Oh the joy! The relief! The lifting of a huge burden off my shoulders! After a long, gruelling year of revision and exams, of being shackled to my books and papers, of long days and sleepless nights, I have finally cleared the Primary FRCA and am allowed a few months of freedom!!!!!!!!!! (before the next hurdle of the final exam, that is). I had much fairer questions this time round, and nothing unexpected was examined. My examiners were also lovely, and they tried their very best to help me out when my mind completely blanked out for a few seconds. Nevertheless, I still had sweaty armpits, racing palpitations and a parched mouth throughout my exam day, and I was absolutely elated when the final bell rang and the deed was done. When I got my results yesterday, I rang home immediately and sobbed without restraint. The floodgates were opened and I just kept telling my mum “you don’t know how much hard work I’ve put in, you don’t understand how painful this year has been, you cannot comprehend the sacrifices I have made for this!” I had been on the brink of a physical, mental and emotional breakdown in the weeks leading up to my exam; to have all the pressure, the pent up frustration, and the indescribable exhaustion suddenly lifted off me was inexplicably liberating- so liberating that I did not know how else to express it but to cry.
Despite my success in the exam, I am also very wary of the people who have failed. There is a guy whom I met at an exam prep course a couple of weeks ago who sat the exact same exam as me. He was the candidate one number before me, and like me, was resitting the viva after a previous failure. He was desperate to pass the exam this time round so that he can finally spend time with his toddler at home, and start to prepare for his wedding this May. We kept each other company through the day, going off for coffee and lunch together between our exams. It was nice having someone to chat to and distract me from the stress of the day. However, after his first exam, he kept telling me how he could not see himself passing it. I tried to keep his spirits up through the day by telling him to leave that first exam behind and focus on the next exam. You can never tell how you have done so try not to discourage yourself just yet! Nevertheless, I now know that he did indeed fail his exam again. He must be gutted! I feel really sorry for him. I really hoped he had passed! I pray that the Lord will give him some rest for now, and help him through the pain of having to revise and take these dreaded exams a third time.
Exams aside, I went to the movies for the first time in almost a whole year! I went to see Les Miserables today, and it was amazing! It was everything I imagined it to be and even more! I remember seeing the musical at the West End in London and sobbing my eyes out at the end when Jean Valjean died, and true to my emotional self, I wept once again when the protagonist died. In fact, the whole movie theatre was filled with the sound of sniffles towards the end of the show. I was truly moved by the story of love, of forgiveness, of mercy, of integrity. As my heart became overwhelmed by the display of such Godly virtues in the movie, I could not help but think of my Lord Jesus Christ. Such unconditional love, self-sacrificial redemption and complete adoption is true and real and even better in real life! Jesus is God, the Lord who breathed life into the universe. Yet, He is the same Lord who forsook all He had in heaven to walk on this earth as a lowly, despised man. He came to a world that mocked Him and scoffed at Him, to die for the sinners who hate him so that they may be reconciled to God. Jesus loves us, and like the priest at the start of the movie, he offers us more treasures than the priceless silver that we try and steal from him. He is filled with justice like the character Javert, but unlike the iron-fisted policeman, Jesus forgives and forgets. Like Jean Valjean to Cosette, my Lord offers to adopt us into a new life with no more pain and sorrow. He redeems us not just with 1500 francs, but with his own precious blood, shed on a cross more than 2000 years ago. But the best thing about my Jesus is that he is alive, true, and real, not just a make believe character in an Oscar-winning film. That blows my mind, I hope it blows yours too.