Have you ever doubted yourself? Doubted your ability? Doubted your strength? Doubted your decisions? How did you overcome that doubt?
These questions represent a tug of war I recently faced between fear/doubt & confidence/faith. Many of you have probably seen the acronym, F.E.A.R (False Evidence Appearing Real) and although I believe this to be true, my most recent task made all of the evidence appear to be very Truthful and quite intimidating. My most recent task was in obtaining my Series 7 – Registered Representative License, which involved taking a 6 hour long, 250 question exam.
I have always been the type of person to take on new ways to challenge myself and this by far was the Mt. Everest of all goals I’ve ever aimed to achieve. The preparation for this exam required a solid 7 week self- study plan with over 300+ Hours of study time. What truly made this nerve-wrecking and where the doubt began to kick in was when I received my study materials, in which this is not an exaggeration….Imagine receiving a few encyclopedias and being told everything is important to know and is testable. I had to truly tap into my inner – college study skills and hone in on the information presented. I’ll be honest, my 1st reaction was, “what did I sign myself up for?” My 2nd reaction, “how am I gonna be able to do this?” And then my 3rd delayed reaction, “I’ve got this!” This sequence of reactions occurred throughout my entire study period.
One thing that I know for certain is that God will never put on us more than we can bear, nor will he lead us into a direction to fail. If He opened the door, He definitely wants us to make it through it. So how did I overcome the doubt of exceeding? Dedication, determination & depending on God. I’d like to share how God showed me signs along the way that this was His plan and how it turned my doubt into faith.
About 2-3 weeks into studying, I began to feel overwhelmed with the materials so I opted to purchase a supplemental resource to support off of Amazon. I decided to purchase a used book, since it would only be for a temporary period of time. Once I received it, I did not have much time to incorporate it into my schedule, as I had a study plan that I was following to complete other topics. One day, as I was wrapping up my studies for the evening, a bookmark fell out of the used book that I had purchased. Here’s what the bookmark read, “GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE!”
I let out the deepest sigh and shed a couple tears as I saw this message. Imagine receiving such a profound confirmation as you’re questioning your Why, frustrated about a challenging topic, and simply overwhelmed. This was the first sign that I knew I was on the right path and that I had to start trusting the process and trusting God to guide me through it.
Reading this bookmark became a daily task to set my mind and nerves at ease. In addition, I began to repeat affirmations daily, such as, “I’ve got this!” “I Am intelligent!” “I Am a conqueror!” “I Am an achiever!” “I am walking in purpose!” Talk about being your own hype woman, I had to do it!
Fast forward to a few days before my exam, (3 days prior to be exact) I had a scheduled call to review a topic with an instructor. The purpose of this call was 100% to discuss this topic, mind you I do not know the person on the other side of the phone. Let’s just say, God sends signs not only visually, however also verbally! Our conversation began with the instructor talking about how she had the week off, so she had time to answer all of my questions in preparation for the exam. It then transitioned to her asking me, “Shyla do you believe in John 3:16?” My immediate response was, “ABSOLUTELY!” She proceeded to ask, “Did you recently get baptized in the last year or so?” At this point, my jaw dropped, ears perked and my eyes were wide as I had taken the step to be re-baptized at the beginning of the year. She then shared, “I’m not sure why, but God wants me to tell you that He is pleased! Continue to shine your light so that others can see!” And 30 minutes later after us both sharing our journeys with Christ, and crying, we made it to the original purpose of the call, which by that point wasn’t even needed. I took this message as God’s way of saying, SHYLA, STOP Worrying, I’ve got you and I’m proud of you! God truly places His angels everywhere, we only recognize it if we’re paying attention.
So It’s now game day (TEST Day) And yes I am still nervous, anxious and truly hoping for the best. After completing the first half of the exam, I resorted back to doubt, not feeling as confident in myself and what I did, but I knew I had the 2nd Half of the exam to come back to and complete. I headed over to the cafe in the building to grab some food to give my brain and body energy to make it through. And I had a simple order, a croissant sandwich and two drinks. I truly cannot make this up…. my order total was $7.77! The number 7 in the Bible, represents the number of completion. (I could spend more time on this, but I highly encourage you to seek to understand why this # represents completion) All I could say was, “WOW!” I’ve always known for God to send signs, but my goodness HE showed up and showed out to ensure that I did not fail and doubt myself.
The restaurant owner/cashier, thanked me for coming in and said, “It was just what I needed because I was having a really bad day and seeing that reminded me that I have a lot to be grateful for.” God used me to be his blessing, while the cashier had no idea that God used him and his restaurant to be my blessing. At this point, I stepped out of the restaurant, prayed and thanked God for staying with me and once again reminding me that “It’s complete and He is pleased!”
6 Hours later…. I PASSED!!!
This Journey taught me how important it is to ensure that My faith become greater than my fears. It also reminded me that:
1) God is always there, just sometimes we forget that
2) He will never, ever put on us more than we can bear
3) He answers prayers, however it’s on us to recognize, identify and accept the answer He gives us
No matter what the task, trip, job, or experience is that you are pursuing, Remember Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Thank you for reading my testimony of how God helped turn my doubt into confidence, I pray that He continues to provide you clarity and discernment in all that you do.
Don’t forget to Let your light SHINE!!