This confession may be a huge shock to those of you who know me. It is not in my character to lie. I almost decided to not share this because the story is so embarrassing but I hope it can be an encouragement to someone. Until now, I have only ever told one person this story, my Husband. He confirmed that it was extremely devious, sinful and manipulative of me. Please read till the end.
I was in 10th Grade and in Ms. Hasselbring’s Geometry Class. Ms. Hasselbring was my favorite teacher and she was also my Track and Cross-Country Coach. She had been my coach since 5th grade and it was the first time I had was in one of her math classes. I fell in love with the way she taught Math! She integrated technology and had a passion for learning and Mathematics. She was an amazing teacher and a great Christian role model. I still look up to her.
I think it was around half-way through the year when she started teaching on Geometric Proofs. I love math but at that time the concept of proofs were very difficult for me. I tried for a while to figure things out but then I gave up. Instead of trying harder or asking for help, I tuned out.
This was around the time when Ms. Hasselbring gave her Geometry class a writing assignment. As an educator, I now know the importance of integrating writing across all content areas. At the time I did not have an appreciation for this assignment.
The assignment was to write an essay on proofs. I don’t remember the details of the assignment but it was probably a 5 paragraph essay describing proofs and the steps to reach the conclusion. This assignment was worth many points and my grade would greatly be decreased if I bombed the test and this assignment.
I procrastinated and procrastinated. I had already tuned out and decided to not learn this concept. Turning my little knowledge into an essay was a daunting task. As I sat down a few nights before the essay was due- I realized I was completely clueless.
That is when I decided to LIE!
When the essay was due I did not turn anything in. A week went by and Ms. Hasselbring called me to her desk. She told me that she did not receive my essay.
Confidently, I said, “That’s weird, because I turned it in.”
I can clearly remember her face and expression. I have made this expression to my middle school students. It’s a look of – Really! You are going to blame me for losing your assignment? – It’s a look of please don’t disrespect me.
Ms. Hasselbring graciously said, “No problem, why don’t you print me off another copy.”
“I didn’t save it because I wrote it at the library.” – Me, lying through my teeth.
Although Ms. Hasselbring trusted me, it was an obvious lie. Teaching, I had student’s lie to me all the time. It was always obvious and I was offended every time. Especially when I could not prove that they were lying.
“Really, Tiffany?” She said, giving me a second chance.
“Really.” I said.
Looking back it’s so clear to see that she did not believe me and that she knew I was lying. I was a good student, good athlete, came from a Christian home, we had known each other for 6 years at this point. I had lied to her and passed off the blame. I manipulated our relationship and the trust we had built. It is so >cringe< worthy.
I was ashamed and felt the guilt for weeks. Ms. Hasselbring excused me from the essay, I bombed the test and probably got a B- in the class.
Sometimes I look back on this lie I told and feel so foolish. I often think of other times I mess up and feel overwhelmed with guilt. Then I remember that I am a new creature in Christ and my past sins don’t define me because I am HIS.
I never repented to Ms. Hasselbring until now. I truly am sorry and ashamed. I did repent to Christ for all my sins when I was 21 years old. It was by grace that I was saved.
When I reflect on this I can only think of what an amazing picture of God’s GRACE, MERCY and LOVE Ms. Hasselbring showed me.
Just like Christ, she chose to forgive me. She ignored the sin and had mercy on me. As a child of Christ I fail him and mess up often. Christ forgave my sins, by dying on the cross and now that I am forgiven – he no longer sees my sin. I deserved punishment from Ms. Hasselbring and I deserve eternal punishment from Christ.
It’s so humbling to think of a perfect God who chose to show me mercy and grace because of his deep love for me.