wait for two years. (This rule is set forth by the ABA, not by the individual schools.) I contacted the university to ask for the letter of permission, and the dean informed me that writing such a letter was against school policy, but that I was invited to re-apply for the fall term. (Fall 2007, that is.)

I considered becoming a patent agent instead of an attorney, and I even went so far as to sign up for and begin attending the science classes I needed to supplement my education. After a month or so, I discovered that it wasn't for me, so I started looking for a job. I've spent the last 9 months working 60 hour weeks to pay the bills.

I re-applied for the fall term and was denied re-admission. At this point, I felt like I was at the end of my rope, and I cried until I was out of tears. I was so mentally, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted, and I just wanted to crawl into a cave and sleep. Then the miracles began. I was pondering on how tired I was, and a verse of scripture popped into my mind. Matthew 11:28-30 (emphasis added):
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

This has always been one of my favorite scriptures, but it hit me with extra force this time. Christ promised me rest if I came to Him. Although my burden was heavy, His is light, and He offered a trade. I wasn't sure how exactly to do this, so I took some time alone and prayed. I basically told God everything that was on my mind, and I didn't censor myself. I told Him how I felt, why I felt that way, what was bothering me, etc. By the end, I was tired, and I went to sleep.

When I woke up the next morning, it was like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I was still working long hours, and I was still unable to fulfil my dream of finishing law school, but I felt peace and rest. To quote the words of Alma, "I could remember my pains no more." Throughout the week, I pondered on what had happened. Being a scientifically minded person, I wanted to figure out exactly what I did, so that I could repeat it if necessary. After a few days, I realized that I didn't do anything; God did it. I was the unmistakable recipient of grace.

I am so grateful that I have a Savior who came to this earth not only to suffer for my sins, but to bear my pains and sorrows as well. Every time I think about it, I am humbled.


David said...

Wow, Keri, that was beautiful.

Law school has caused me to take solace in that scripture from Matthew too, albeit for different reasons.

Thank you. Best of luck.

Stephen said...

Why did they tell you not to come back?

I had no idea about the two year lay off policy. When did the ABA come up with that one?

Keri said...

My getting kicked out of law school is kind of a long story. The school I was at is on probation with the ABA because of its low bar-passage rate. Basically, how well my graduating class would have done on the bar would be the determining factor in whether or not it gets to keep its accreditation.

The administration basically freaked out and purged about 1/3 of my class, presumably to increase the chances of the bar passage rate increasing. I got caught up in the purge, and it was considered "academic disqualification", even though I never failed any classes, and my GPA was above the cutoff for avoiding disqualification. The ABA puts a bunch of hoops up for any disqualified student to jump through in order to go back to any ABA accredited law school.

I'm re-taking the LSAT at the end of the month since my score is about 5 years old. I'm hoping that my score will improve, to increase my chances.