It was two months into my first semester at College of Charleston and things were going great… well, almost everything. Out of my three courses, one of them was quite challenging. Coming from a Physics background, there was quite a learning curve with my 400 level Java programming course. Fearing that I might fail the course, I decided to drop the course and retake it the next semester. I still remember the conversation I had with my professor in his office that day right after my Java class. I had just informed him of my decision to drop the class, and then he looked at me and said, “Have you ever thought that maybe Computer Science is not for you? I mean if you really want to study something in the Computer Science field, you could go to a community school and get a certificate in Computer Networking or something?” I was shocked at his statement, but suddenly, I felt a surge of determination like never before, a new passion and drive to succeed. I felt such boldness that only God could give. I looked him straight in the face and said to him, “With man, it is impossible, but with the God that I serve, it is possible! I have seen God move mountains too many times in the past to give up now. I am going to drop this course, and I will take this class again next semester. Not only will I pass this class, but you will watch me graduate with my masters in Computer Science in this same college. I have faith in God, and I know my God will see me through.” I started weeping and the professor was stunned and didn’t know what to say. A student knocked briefly and then opened the door and found me on a seat with tears streaming down my face. He had an awkward look on his face and slowly stepped back and then shut the door. My professor then looked at me with a softened countenance and said, “Sana, you can go ahead and drop the class. I would however love for you to continue to attend the class after you’ve dropped it for the rest of the semester and hopefully the course will start to make more sense with time.” I thought it was a fantastic idea, so I agreed. I stood up and thanked him, then left his office.

The rest of the semester went smoothly. I continued to attend the Java classes after dropping the class up until the end of the semester and completed my other two courses successfully. When I returned home for the Christmas holiday, I spent almost an entire week fasting and praying concerning Java and for the new year ahead. I believe it was day five of my fasting and prayers, I was on my knees by my bed crying to God with regards to Java, and then I heard the Spirit of God saying to me, “Get up and wipe your tears! Pick up your Java textbook and start reading it again from the beginning.” I sat up on my bed immediately, wiped the tears off my face and started reading my Java textbook from the first page and something miraculous happened! As I read pages after pages of my Java textbook, everything I read seemed so elementary. I kept asking myself, how on earth did I not understand this? This is too easy!! I began to write and compile Java programs effortlessly that I initially had trouble with. I remember saying to myself, oh! I can’t wait to retake this class next semester. I can’t wait to see the look on his face when I answer all the questions in class! I couldn’t wait for the next semester. God came through for me! He is the giver of wisdom. God said in His word, “If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously.” James 1:5. I am a living witness that His word is true.

The Christmas holiday was over, a new year had begun, and I was back in Charleston. I will never forget my Java class Spring 2008. Most questions that were asked in class, my hand was raised. I answered the questions correctly, sometimes there would be this shock on the professor’s face when I answered especially a difficult Java question correctly. I passed all my tests and exams. My programming assignments were written correctly without any help and sometimes the professor would read/compile my code and then ask me if I had any help from a classmate. I knew that it was logically impossible for my professor to understand how the shift happened, and how I became so proficient with Java within a short time. At the end of that semester, I passed the class with a B, and had A’s in my other two preliminary courses. I had one more preliminary course to complete which I was going to combine with two graduate courses the following semester on one condition – I had to meet the GRE cut-off point that summer before I would be allowed to officially begin my graduate program in the fall. I was more confident this time that God who had begun a good work so far, would perfect it. I had no doubt that I would return to College of Charleston the next semester as a degree-seeking graduate student. I knew God was more than able to make it possible!

To be continued…