I just got back from taking my placement test as part of my enrollment at North Seattle Community College. I have known for a while that God has been holding open this door to further education but it feels like such a huge undertaking I have dragged my feet.
Honestly, taking the placement tests is only the very initial step to going back to school, but you have to place in English and Maths before signing up for classes. If you score low on the tests then you have to take other classes to get to the necessary standard to take the college level classes.
I have not been in an education setting since 1995 - that's s along time, and another country ago! I have been totally intimidated by the whole thing. I am scared I can't do it, scared I will fail and that fear has paralysed me.
In our Bible study, we have been reading the book our Pastor wrote called 'O2'. It is about developing a rule of life to grow in our faith. It is the second time I have read it (clearly I needed I re- read, because not much stuck the first time!)
Anyway, as I was reading it the other day something really stuck out to me. When he was talking about the reasons we have for not developing our spiritual disciplines, I realised how quick I am to hold on a reason for not doing things that make me uncomfortable. These 'things' include, but are not limited to, learning to drive, testing for college and starting a rule of life.
I woke up this morning and discovered I had an unexpected day off work. I had wanted to go and take my English test for school yesterday but I procrastinated, the weather was bad, I didn't have time, it was nasty weather outside, the dog ate my homework, you name it, I found it - excuses and reasons not to go. By the end of the day, it had been relegated to a list for another day.
But this morning when I woke up I had no excuses. This was an extra day. The house is clean (enough) dinner is planned and prepped for Bible study tonight, laundry is done...oh no! No reasons. Now I have to face the truth that I am afraid. Am I willing to go be uncomfortable, perhaps fail, but take a step forward in this process that I claim I am heading towards? I couldn't stop thinking about what I had read in that book, and felt God really tugging on my heart, to stand up against the fear which was holding me captive.
I didn't think too much more about it. I walked out of the house and towards the college. It is about a 15 minute walk, and I prayed almost every step. I considered calling others for a pep-talk, I even called my friend Jen, but when she didn't answer, I went back to praying!
I tried to look as little like a deer in the headlights as possible while I paid my testing fee, and found the testing room...I am not sure how well I pulled it off. It felt like people at the college were being extra nice to me, maybe that was the prayers in action, or maybe it was because they could tell I was on the verge of nervous tears?! I don't even know what was SO scary, but I felt totally out of my comfort zone, starting this whole new journey. It felt like a big deal.
Forty minutes later, the computer told me my test was over, and to go and get my results at the desk.
The guy handed them to me, and circled my 97/100 in my reading and 99/100 in my writing for a combined 98/100 score which places me into English 101 (testing into that class is best possible out come of the test!!)
This gave me the hugest confidence boost, and I feel less overwhelmed by the whole 'going back to school' thing. Walking home in the sunshine I tried to call Jeremy and other friends to share my delight, but again couldn't reach anyone. I had a sense that God wanted to share this with me. As I revelled in knowing he was celebrating with me and giving me an omnipotent high five I realised how truly good it feels to know you have been obedient to God's call. I think this is made even more sweet when it means trusting God to meet you in your fear and having him carrying you through. I knew that peace and it felt wonderful!
Jeremy was also proud of me when I told him of my test adventure - he also joked, it was a good thing they didn't read my emails to assess my English skills! I can't deny the results would probably have been less friendly if that was the case - any of you who have received something from me in your inbox know what he's talking about! ha ha.