I am learning that the fear of failure cripples any hope of success.  Before me today is an exam that, although I have studied extensively for, I fear that I will fail.  I am resisting feelings of discouragement as I try to remember how this exam fits into eternity; and as I recall the incredible victories won in the process of preparing for it that will remain unseen save by God.  School is a really interesting thing; its purpose is said to be learning, yet this learning is sometimes un-quantifiable.  My learning this year has been exponential, yet it looks like I am failing at school.  Or at least according to the standards I had set for myself upon entering.

How is it possible that failure and success can be so interchangeable depending on my perspective? I know that I am here for a purpose, and that my academic success, as well as my personal growth,  is quite important.  How do I respond to what looks like imminent failure?  How do I learn from the way that I have prepared?  How do I embrace my weakness and inability in light of the cross, knowing that there is no condemnation for me in Christ? How do I improve my performance, and, is that what this experience is about, or is it about learning to truly comprehend my value outside of my performance?

I am learning that change is sometimes painful, like the tearing of a muscle.  Suddenly, all of my inabilities are extremely apparent, like sediment that rises to the surface upon entering a new container.  In the middle of the process, it feels quite like a disaster!  How will I ever be different when these character flaws are so real?  How can I overcome the challenges that I am facing?