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Having the confidence to change – or to be changed

My parents told me that sometimes God says no


An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

I pushed my way through the crowd of enthusiastic school leavers. The January midday sun was not on our side. It burned hard on our bare foreheads but we were too eager to care.

I thought briefly of the sunburn that to come. With my lighter skin complexion, it was going to be worse. So, let it be. It’ll be worth it.

Outside the Office of Higher Education, a throng of Grade 12 school leavers had gathered to check their names on the acceptance list to universities and colleges around the country.

I struggled my way through the crowed, stepping on someone’s foot. She grumbled and turned around. I gave a contemptuous look and continued through the crowed.  She stared at me. I could see her angry face from the corner of my eye.

The strong wooden sole of my flat must have done some serious damage. But that wasn’t the issue right now. Like everybody else, I was keen to check out my name on the acceptance list. I finally found myself ar the front.

I had aimed at UPNG’s acceptance list. UPNG counted for all my three choices when I filled out the school leaver’s form. I quickly glanced at the list of names under the program I had applied for. Well, my name should be there. Definitely. After all I was my school dux. Why shouldn’t my name be there?

Maybe the excitement made me skip my name so I looked more carefully this time. My name was not there. Perhaps a mistake, I thought. My name could’ve been mistakenly listed elsewherer.

I went through the list a third time to make sure my eyes were not playing tricks. Then I went through the list of every other program at UPNG. Nothing. I let out a huge sigh.

I went home shattered. I couldn’t eat my dinner. I couldn’t accept the fact that, as a top student, I was not accepted into university.

My parents were shocked too. I wanted to destroy everything in the house. I wanted to go get drunk. Get wasted. I questioned God. God why did you let this happen to me? Is this how you reject your child who’s been faithfully going to church?

I was upset and angry at the same time. I cried. After that I was overcome by anger. I told my parents I was going to hang out with friends, drink as much beer as I want to and probably get married.

I lost all hope of kisim save. I became violent. I didn’t want to stay in the house. I wanted to get out and join my friends and go clubbing and drinking so that I could forget my misery.

I joined my friends on a couple of drinking sprees. I quit church because I thought God had abandoned me. My parents became worried. They noticed I had lost my Christian values. I was no longer the shy obedient daughter.

They talked to me. They told me that in life, you don’t always get want you want. But that doesn’t mean it’s the end and you should get violent. Maybe God had something better for me and maybe going to UPNG wasn’t God’s plan for me.

“Drinking and clubbing with friends won’t help,” they said. “Let peace be in your heart and God will show you the next step you should take.

“When you drink you forget your problem but once you’re sober the problem is still there. Drinking is not the solution.”

They told me that somewhere out there someone was praying for me – that God would bring the best out of me and they had been praying for me as well and maybe that was the answer. Sometimes God says no.

Sometimes God says no because He already knows the end result of choices we make today. My parents told me there were other options available.

I could always apply as a non-school leaver to another institution. Maybe if I was selected to UPNG, I wouldn’t be the peaceful person I am today.

We later found out my school-leaver’s application form had never been received by the Office of Higher Education.


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Hazel Kutkue

Great read Samantha

Samantha D Kusari

Great remarks from you all. Thanks.

Paul Fiambawe

A blunder from one leads another to destruction or near-destruction. A good lesson for school leavers. Well narrated Samantha.

Daniel Ipan Kumbon

The School Leaver application form for two boys had not neached the Office of Higher Education. They had scoured top marks except one boy who had scored a 'B' in English.

Through the hard way the first boy graduated with a Bac Degree in Economics last year and the other is doing first year Law. People do make it in life.

Jimmy Awagl

The determination to success comes at a time more conducive to God's plan.
A great recount of your experience, Samantha.

Marlene Dee Potoura

Good lesson to know and relialise that we cant blame God for all our misfortunes. Over expecting something and not getting it always brings doubts on God, if really one has been praying for it. One thing I've learnt in life is that, everything happens at their right time, take it as it comes. God has given us the power of choice , He is not steering us and directing us. We choose how we live, what we eat, what we drink and whether we want to trust him or not.
But His Grace is sufficient. His ways are mysterious. As mere humans, we think so different from the ways of God. When one understands this, one take life as it comes.

Michael Dom

We are potentially mistaking incompetence, wantokism or pure meanness, on the part of the person who managed to 'lose' the application form, for God's hand. I am doubtful of the validity of such a claim.

It's like saying God allowed WWII so that Aussies could be mates with Pengens. Really?

Rather it was the everyday decisions of individual people that turned the tide of war through their friendships - more than just their countries and our freedom, the allied soldiers began fighting for each other.

A good story though Samantha - but a deeper interpretation from readers is warranted.

Sometimes God says no, but most times He's providing options that may or may not work out depending on what you do or don't do with them.

My parents taught me - you do your best, God does the rest.

Philip G Kaupa

The almighty works in mysterious ways, we only have to be patient and seek His guidance.

Robin Lillicrapp

Good read, Samantha. Life 101, post high school.

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