It has been nearly a month since I last wrote a post. In that time, I have finished three classes from Liberty University Online and started two additional classes. The stress of starting a new class is vaguely reminiscent of the fear of becoming a Masters’ student. Coursing through my veins is the chilling question, “What if I fail?” Regardless of the grades I received on the first three classes, the question is alive and well at the start of the next term. Adding to the terror is two major exams, the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA), and the Praxis II: English Language, Literature, and Composition Content Knowledge. I am required to pass both of these exams before applying for student teaching in February. The very idea of taking either of these terrifies me. “What if I fail?”
Never before in my educational career have I been so plagued by a fear of failure.
Never before in my educational career have I felt as if my dreams were being weighed in the balance.
Never before has God failed me and He will not leave me now.
This morning I came to Psalm 23 and paused. All my fears, all my worries, all my failures must be swallowed up in the wonder of the first three words: “The Lord is.” Nothing else matters. In Joshua 1:5-6, some of my favorite verses, God tells Joshua for the first time to be strong and courageous, but only after He first reminds Joshua that He will never leave or forsake Him. In 1 Kings 19, Elijah, the great prophet of the Lord, was paralyzed by fear and hiding in a cave. God came to Elijah, but He did not chastise him or rebuke him. No, God took Elijah to the mouth of the cave and reminded Elijah that He was not only a powerful and mighty God, but that He was also a God who cared intimately about Elijah himself. Then God told Eljiah to go.
Scripture does not guarantee my success. Scripture does not promise that I will not fail the VCLA and Praxis II exams this winter. But, “I know that my redeemer lives” (Job 19:25). Win or lose, pass or fail, “The Lord is.”