20 December 2013

Don't Doubt Yourself

Your way was through the sea, 

Your path through the great waters;
yet your footsteps were unseen.
- Psalm 77.19

I was seriously doubting myself the night before the exam. This is how it went down. At work I have the ability to take certification/licensing exams to improve my knowledge and be more helpful in my job. I always want to keep learning and growing, and my boss gave me the goal of completing this certification by the end of the year. So, I have been following the online course for my insurance license and this week was my exam, so I kicked my studying up by a huge amount starting last week, going through questions online over and over. I felt pretty good. Then I took the online mastery exam and did pretty well. The score I got gave me a cushion in my mind; knowing I could miss more questions and still pass was reassuring.

Then the night before the exam I realized I could create test exams online to practice, so I did that. And that's where I faltered. The questions that were popping up were foreign to me. I lost confidence. My scores went down. I was on the brink.

I doubted myself. I mentally started preparing myself to face the fact that I could fail the exam. I may have to face the sad realization that what I did was not enough. the voice in my head (that evil whisper) kept placing those doubts in the fertile soil of my soggy mind.

Why do we doubt ourselves, our talents, our hard work? I read this verse from the Psalms at the perfect moment that night. It was a reminder for me that God's footsteps are everywhere, even when I don't see them. His presence is with me at every moment. Sometimes we still have to go through the great water, as the Psalmist writes, to get to the next dry land of bliss. And this was the water I had to pass through. And going through it is the thing.

Rising to meet a challenge is scary. I do not like failure. Especially when it comes to learning and taking classes. There is a serious love of academic/learning/bookish traits ingrained in my being that when it's something I hold dear like that, I want to succeed.

Yesterday morning I took that exam, and I passed.
Don't doubt yourself, friends. God is with us through everything, even failures. He has a reason for everything, and He will use all that goodness inside you to bring goodness to the world. No matter what exam you pass or don't pass. Whatever failure that seems to haunt you and cause you to doubt yourself.

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