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One word, five minutes

"Girls, you can enjoy Friday your testing is done." I spoke into the eager Friday faces of my kids.
Madelyn was happy. There is a pizza party and game day following test week.
Meredith surprised me, "I love tests!  I wish it wasn't over."
My brain wrinkled like my eyebrow. She is always surprising me.  I didn't expect that declaration.
Some of us love a good test.  Some to see how we can wing it and some because we are well prepared.
Some of us aren't good test takers.  I know I always triple, quadrupled guessed myself and wounded my own test taking as a student.  But paragraph short essay tests were my thing.  Not so much True or False.  Those were filled with second guessing possibilities.
Life is filled with tests.  Academic tests that you laboriously study for so you know the ins and outs of and are well prepared and then life tests.
I haven't failed many academic tests.
Then there are life tests...
Life tests sometimes are blatantly obvious.  Just as obvious almost as being given the questions and fill in the blanks.  You immediately perceive the test and you are cued in.  You know its time to shine.  Sometimes even though you realize you are taking a life test you find yourself ill prepared, struggling, wishing you could had prepared more, wish you had known the test was coming.
And then there are times you are taking a test and don't realize it.
The test is being issued and you didn't even know you were filling in bubbles answering true and false.  And you are fast failing.
Only its more important than a geometry proofs test or American History essays...
It's a life test and the way you take this test will have serious repercussions.

Sometimes you pass!  You can smile with satisfaction that though you were tested you came through..and then there are those times that you did nothing but FAIL.
It happens in little moments and little scenarios.
If the test is bigger it may be a series of questions and situations you answer all wrong with your heart and actions.  You start believing wrong things and it all snowballs into a flunking grade.  You didn't pass.  You believe Trues that are actually Falses.
I remember the day I let the reality of this sink into me.  That I had failed.  Epically failed.  I was curled up on the floor next to my laundry machine confessing my failures to my best friend.  I don't know what she understood from all of the tears that were flowing.  My voice shaky.  She couldn't say much.  She was stunned.  She was searching for words of comfort and hope as I was sobbing my heart out.  "Somer I know you. I know you love the Lord. I am going to pray God delivers you from all your enemies."
The reality of those words played over and over in my head for months.
What did that really have to do with it?
And yet I knew.  This was all about spiritual enemies.  Enemies we all have who sometimes ask to sift us, test us, and we FAIL.  It's not so much about flesh and blood people its about spiritual warfare that has been launched at us for years but has finally decided to try to destroy us.  And we have given in.  Failed.  On a side note.  I believe with all my heart that at the heart of every plan of Satan is ultimate destruction, not just the temptation or test at hand.  He's going for the jugular and he will destroy you with things that seem at the time lesser.  It's always about something deeper than it appears.
Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior by Frances J. Crosby is so rich.  One of my favorite hymns.  There is an urgency and complete humility within the lines of this hymn.  It's desperate.  It's me.  Honestly, It should always be me.  But when I fail in obvious and ugly ways I drop to my knees and I'm pleading with Jesus to not pass me by here.  Don't leave me here.  Come be with me here.  Save me here.  Clean my dirty heart here.  Let me never come back here.  Make me new here.
We won't pass life tests every time, but the contrite heart calling for Jesus to stop and find us in this mess won't be passed by.  He stoops low and lifts us up.  He will pick all of the pieces we have broken our lives into.  And like the last lines in the hymn say we are left with the undeniable reality that really, "Who have we in Heaven or Earth beside Thee, Jesus?"  Who is the only one with unfailing love for all of our ugly sinful failures...Only one.  Jesus.  He will not pass us by.
And He alone can cup our faces, heal our hearts, wash the sin away, and then pass us to other people so that we might aide them in passing their tests.  It's amazing how he does this.  It's already happened to me.

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Savior, Savior,
 Hear my humble cry,
 While on others Thou art calling,
 Do not pass me by.
Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief;
Kneeling there in deep contrition,
Help my unbelief.
Trusting only in Thy merit,
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
Save me by Thy grace.
Thou the spring of all my comfort,
More than life to me,
Whom have I on earth beside Thee,
Whom in Heav’n but Thee.

I won't pass all my tests. I haven't.  I've failed.  But Jesus will not pass me by.  After,  I have walked through restoration with Him, He will pass me to those who need help passing their tests.  I will see goodness come when I see my failure wasn't wasted, it was used so that others might pass. 


  1. Beautiful post Summer! We won't pass every time, but I'm so thankful we have a loving Savior that has taken our fails to the Cross.
    I haven't seen you at FMF before, glad I followed you today. I'm in the #30 spot.

  2. Hi Somer,
    So glad to read your words again! I had to laugh at your little one liking tests! I hope she keeps that beautiful outlook! :) I too feel like I fail the same tests over and over, but I realize that God's mercy always meets me in the places where I fail and how else would I experience that mercy if I weren't needing it? And maybe that's the plan, isn't it? We need God when we fail much more than when we succeed. And resting in that mercy is awfully sweet!

  3. That sounds like my kids. Even though we homeschooled, we still did standardized testing at the end of each year with our co-op. Despite the actual testing, the kids loved the time together of getting special treats and avoiding their regular work schedules. :)

    Now life tests? They’re not as much fun! But God always sends little (and big) graces with them as well. Thanks for sharing--resting in God's mercy with you.


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