“Exams! Exams are just hours away. The moment I close my eyes, on the next time I opened them, I would be getting ready for school. But no! I’ll wake up at three and study for tomorrow’s exam. I can’t study now. I’m so sleepy. I need rest from the long days and short nights the past weeks. My eye bags are so big that it covers my whole face. I don’t know if I will be able to pass this quarter’s examinations because I wasn’t around when things are discussed. Good thing I already asked for guidance from God and so whatever the result will be, I know it is included in His own perfect plan.”
That was my dilemma before the exams. I prayed real hard to give me His blessings in this exam because I really wanted to do my best this quarter. I want to give all I have. But it turned out to be the opposite.
On Monday morning, I was frustrated because the alarm didn’t go off to wake me up at three, meaning I wasn’t able to review my subjects. The only thing I was able to accomplish was browse through my notes and cram to put facts in my brain. I knew then that it would not suffice me. I could not give my all with that. It was not my plan. But I have to cope up with events.
My frustration grew after the first set of exams. I wasn’t able to finish the essay portion of English and Christian Living and a whole type of test in Social Studies. I really wanted to cry but something was holding back my tears. Without an outlet, the gloomy feeling remained inside me. It seemed that I lost all outlets that even crying failed me. But that’s only the beginning.
I had no major problems during the second day of examination. However, on the third day came my most difficult obstacle. It was my Math exam. I really didn’t expect that kind of test. I was surprised when I saw it, knowing that I wasn’t ready for that kind of an exam. My feelings became heavier and even heavier when I wasn’t able to finish that exam. Time was, I mean, is really my enemy, especially on exams with essay or computations. That exam sabotaged my day for I cannot concentrate in reviewing my other tests. I just hate it. I was really affected by what happened because I know I could have done better but I didn’t do it. It just felt so bad.
That’s just half of it. I felt bad, real bad, because I feel that last Sunday, I really prayed hard for God’s help and guidance. I prayed and promised I’ll do all I can for the tests. But then, I wasn’t able to do my part. I felt ashamed of myself that I had a difficulty in presenting myself to Him. Throughout the day, I was bothered both emotionally and mentally. All I could think of was that I prayed to Him but I wasn’t able to do my part. I was so devastated.
I busied myself with things that don’t need thinking, but as I do that, I couldn’t help thinking of that same thing. I couldn’t turn to our Savior because there’s this feeling of guilt that borders me from Him. So I turned to my mentor for help. That mentor took a long time before replying so I turned to another one. I said sorry to him for not finishing the test, for trying to quit in the student prefect circle, for everything. I also asked for help. He replied immediately and lifted my spirit. He said that I should not be too hard on myself and remain steadfast. But the most uplifting message that he told me was this: “God’s understanding is not for us to determine.” It is true. Nobody human can understand God’s plans and He Himself because He is the Almighty. I almost cried when I read that if I wasn’t outdoors. I had that perfect moment because as I received that message, I was about to go inside a church to attend a wedding. There, I tried to pray just as he said I should. I tried, but I failed. I still had that guilt haunting me.
My first mentor replied early in the evening. It still wasn’t late because I still feel almost the same. I still haven’t found the outlet I was looking for. In the contrary, her words gave me inner calmness. My heart became at peace, unfortunately, my mind continued to be shattered. She told me, “God designs what we go through; we decide how we go through it. In anything and everything, the best plan begins and ends with God.” Truly, God designed every page of our life even before we were born but as we enter this world, we are given the free will to choose whether we will live up His will or not. She also said that sometimes, even “dreadful things” emerge as ways how we can glorify Him. This would take shape later on.
Thursday morning came and my mind is still in the same state as the day before. My patience was short and I had a high temper. I can’t do anything right. Then my teacher added the pressure. He told me that I might fail in Math and asked me what the problem was. I couldn’t answer him because at that moment, I thought I would go insane. My mind raced with so many things and I lost touch of reality. Once again, I wished to cry but I can’t find that outlet. It seems that I can’t find any outlet. I was still embarrassed and can’t turn to Him. He was my only hope, and He will always be.
The day went by with me like that. I can’t help on thinking about my math test. I can’t help thinking about what my teacher told me earlier that day. I even went to the stairs going to the unfinished fourth floor to think and talk to God. I really chose that place so I can be alone and ponder about things. I asked Him to show me the light for I cannot see in the darkness. And indeed, He showed me the light when I got down, I stumbled upon the same teacher who told me I might fail and he told me, “Karla, I know you are mentally bothered, but it’s not worth it.” That was the light. He told me that worrying would do me no good. Indeed it won’t because if you trust God, you don’t have to worry about anything because He has a plan and that plan is for our best.
I went for the light. Then Ms. Morallo, my Math teacher, called me and showed me my test paper. She told me that I should stop worrying because I passed her exam and even got the highest score at sixty-eight over a hundred. It took a long time before it sank in my body. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that I made it to the top, even if I just filled the blank spaces, especially in the multiple choice. I owe it all to God. After it sank, I felt so good because I have proven a thing that my first mentor told me, “…God is just. He gives us what we deserve and even surprises us with things that we don’t expect we’ll get.” I could not help myself laugh and give thanks to our God Almighty. I can’t stop praising His Holy Name. It is true that God’s blessing may come as a surprise and how much we receive depends on how much our hearts can believe.
I can’t help but think what if I hadn’t prayed to Him? I could not see myself passing if I hadn’t asked for His help and guidance. He never lets go of people who believe and serve Him. Even though I failed to prepare, I didn’t fail my exams, although regret is always there for not being able to do my best. This thing served as a great lesson for me. With this, I fully understood what my first mentor had been trying to tell me that faith should never be based on shifting sand like our emotions because like love, which is a decision, faith is a conviction. We must always remember that Jesus Christ will never forsake us even if there are times in our life that we turn our backs on Him. He will save every soul that wants to be saved. Now, I made a conviction that in everything that I do, I would make sure that His Holy Name be glorified.