I failed the bar exam three times.

Wow. I was really hoping I wouldn't ever have the occasion to type that.

(WARNING: this is going to be really long. Introspective and what not.)

Its been a few days since the news broke. Florida results came out Monday morning around 9:10. Same as they have for the past two administrations. I was alone in my office when I saw them. Scrolled down to my little number and there it was: FAIL. Same as it was for the past two administrations. At first I honestly thought I read the wrong number. But...I knew I had it right.

I walked out of my office, told the secretaries I had failed again, and walked into my boss' office to call the big bosses to let them know. At 9:20, I started packing up my office. At 9:30, I left my job. Officially unemployed.

Let me back up a bit.

Sunday morning the sermon at church was on "news." At first I thought, it will be about the Good News and it won't have anything to do with bar exam/stress/adversity/etc. Nope. The first point from the preacher was "there is bad news." My husband let his chin hit his chest and said "oh great" out loud. I told him I was sure the next point would be that there would be good news, and it was. But it was still a little unsettling that that was the first point. The preacher read about Job, specifically Job 1:13-21. After all the bad stuff happened to Job, he got upset, but still praised the Lord. At the end of the sermon, the preacher said something to the extent of--tomorrow, in times of bad news and adversity, how are you going to praise the name of the Lord?

And all I would think of was--really?? REALLY??? PLEASE NO!!!!!

Yep. It happened.

The morning before I woke up for work on Monday, I had a dream that I passed the bar exam. Very strange. It was very specific and super realistic feeling. Oddly enough, in the dream, my Dad had helped me secure a second job at a local Winn-Dixie (grocery store for those not in the know) and was very upset when I told him I wouldn't be able to work there because I was apparently already scheduled for the next two weeks. As I was praying that morning, I just told God that I was ready. Ready for what....I don't know. Just that I'm ready. For whatever He wants me to do.

So as I stood there in my empty office at 9:30 Monday morning, going between being totally rational and sobbing, I knew that God had a different plan for me.

Do I wish that plan was to be a happy little first time passer, with a presh little salary and a nice office with a big window?

Um, duh.

But that's not my deal right now.

So, update: I'm officially unemployed. My husband is still in school full time. We don't have an income. We don't have insurance. We have lots of bills. And I don't know what we're going to do.

I have pretty much been on the verge of a panic attack since Monday morning. Feeling like your heart could, at any given time, start racing to the extent you think you might have a heart attack at the age of 26, is not the best feeling to experience every minute of every day.

People started telling me I had to take the test again. Honestly I wasn't sure I wanted too. Maybe I'm supposed to do something else? Maybe this is God telling me to go in a different direction? Maybe I'm just not smart enough to do this job? Maybe I can find a job doing something else completely that will make me super happy?

In the meantime, how do we pay our bills? Where am I going to find a job that's going to give me time off? Where am I going to find a job PERIOD? Nothing in the paper pays over $9 an hour. I've talked to pretty much every person I know about jobs. Nothing.

So we've been praying. I've been crying and praying on my own. I feel incompetent, useless, and unreliable. Not being able to pass this test makes me feel...well......like a failure.

This morning I made a proclamation. I am going to take the test again. There are people that have taken this test 3, 4, 6, 8, 13 times. While I do NOT want to be the woman from California taking the test 13 times, I know that I do need to pass this test.

For a long time, especially while I was waiting for results, I started to become really envious of other peoples' educational choices. Like, I want to be a pharmacist, or a radiologist, or an interior designer, or an environmental engineer, etc. Things that I think I have an interest in. At least at the moment.

But alas, those paths are not my own. They have been selected for others and not for me. Actually, Sunday morning I was researching how long it would take me to go back and get a Master's degree in speech pathology. HUH?? What was I doing??

So, I'm praying now for contentment. Contentment in this chosen field. Contentment in my current situation. Patience for the future. Discernment in how to approach the next few days, few months, few years. Diligence in my eventual studies. Resolve to work harder each day. I will also be praying that God continue to renew this desire in my heart day after day....that I would continue to want to strive to pass this test. I don't ever want to be beaten by something so....trivial. Because that is ultimately what this is. A trivial thing. Something that quite literally means nothing to me in the grand scheme of life. It is a mere hurdle, not unlike others I've experienced in my past. It feels like something so much more now because there are other peoples lives and situations tied up in it. But I know I can't allow my life to be consumed by a test. A test. That's it.

All of this is something that I had to come to on my own. I had to get to the point where I wanted to take this test again. I think I want to try for this coming February, but I'm not 100% sure. So, I'm going to ask you to join me in this effort. Pray that I, and the others that are struggling with the same bar-passage issues that I am, can get some sort of clear direction for our lives. That God would show us exactly what we need to do, where to go, what to pursue to fulfill our little stories here on Earth.

Thank you to those who inquired, called, texted, and were otherwise concerned about me on Monday and the following days. Thank you for your condolences and well-wishes and prayers. I am so thankful that God has given me a peace about all this. I am still unsure and unclear about exactly what to do, but I do know He is faithful to bless us. And I have faith that one day He will bring me through this trial.


Brittany said...

I am so sorry. I am praying that you have confidence in God's steps.

Legally Fabulous said...

just started leaving you the world's longest comment... emailing you instead. hugs.

Cookie Crums (cookiecrums123) said...

Coming over from Legally Fabulous..... First, I'm sorry for such disappointing, heartbreaking news. But I can tell you, you are an inspiration at the same time. You are obviously dealing with something that no one wants to deal with... but you're handling it. You seem to have a positive outlook and going to make the best of what you can. Praying that God will show you the path that you belong. And wishing you the best of luck!

Fabulously Awkward said...

I'm sending you good thoughts...you can do it.

FJD said...

I am sorry to hear that. Take care! Be strong! I am not doing so well myself and I take inspiration in your faith. Thank you for your posts and I will say a small prayer for you.

Attorney At Large said...

Hugs. I'm so sorry.

elwoods17 said...

I am in your exact same shoes! I just found out Thursday that I did not pass the TX bar exam for the 3rd time. Your feelings about envying others' careers, and wondering if God has another path for me hit the nail on the head in terms of my sentiments right now.
I am waiting on the score report that should be here next week. Have you decided if you are going to take the February exam?
I wonder what we can do differently this time? Maybe we can encourage each other. I need a friend who understands exactly how this feels.
Let me know! My email is ninalvaldez@gmail.com. Would love to chat!

Anonymous said...

Same here, have had to work each time and as a result have not studied thoroughly either of the three times. I feel I have given myself a resaon to fail rather than a reason to succeed but I have not been financially stable enough to not work. I want to take it, have the time to study and know going in that I'm prepared. Essentially, I want to know that I have given it my all when I get my results.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I stumbled across this page and like many and I'm in the same situation. I've decided to just give up. Thanks for the blog.