Through Prayer God Helped Relieve My Pre-exam Anxiety
My senior high school entrance exams in 2012 were the first turning point in my life. My whole family expected me to do well, and I was so confident that I would pass my exams and get into senior high school. Never in a million years did I think that I would fail my exams. But I did, and I felt very low, and I could neither eat nor sleep. I just shut myself in my room and I didn’t want to see anyone. For the longest time, I languished in the shadow of my failed exams. Seeing me in such pain every day, my mom read to me a passage of God’s words: “I am well acquainted with the thoughts of man’s mind and the wishes of man’s heart: Who has never looked for a way out for themselves? Who has never thought of their own prospects? Yet even though man is possessed of a rich and prismatic intellect, who was able to predict that, following the ages, the present would turn out as it has? Is this really the fruit of your own subjective efforts? Is this the payment for your tireless industry? Is this the beautiful tableau envisaged by your mind? If I did not guide all mankind, who would be able to separate themselves from My arrangements and find another way out? Is it the thoughts and wishes of man that have brought him to today? Many people go their whole lives without having their wishes fulfilled. Is this really because of a fault in their thinking? Many people’s lives are filled with unexpected happiness and satisfaction. Is this really because they expect too little? Who of the whole of mankind is not cared for in the eyes of the Almighty? Who does not live in the midst of the Almighty’s predestination? Whose birth and death come from their own choices? Does man control his own fate?” (“Chapter 11” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe). From God’s words, I came to realize that our fate is ruled and arranged in the hands of God. The frustrations, the failures and the setbacks we experience throughout our lives cannot be predicted—it is all in God’s hands. Take my exams, for example. I’d believed I would pass with flying colors and get into my ideal senior high school, but I had unexpectedly failed. From the outside, it looked like an unfortunate event, but God is the Sovereign of all things, and therefore God’s good will must have been behind it. Under the guidance of God’s words, I gradually came to submit, and I left my pain behind. To my surprise, just when I became willing to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements and entrust my future and my fate over to God, I was unexpectedly accepted into health school. When this news arrived, my whole family was overjoyed, and I came to appreciate that God was by my side, that He was a help at need, and I thanked God from the bottom of my heart.
In the blink of an eye, five years of study at health school was over, and I was confronted with the second turning point in my life—the exam to qualify as a nurse. To qualify as a nurse was incredibly important to me, seeing as I had studied nursing. Without this qualification, not only would I be unable to have a career in nursing, but it would mean that five years of hard study would have been for nothing. Especially when I thought of how my dad had worked hard from dawn till dusk every day to pay for my tuition, if I couldn’t qualify as a nurse, then I would feel like I’d really let him down. For the sake of my future prospects, for the sake of my own self-regard, as well as to live up to the pains my parents had gone to on my behalf, I was anxious to pass this exam smoothly and obtain my nurse’s certificate. I therefore felt under tremendous pressure. Moreover, the closer it got to the exam, the more anxious I felt, and I would speculate every day about what the outcome of my exam would be: If I comfortably passed the exam, then I would look so smart wearing my white nurse’s outfit! But what would I do if I failed? What would my family and my close friends think of me? How would I find my place in society in the future without this certificate?
Before the exam, I felt so anxious that I could hardly breathe for the pressure. I felt incredibly distressed and so I sought my mom out to fellowship with her about it. My mom said to me, “Xiaohuan, I can understand that you’re worried and anxious about your future and your prospects. But all our worrying is totally unnecessary because everything is ruled in God’s hands. If we can truly come to understand this truth, that God administers the fate of mankind, then we won’t feel so much pain. Let’s read a passage of God’s words, OK?” She then read to me: “Since the creation of the world I have begun to predestine and select this group of people, namely, you today. Your temperament, caliber, appearance, stature, family in which you were born, your job and your marriage, the entirety of you, even the color of your hair and your skin, and the time of your birth were all arranged by My hands. Even the things you do and the people you meet every single day are arranged by My hands, not to mention the fact that bringing you into My presence today is actually My arrangement. Do not throw yourself into disorder; you should proceed calmly” (“Chapter 74” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning). My mom then gave fellowship: “God is the Lord of creation and we are created beings. The fate of every single person, including our birth, our appearance, our caliber, what job we will have in the future, and so on, is all ruled by God, and God predestined and arranged all this for us long ago. We now believe in God and we know God’s sovereignty from within His words, and so we should learn how to entrust our all to God and look to Him, and submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. All we have to do is study hard and entrust the outcome of the nurse’s exam into God’s hands. We must learn how to let nature take its course, as then we won’t feel under so much pressure and we won’t feel so anxious when faced with an exam.” After listening to God’s words and my mom’s fellowship, I thought to myself: “That’s so right. My worry is unnecessary. My fate is in God’s hands, and God predestined long ago whether or not I will be able to pass this exam and what job I will have in the future. I’m just a created being, and I should submit to the orchestrations and arrangements of the Lord of creation.” My mom then fellowshiped with me a lot after that, and I finally came to understand that my future prospects were not going to be decided by the outcome of this exam, but rather they stemmed from the arrangements the Lord of creation had made for my life. I thought about my schoolmates who had also had this kind of experience. Though some had a higher level of education, the jobs they found after graduation weren’t that great. Some, however, weren’t very educated and their school records left a lot to be desired, and yet they had some special skill and so they found good jobs and were living happy lives. Having understood these things, my heart felt at ease, and I said a prayer to God: “O God! I will soon be facing the exam to qualify as a nurse, and I don’t know whether I will pass it or not. Please protect my heart so that, even if I fail, I don’t blame You. I wish to submit to Your sovereignty.”
