I learnt the true essence of something more important – to walk by FAITH and not by SIGHT
This is going to be a long one.
This year I’m sitting for my final year at law school – and I have 3 papers (Trusts/Financial Regulation/Insolvency). I have not studied for ANY of them, and have taken the first 2, both cases God helped me SO much I had to stop myself from crying after I finished the paper because I couldn’t believe that the questions I prepared for came out. Let me give you a little background of my walk with God in the last 3 years of Law School:
In my first year, I wasn’t a staunch Christian. In fact in all 3 years I shamelessly did not attend church. When it came to exams, I came across this website and cried my heart out. I prayed, “God I do not deserve your love. But I hear of so many stories where your love is endless, please carry me in your GRACE, and show me MERCY, please FORGIVE me for straying, forgive me for everything in fact, (I’m not going to list every single sin I begged for forgiveness for here)” and I remember in my first year – I was so uncertain of what the paper would test, I learnt everything either the day before or on the morning (5am) itself before the paper.
I remember sitting there at 4am, holding my little daily book of devotions, and that morning I was told to put God first. Prioritise God and my time with God over anything else.
How was i supposed to do that?!?! I had 5 hours to my paper, no knowledge in my head (they were thankfully written down the night before), & I wasn’t even sure if what I studied would come out (I studied very, VERY narrowly – in other words they could have tested 3 other questions instead of the one I studied for the topic).
So that was when I sat there crying – it was my first time that I could ever recall taking such a big leap of faith – just giving my time to God, praying, asking for God to set my heart and my head right, and just sat there for an hour or two even, spending time with God, even after I calmed down.
Then – I started to memorise the work, and went in for the paper. For all 4 papers in my first year – God carried me through His love and grace. Did I DESERVE to pass? Certainly not, after not studying the entire year and being the laziest shit on earth. Did I deserve God’s help? ALL THE MORE NO, I had sinned so badly, strayed so far away from God (compared to the year right before I started university where I was closest in my relationship with God and it felt so effortless).
It’s important to note that, in my first year, I met a friend (friend “A”) on a drunk night out who also studied law. Somehow we became friends, and he is a staunch Christian. He helped me through exams, spent every day with me, teaching me the principles and the law, stayed over (my flat had 2 bedrooms), and well – he also did the most part of helping me pass my exams.
Back then I did not know what God had planned for me. But after 3 years of exams, I finally have an inkling of what God’s plans were when he introduced that friend into my life, and I am so SO reassured now that, God REALLY has planned every step of your life in advance. I’m going to keep it a mystery for my readers – what God had planned for me, because you need to hear what happened in my second (and now my third) year of exams/law school.
In my second year, I strayed again. I didn’t do my daily prayers like I did prior to university. I wasn’t communicating with God as often as I should be. I sinned time and time again. Come exam time, this time I started about a month early? I moved into my other friend’s flat (friend “B”) – he’s Christian but nowhere near as staunch as the one in my first year.
So, through the month of studying together, friend B and I also fell in love, but he was nowhere as Christian nor as good at teaching me the law as friend A. Therefore, I had less ‘human’ help than I did with friend A for my exams in second year. Somehow, I was still unprepared for the exams.
Miracles happened that year – for my Land Law Paper, 3 questions were to be answered. I studied 3 topics, but my last topic wasn’t very well done, and there could be tons of essay questions for that. I woke up at 3am (my usual waking up time before a morning paper to cram), and I had a dream, almost a voice, telling me a specific question. I wasn’t sure if that was God or me stress-dreaming, so I was wary of that question and read about it.
That exact question came out in the paper. Throughout my FIVE papers last year, I felt God probing me in directions. I felt calm. My entire throught process throughout the month of exams were:
‘study, don’t worry about how much you can’t achieve, just study calmly, study all that you can, believing that God’s got your back.’
And so that’s what I did. Stressing/worrying got me nowhere. But if I start my studies with a tiny prayer (a line or two), being aware of God’s presence & being confident in his abundant love, I could focus, I wasn’t distracted (I normally am) – & that’s how I got through my second year – God spoke more, I had less help from my friends (‘human help’).
This year, I just had a Trusts Law paper on Monday, and a Financial Regulation paper on Wednesday. To sum up:
- I was EVEN MORE unprepared this year than I was last year – I only started studying the WEEK before my trust paper (for both Trusts and Financial Reg). Friend B and I fell out of love, so I was studying with friend A again at my house. Friend B and I were doing different topics for trusts, so I was also entirely on my own for the most part.
- Needless to say my walk with faith was the same as that in first year – I strayed for the most part and only poured my heart out during my papers.
For my trust paper, I had to study minimum 3 topics to answer 3 questions. That’s risky because out of 10 topics we had 9 questions, so there is a possibility that one would be left out. I also only prepared very specific things for each topic. I prayed again – asking for God’s grace, His direction, and read my little daily book, and it almost felt too coincidental too be real.
Here’s the big revelation: God planned all this for me to slowly teach me how to WALK in faith, not by sight.
In first year he gave me a friend to do most of the biblical and legal knowledge preaching. In second year I had less of both. In my third year, Friend B doesn’t even DO Financial Regulation. Who did I rely on? God. Purely.
When I opened my trust paper, all doubts of whether Jesus can love a wretch like me disappeared.
Financial Regulation was slightly worse in terms of how unprepared and scary because I had 1.5 days to prepare for it (even though I did a little preparation in the week before) – it was not like a normal law paper so I found it difficult to learn and apply the principles, AND I had to prepare for FOUR questions.
I somehow knew that God had planned this – so whilst being slightly worried for my degree – I was calm for the 1.5 days between my trust & Financial Reg paper. Financial Reg was designed way worse than all the other law papers – because unlike all the other papers that I have taken, this unit-coordinator likes to set different essay questions (for the others you can roughly guess/bank on a general theme/essay coming out) but this one – it’s like 3 different essays per topic.
What’s worse, for one of them – there has been a question on accountability rules that has been coming up every year. It also came up in our mock exam this year. But in the same topic – there’s another question that could come up (which came up in one year, along with the accountability one so it was a either accountability OR single-regulator essay)
I prepped for the single-reg essay, and knew that I just HAD to prep for the accountability essay (it was so so hard for me because there were SO many rules and laws and I was utterly lost beyond imagination). I prepped for the accountability essay the night before, slept, and woke up at 3am to memorise my work.
I couldn’t do it. I just couldnt memorise like I usually could (I was calm, though). At some point I panicked because nothing was going in. I decided to ditch the accountability essay and went in with THREE specific essay questions.
Accountability didn’t come up. My 3 questions – exactly what I had prepared for, came up.
As for the LEARNING bit – I’m usually good with memorising, but that morning was different. I learnt headings, not content. I prayed for Jesus to hold my hand and write my paper for me. It’s one of those things where i was just like, God I’m too tired I can’t do this, I definitely can’t do this without you at least please please please help me.
I didnt forget anything in the exam – I was scared of blanking out due to the peculiar nature of the module I took, I went in, calmly wrote down all my headings/plans, then started the essay, and got through 4 essays. After I was done I had extra time left, and just sat there, thanking Jesus. Thanking God for showing me and confirming my prayer –
The morning before my paper, my little book of devotions ended with a ‘walk by faith, not by sight’. I asked God if that’s really what He’s planned, and that I needed some form of confirmation or reassurance – which I got in my second paper.
And now I know, this is only going to get harder. I have 8 days to my next paper, with 10 topics, none of which I can leave out because according to past papers this paper is VERY unpredictable and questions come out at random & topics are mixed everywhere. Today I wanted to start cramming, but I told myself to stop trying to control my life and remember NOT to forget God.
I opened that little book today & it told me to go to God, leaving my plans in abeyance. To spend time with God, letting God permeate my entire being, to TRUST God to guide me through this day, and that the challenge continually before me is to trust God and SEARCH for God’s way through each day. Those are such useful reminders because I can imagine myself trying to cram and plan and shove God out of the picture until the night before my paper next Friday.
Having said all that, I am going to start studying as I have not touched my work today – but I hope it helps, and thank you all on this platform for your testimonies (sorry this is massively long) they have helped me through my darkest most bleak times (and I have so many more stories to share but I will save that for another post!)