November 26, 2013

Confidence, 101

    I felt really good going into my CLEP test today (those are tests that allow you to bypass college classes if you can pass just one long test on each subject... whoo-hoo!) I knew the material, and better yet, it came naturally to me. Even though I'd never taken a test that included two mandatory, timed essays before, I was more confident than ever before. Confident to the level I had not asked anyone to pray for me, or even prayed much myself about it. This will be easy, I thought. 
    Heart thumping out an excited rhythm, I settled in a swivel chair before a glowing screen, ready to plow this test out of the way. Clicking impatiently through screens of explanation, I waited for the first section of the test - a fifty question multiple choice test on grammar rules, editing, revising, and rhetorical analysis. It never came, and I soon found myself staring at a blinking cursor, beckoning me to write the first of two essays. Bewildered, I forced my eyes to slow their scanning and read "College Composition, Part 2" at the top of the screen. 
    The next thing I saw was my precious time, the half hour allotted for a five paragraph essay, draining like sand through my fingers. Wha...???? I thought. Why did it skip the whole first section of the test?
     Panic bubbling, I speed-walked for help and found that the help was unable to help. Somehow, I had expected the test to be formatted like previous ones, and had ignored some vital screens, accidentally skipping right past the whole first section.  It was blocked off with a great cyber wall; I was unable to go back. 
    I had clicked right past my strong point, and was faced with twenty four minutes ticking down: essays; write or die. Confused, I managed to eke out a nominal essay, and my second one was also less than amazing. Heart drooping, my test closed itself out. I had gotten a 0 score on the multiple choice section, and probably a mediocre one on the essay portion. Not enough to pass. 
    Turns out we may have to wait up to six months until we can drive an hour away to once more take College Composition, and I may or may not have to pay the $80.00 registration fee again. Yuck. 
    My mind lay stunned, stars swirling around my head like the pictures in old cartoons. This day totally, completely, 100% did not go the way I had planned, the way I had confidence in. So I wallowed. I wallowed in despair and pity, and blame of myself. Then I realized something... God is good. And He works out all things for the good of those who love Him. For my good. My good. So, God. What's up? You mean to tell me that you have something better in store for me than passing this test, first try? So my heart wiped its tears and lifted the corners of its mouth in confidence. This time, though, the confidence streamed straight from God. That's the good kind, my friends. And please, please, learn a lesson from my mistake - too much confidence in myself - and just find your confidence in the one who is the source of life. 

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