But as the exam grew nearer day by day, I still felt rather anxious, and so I prayed to God and confided to Him all my difficulties and all the things I had to say in my heart. Afterward, I read these words of God: “Be quiet within Me, for I am your God, your only Redeemer. You must quiet your hearts at all times, live within Me; I am your rock, your backer. Have no other mind, but wholeheartedly lean on Me and I will certainly appear to you—I am your God!” (“Chapter 26” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning). “It’s very simple now: Look upon Me with your heart and your spirit will immediately become strong, you will have a path to practice and I will guide your every step. My word shall be revealed to you at all times and in all places. No matter where or when, or how adverse the environment is, I will show you clearly and My heart shall be revealed to you if you look to Me with your heart; this way you will run down the road ahead and never lose your way” (“Chapter 13” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning). “Yes indeed!” I thought. “There is nothing God cannot do, and everything is administered in God’s hands. With God as my backup, what is there to fear?” I thought of how I usually only said I believed in God and in His sovereignty, and yet I had no practical experience of God’s words. Because of this, whenever I encountered a real difficulty, I would feel anxious and worried, and I saw that my faith in God was so very small! Seeing as I was a believer in God, I should learn how to rely on God and look to God in all things—this was crucial, and it was the greatest wisdom. After I’d come to understand these things, I said prayers of obedience to God every day, and my heart grew calmer and calmer.
Soon enough, the day of the nurse’s exam was upon me. Just as my dad and I were about to leave home that morning, my mom enjoined me not to forget to pray to God and rely on God, whatever else may happen. On the way to the exam, when I started to feel anxious, I hurriedly prayed to God and called on Him, saying: “O God! I don’t know what will happen today, and I don’t know whether the exam will be hard or not, or whether it will contain things that I’ve reviewed or not. O God! I wish to rely on You and submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements in all things.” As we were about to arrive at the exam center, my dad suddenly turned to me and said, “How strange! The traffic lights have been green for us all the way here.” I realized that this was the guidance and the arrangement of God. God was speaking to me in a silent language, telling me that I was not facing this exam alone, that He was always by my side, guiding me, and that I should confidently and boldly entrust this exam into God’s hands.
As I entered the exam center, I felt very calm, for I knew that God would have the final say on whether or not I would pass the exam. All I had to do was do my best and entrust the outcome of the exam into God’s hands. When I felt anxious, I prayed to God and relied on Him, asking Him to calm me. As I waited for the exam to begin, I called on God, and the more I prayed, the more at ease and calm I felt. While I was actually doing the exam, whenever I came across a question I wasn’t able to answer, I would call on God and ask Him to guard my heart against getting flustered. Throughout the whole exam, God protected me and calmed my heart so that I could ponder the questions in earnest, and I didn’t feel anxious at all. After the exam was over, my classmates all said how hard the questions had been, whereas I didn’t think they had been that hard. I knew that this was all because of God’s guidance.
Afterward, as I waited for the results of the exam to be released, I still frequently felt anxious and uneasy. Every time this happened, I would pray to God in my heart, and I remembered at all times that whether I had done well or not in the exam was arranged by the wisdom of God. Whenever I thought this, my nerves calmed down. In a flash, two months went by and the exam results were about to be published online. Before I checked my results, I said a prayer of obedience to God and, no matter what the outcome, I prayed that God would guide me to learn how to submit.
When it came time to check my results, I plucked up my courage and took a close look. My two scores were 351 and 331, being 51 and 31 points higher respectively than the passing score line! I was so grateful to God! I had passed! I could get my nurse’s certificate! At that moment, I felt overwhelmed with happiness! I kept offering up my thanks and praise to God. I knew that none of this had been achieved by me, but had been due to God’s guidance, grace and blessing!
This personal experience made me truly appreciate that, when I sincerely relied on God and looked to God, God was right there beside me, guiding and leading me and opening up a way for me. At the same time, I also came to understand that, if we want to rid ourselves of pre-exam nerves, we must first of all not set our goals too high, we must have a seeking heart, and we must submit to the fate which God has arranged for us; secondly, we must pray sincerely to God and keep God’s words with us, and then we will feel peaceful and at ease, and we will be able to calmly face anything at all.
God helped me to rid myself of pre-exam nerves and to pass my exam with flying colors. Thanks be to God.