“And you know the way where I am going” ~John 14:4.
A month ago I drove down to Las Cruces, New Mexico to take my National Board Exam. For years I have had major test anxiety. I had absolutely no problems with classwork, writing 1500 word papers, or answering weekly questions but the minute I saw a quiz or test my chest would constrict and I would have trouble breathing. This has been my lot in life from a little child til very recently.
In 2010 I decided to go back to school at the age 32. I really wasn’t sure what I was thinking except that I felt I needed security. I had seen several loved ones’ spouses die and them not know what they would do with their lives. One of those friends had never even gone to college and had been a stay-at-home-mom for more than a decade so she was without an employment record. When searching for a job to support your family, without any job history, it can be extremely difficult. My friend struggled so much she ended up moving back to another country to live with her parents. Seeing a young widow, up close and personal, made me realize that the same thing could happen to me.
I did not have a college degree, had not worked in years, and no real vocation I could lean on, if needed. I wasn’t sure what to do. I contemplated college but I was never really very good at school because I am dyslexic. I felt that I should steer clear of going back to school because if I fail I would still owe a lot of money. However, something in me kept me thinking about what college would be like at my age. I decided to write down what it would take for me to go back to school. I went to college nearly 12 years prior to then but had such a difficult time that I quit.
My list contained things like: I never want to take Math or Science again, I want all my credits from my previous college experience (12 years earlier) to transfer, I don’t want to have to pay until I graduate, I need to do school on my own time such as online, and I only want to go to Grand Canyon University. I thought these were unattainable requirements so I believed nothing would come of it. I began to pray and ask the Lord if He wanted me to go back to school but with the stipulation that my list must be dealt with.
Out of the blue, one December day, I received a call from a Grand Canyon University recruiter. Mind you I had never inquired about going to school anywhere so I do not know how they knew to get a hold of me. The gentleman on the phone asked if I had ever considered going to Grand Canyon. I said yes but there was a list of things that have to be answered before I say yes and I told him to give me his speech but that I would not share what was on my list. As he spoke I was able to mentally check everything off of my list, obtaining the answer I had prayed for.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Christian Studies and moved on to the Master’s program for counseling. I knew at the end of my program there would be a huge test but I figured I would have an ample amount of time to study. Little did I know.
This past July I finished my coursework and was informed that I could take my boards early. I researched all I could to find the best study material. I am a mother of five, a foster-mother of kids that come and go all the time, an author, a wife, a youth pastor, worship team member, and a student so to say I had time to study would be a big ol’ lie. When I wasn’t driving people places, cooking, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, doing homework, helping kids with homework, doing laundry, spending time with my husband and kids, writing, and serving at church, I would be sleeping. My time was so jam-packed I never even had time to exercise.
As my coursework ended I attempted to study each evening, after the kids went to bed, for about an hour before I fell asleep. The time just flew by until the weekend of the exam arrived. I had it all planned that I would leave early, with a friend to keep me company, so that I could have a bit more time to study and relax the night before the exam. That did not happen.
For unforeseen reasons, we were about three hours late getting to our hotel. We couldn’t find her aunt’s house, delaying us about another two hours. We didn’t get back to the hotel until nearly bedtime, leaving no time for study or relaxation. The next morning we had a very sad and not filling breakfast but made it to the exam just in time. Before the exam I prayed that the Lord be with me and that hopefully my worst subject would not be on the exam.
As I began to take the four-hour test I realized a lot, if not most, of the questions were about the subject I could not stand. I prayed for the Lord to help me get this done and knew in my heart that He had brought me this far and would carry me through. There was a time, in the middle, that my blood sugar dropped so low I nearly blacked out and had to pray again for extra energy. Glad to say, He was with me the whole time.
I left the exam knowing I did not know anything except that I passed because I knew He put me on this path. He knew the way He was going to have me going and just yesterday my belief was confirmed with an email stating I have a passing grade for my National Board Exam.
All glory, honor, and praise be to God Almighty! He alone passed that test. He took away my anxiety and assured me that He had it. I never doubted it for a second.