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By: Nozipho Mpanza

The word “Matriculant” shadows many thoughts into the minds of most. Those who conquered the challenge are reminded of victory while others may feel regret. University students will quickly come to learn that it was ‘child’s play’ while onlookers think heels, date and after party. I am reminded of grace.

The longest night of my life thus far came on 3 January 2012 as I anticipated my final matriculation results. The course of the day had me scouting for any distraction that would steal my mind from the terror that waited at midnight, but just as every other day on the calendar, so too did January 3 come to an end to make way for the next morning.

It was during the dawn of January 4 that I sat with glazed eyes in front of a laptop and gave a jubilant expression “Mamma: 5 DISTINCTIONS”.

I knew then that it could only be by the grace of God.

As my family echoed their congratulations and joy, I became overwhelmed by the faithfulness of God as it was right then that it was confirmed within me that when he uttered “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” in Jeremiah 29.11; he was speaking to you and I.

My matric year saw me devoting hours of focus and dedication to my syllabus in preparation for the anticipated final exams. I had ensured every effort to maximize the resources available to me.

When November came and exams were upon me, I woke up and stepped confidently into my first final exam: prayer in heart, syllabus in mind and Parker pen in hand.

It was during my third exam that I met the unexpected. An hour into my 3 hour physical science paper, I began to feel a sharp pain in my body, with the progression of time the pain intensified and giving in was a clear option. I began to go straight into a state of panic and it was then, during my FINAL science paper, that my mind became paralyzed by the pain that had attacked my body.

The dreaded 3hours came to an end and I submitted the paper that was no reflection of the hard work that I had invested in making this experience magical.

As I arrived in the hospital ward, I was ordered to stay immediately for an operation if I had any intention of finishing my exams, as the pain would only escalate and there was no alternative. This meant having to go through 10 more exams under medication after a surgery which would have me admitted for two days. Having only God to look to, I was reminded of Philippians 4.13” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

The decision was made to continue in faith and trust the same God who healed the blind and fed the hungry to come to my personal rescue. I’m glad I did.

A little room I call home

I now compose my testimony, healthily in my east side room against the back drop of Table Mountain at my school residence as I am studying Business Science at the University of Cape Town. The reality I am able to boast today was fogged by uncertainty and fears as I anticipated the unknown and questioned my ability BUT God was still God.

“We are more than conquerors through him who loved us” Rom 8.37. For those who face this milestone in this year, be reminded that above Newton’s laws, Credit Journals and Trigonometry is…Jesus Christ.