From previous experiences throughout my short lifetime, it has become apparent that this life here on Earth, although short, is chock-full of grand surprises. Whether you lose a loved one, find out your pregnant or you've lost your job, God is always throwing curveballs to see if you're paying attention. It's almost as if he is testing you - and sure enough, I was never a good test taker.
Seriously, I never really did do well taking tests in school. I was always nervous - my mind went blank, my palms were always sweaty and I always got a crappy grade. It didn't matter what class it was in, it could have been home economics, math or computer. I always was a poor test taker.
After a while, I just gave up and got used to the idea that I would get a mediocre grade.
Our teachers always had a method to their madness, and what I mean is they always put the worst-grade papers on the bottom of the pile. Mine was always on the bottom.
The teacher would hand my test back to me and I wouldn't even flinch. The other students would be high-fiving one another, others would be saying, "Yay! We did so well on our tests! Now we can get into college." Nope, not me, I just sat there with my run-of-the-mill test score. I sat there and often thought, "How am I going to get into college with these crappy test scores?"
My mom always told me what doesn't kill me will make me stronger. I'm sure everyone has heard that saying at least one time in their lifetime, and I'm a firm believer in it as well.
And you know what? Those test scores didn't kill me. I got into college, graduated and loved every minute of it. At the time, God was just testing me - just like he does every day.
There are so many times when I have been let down, heartbroken, disappointed and utterly to the point of no redemption. (Of course, this is a big exaggeration on my part, but back when you're a teenager, everything is taken a bit out of context.)
When Emma reaches her teenage years, I hope I will be able to share the same advice my mom shared with me. I also pray she will be a better test taker than I ever was, because taking those tests can be so nerve-racking!
Have you ever noticed how life is like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series? But for some reason, when I read those books, I always met an untimely demise.
Perhaps it's because I cheated and read ahead. Oh well.
Although there is no way for me to accurately "read ahead" or predict my future, I can always take solace in knowing that God will always be there, in hindsight, testing me and making sure I "pass" in life's daily adventures.
Tara Maguire is a Sentinel reporter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.