I’ve been evaluating my relationship with the Holy Ghost. I’d seen how I ignore and then do better with a second chance and then recognize that “trial” can actually be blessings in disguise. I also experienced an amazing miracle in the form of a test.
And it shall come to pass that power shall rest upon thee; thou shalt have great faith, and I will be with thee and go before thy face.
When I turn to God in my weakness, He covers my lack.
An awesome opportunity came to me. In order to receive the blessing, I had to pass a national licensing exam With no prior knowledge in the field, I attended an intense, mandatory webinar preparing me for the exam. I’d received an accompanying 300 paged book.
In 20 hours, the instructor covered the entire book. I kept up as well as I could, but basically failed 90% of the knowledge checks on the info she’d just covered.
Obviously, the other attendees were working in the field and had some foundational knowledge. I just kept plowing ahead, getting up at 3:55 AM for three days because the webinar started at 4:00 AM my time.
I prayed every day for help in retaining knowledge. When I took the practice test, I got 73%. I felt like I made extraordinary progress going from no knowledge to 73% in 20 hours, but I needed to score 75% on the actual test to pass.
Because of scheduling constraint urgency, I scheduled the test for two weeks after the webinar and the day I planned to leave on a trip.
I wrote out flashcards. Anthony quizzed me at night.
Asking for Help
Then wham, bam. Health challenged and calling demands and life happened. I still had my jobs to do. Studying went on the back burner.
I knew I’d be in serious trouble on my current trajectory. Everything was important and necessary. I’d already dropped anything that wasn’t.
I prayed for guidance on what to study. Specific sections came to mind. I read through those sections and sometimes made flashcards for them. Anthony quizzed me on the new flashcards.
Putting the Lord First
On Friday before the test, the sister missionaries asked if they could watch General Conference with an investigator at our house. They’d asked earlier in March, but I figured they planned something else.
Anthony came home from work so sick that day. I asked him if he was OK to continue with the missionary’s plans. He said yes. I felt surprised. I thought he’d be my “out.”
I fully planned to watch general conference, but I also planned to study during every spare second. I worried about lost study time while cleaning and shopping for snacks. (Since we were leaving on a trip on Monday, our fridge was strategically barren.) It’s always been my habit to not study on Sunday, so Saturday was my last shot at cramming.
I wrestled with the conundrum. I’d said I would and I wanted to. But another voice echoed a friend who asked me if I ever said no. Why couldn’t I ever say no
I took the issue to the Lord. I told Him my struggle. I wanted to have the sisters and their investigator. But I was stressed about study time. What should I do?
Immediately, the Holy Ghost whispered, “I will make all things right.” I felt peace. We moved forward with the conference guests.
The sisters arrived at 5:50 AM for the first session of conference I always watch it live, especially a solemn assembly!
I’d told them I needed to study in between session. They were so conscientious. In between sessions, I actually ended up talking to my brother about a temple road trip for the following week.
Our investigator friend came during the second session. She brought a great spirit, questions, and yummy food. She stayed an hour after the session ended. We talked about conference and life and experience. She told Anthony he was the first person to greet her fiance at church and expressed her appreciation. The Spirit permeated our conversation. It was perfect.She and the sisters left at the same time. I hit the books.
Anthony’s condition worsened. I arranged for our home teachers to give him a blessing. They’re both new to the ward and new to us. We haven’t had home teachers in our home in three years. I hurried to make brownies for them to take home because I felt so grateful for their willingness to come after work on a Saturday night. We loved the conversation with them and appreciated the priesthood blessing.
After they left, Anthony flashed cards at me and then crashed.
Easter Sunday was my day of study rest.
Monday morning, Anthony determined he couldn’t fly. Rearrangement commenced. I didn’t have time to study.
One final section of the book kept coming to mind. I turned to the section and breezed through the content.
Anthony felt well enough to drive me to town, just not to fly. He’d planned to meet an employee at a store nearby while I took the test.
I studied on the way to the testing center.
As we approached Honolulu, the reality of my lack of preparation hit me. I just thought there was no way I could pass the test. I’d been told by several people that I probably wouldn’t pass the test the first time anyway. I determined to just use the test as a learning experience. Unfortunately, the schedule issues still loomed.
I got out of the car and did an optimistic cheer on the sidewalk. Anthony laughed. I turned towards the building where I’d decide my fate.
The facilitators both commented on the test’s difficulty and wished me luck. They assigned me to station 17! My favorite number! Confidence surged.
I sat down, found God, and sat in stillness for a few moments. I heard the voice repeated, “I will make all things right.” My mind flashed to all the times I’d been on His errand during the past two weeks. I felt His love and trust. I knew He knew I want to be about His business and finish His work.
I knew I’d at least reviewed everything prompted by the Holy Ghost. I felt peace. I could take the test again in 30 days if I failed it.
I thanked the Lord for the opportunity and began the test. The 3 hour 45 minute counter began counting down.
I totally knew the first question’s answer. That surprised me. I squared my shoulders and got to work.
An hour and a half later, I’d finished answering and reviewing the 125 questions. Only four questions had terminology I hadn’t reviewed. Every other answer came from the sections I’d been prompted to study. That didn’t mean I remembered all of the answers, but I knew I’d had the opportunity to know the answers. I knew I’d done the best I could do.
I held my breath and pressed the final button—Results. As the screen flashed, my eyes furtively scanned the page. Where was it? There. PASSED.
Grace Covered My Weakness
I couldn’t believe it and squealed a little bit. I immediately bowed my head in gratitude. I knew grace had covered my weakness.
Talk about Cloud 9! As I left, the facilitators congratulated me on passing such a hard test. When I reached the hallway, I texted Anthony. Passed! He celebrated that something went right that horrible Monday morning.
I floated to the lobby and sat down. I finished sooner than we expected so waited for Anthony to finish. I appreciated the time with my thoughts.
The experience reiterated truths I know. The Holy Ghost brings things to your remembrance when you have something to remember.
When I ask the Lord for help, He helps—whether it’s forgiving sin or covering weakness or strengthening lack or helping me study for something I know nothing about.
And He will do all of this amidst the craziness of life when there is simply no way to succeed. Maybe the absolute long shots are His favorites because I absolutely know He is the victor and because of Him I have success.
I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.