I had high hopes. 100% was my goal. We got there early and waited outside until the doors opened. Paperwork over with, I began my test. I was happy, my studying had been enough. The questions were answered in quick succession. Then came one that momentarily baffled me. This had not been in the book! There were three options for an answer, I picked what I thought was most likely. Wrong. My heart sank. My 100% just went out the window... no chance of that now. The number on the question got higher and higher, closer to the end of the test. Excited about it almost over, I answered it without thinking... long enough. Wrong again. I winced. No, no, no! This cannot be! Two more questions answered correctly. Finished. I stood up, nervously. My supervisor came over. She looked at the test and results. A sympathetic look crossed her face. I knew. "Sorry, you missed it by just 'that' much!"
My eyes welled up. My chin quivered. "I'll just need you to sign here, please." She passed me the pen. With tears silently streaking my cheeks, I obeyed. She handed me a tissue.
Smiling comfortingly, she offered, "Well, if you like, you can come back at 10:30 to have another go." I smiled through my tears and stumbled down the stairs, outside to our car. Where was Mum? I leaned against the locked car, no longer crying silently. As I sobbed, all I could think of was my friends who had all gotten 100%. I felt so humilated! Why did I get those two wrong? I moved away from the car and looked up. Mum! Relief washed over me. She was way up the street, but coming! I walked on the footpath to meet her. Mum could see my face. "What happened?" she asked.
I hugged her and leaned on her shoulder, still sobbing. "I fail-ed!"
I told her about the two questions.
"I guess we'll have to just come back another day for you to try again," she offered practically.
"No, we don't. She said I can come back at 10:30," I stated, still crying.
"What?! They never let you do again on the same day!" Surprise was written on her face.
The tears kept coursing down my cheeks. I failed. I failed!
"Let's to go to TAFE now," Mum suggested.
"I don't feel like going anywhere!" I told her.
Mum looked at me. "Sweetheart. There are still people in this town that cannot live in their houses, due to flood damage. There are quite a lot still in temporary accomadation."
"Yeah. That is bad. But, you don't understand, because you never had to do this test!"
"Look, Christella. You need to face this with maturity. It's only a little disappointment."
The word "maturity" triggered my memory. Only a few days previous, I had read many inspiring stories about the lives of composers. One quote from the book repeated, fresh in my mind.
"The mark of a true man is if he faces disaster and triumph, the same (by the grace of God)."
What if that is the mark of a true woman too? I wondered.
Even though I had already stopped crying, I still felt hurt and humiliated. Now, I let that go. I better chin up, now is the time for me to practise that principle. It was difficult to smile. But after I made that decision and surrendered it to God, I could. It hadn't felt nice to be 'admonished' or 'rebuked', as Solomon would've called it, by Mum. But, afterwards I really appreciated it. Solomon's word's were right in this matter.
"Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee." Proverbs 9:8
Even though it hurts my pride to be corrected, I love Mum and (others) more later, for caring enough to do it.
This was my chance. To put into practise "the mark of a true (wo)man".