Today I got an email that I had received academic renewal on my college transcripts. In a nut shell, it means that the bad grades on my transcript from fall of 1982 are no longer computed into my GPA. I can't tell you how much that mistake has haunted me! (For the Reader's Digest version, go here.)
My academic adviser, Jessica was holding my graduation packet until she got the news that it was approved. I forwarded the email from the record's dept. to her and got back a "Wahoo! I'm so happy for you! Look at those beautiful transcripts!" She just met me yesterday and I felt genuine concern from her for my academic and personal wellbeing. She was rejoicing with me over it.
I couldn't help but associate this experience with repentance. I have gone to school off and on since 1987 and done my very best to get good grades. But it seemed that no amount of A's would make up for that quarter of school. I had messed up and it was there lurking around. That D was making my GPA a 3.8, even after 62 other credits. I felt shamed. No matter how hard I tried, it was there. I had no power to correct it for myself.
Then with a small fee of twenty-five dollars, and the signature of the right person, it was gone, erased. I have renewal! It is now only a mistake from which to learn. No longer a blemish on my GPA. I couldn't do it on my own. It was done for me. What a great feeling!
Even joy. Not because a 3.8 isn't acceptable, but because it made me think of the true joy that comes from repentance and doing one's best after the sinning is stopped. Knowing that because of the Savior and His Atonement, I can have those sins and mistakes gone, erased. I have had them erased. The shame for the sins that I've committed is gone, and my heart is light because after all that I can do, the Savior has paid the price for me and has done the rest.
How I love Him! How grateful I am for my knowledge and faith in Him, even Jesus the Christ! Academic Renewal is but a reminder for me of the greatest renewal, spiritual renewal, and the greatest gift, my Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement.