Facing test anxiety through prayer

Originally appeared on spirituality.com

There are all kinds of “tests” people may put themselves through, some less obvious than others. For instance, I sometimes feel as if there’s a kind of evaluation taking place when I meet a new person for the first time. The whole first impression thing. And then there’s the “test” of how well someone is doing financially, socially, or even in terms of being a good Christian. Believe me, there have been times when I’ve felt like I’ve failed in one or more of those categories!

But my study of Christian Science has taught me that I don’t have to be a victim of anxiety or self-doubt whenever any kind of test arises. When I seek a more inspired view, I see that God never has a need to “test” me, because He created me as a whole, priceless, integral part of His divine plan—the same way He created each of us.

I recently underwent a pretty obvious form of testing during my first semester of law school examinations. I spent nearly four months attending classes, reading, and taking diligent notes on legal cases, but 100 percent of my grade would be determined by a four-hour test given at the conclusion of the semester. This made me feel that all the effort I’d been putting in during the semester could be wasted if I had a mental blank or made an honest mistake on one of my exams. In addition, I was proceeding with the knowledge that legal employers have strict grade-point cutoffs for hiring, and my classmates and I were keenly aware of the exact grades we need to obtain to be competitive for certain jobs. You can imagine the anxiety and stress students were feeling on campus.

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