I am participating in the Writing Contest: You Deserve to be Inspired. Hosted by Positive Writer
February 23rd and 24th, of 1999 were the testing days for the Minnesota State Bar exam. This would be my third attempt to pass the exam and each time I let other people’s choices and things of the world distract me from what God had set before me in a vision – to open Bridgeport Family Law. The work, the financial loss and pressure were taking it’s toll. I knew that after completing eight years of college as a single mother of three, the exam wasn’t the problem.
I prayed for the willingness do what He was asking me to do. My mother then eighty-two years old, offered to let me move into her home for six weeks so I could minimize the distractions and study. She set up everything I needed and stocked her cupboards and refrigerator with the best of foods. I started every morning with coffee, my meditation books and bible. Sometimes she would join me. Every night she prepared a wonderful dinner for us and she would ask what I had studied that day. Her love and support were a priceless gift that I am forever grateful for. I made regular phone calls to three wonderful friends who walked that six week journey with me and supported my vision.
A few days before the exam I received a call from my youngest son who was in crisis. Other then God there was nothing and no one more important to me than my children. I left my mother’s home for the day to go be with him. I was very concerned for him and torn about what to do. God lead me to an Alanon meeting where my sister and brother-in-law had attended twelve step meetings for years. I shared openly what was going on and thought I should withdraw from the exam to be there for my son during these next difficult days. As the meeting ended a man tapped my shoulder and said “I’m a retired cop and the world needs people like you in the legal system. Trust God that He will take care of your son, He has his back. Go to a hotel where no one can find you, take a few study notes, sleep, pray and go take the bar exam.” I knew God had sent him to speak to me. As hard as it was I did exactly as he told me.
I will never forget seeing my mother standing by her kitchen sink looking out the window with tears on her cheeks. She was worried that again something or someone would get in the way of my passing the exam. I gave her another hug, put a card that I written out for her on the kitchen table and told her to picture me on the other side of the exam. I cried all the way to the hotel.
Only my children knew where I was. My son Nick had a little fun thing with me that I could not take a big test without his “good luck” call the night before. The hotel phone rang and it was Nick. He told me that he would be ok and I needed to just ace the exam. I slept like I didn’t have a care in the world. The next morning I opened the card my mother had put in my suitcase. My meditation that morning started with the words “fear not the task ahead for I am with you”.
I took the hotel shuttle to the exam site. I stood by the windows looking up Kellogg Blvd. towards the courthouse where I had been a law clerk for four years. I remember well my prayers that February morning, “God I am not as ready as I want to be and my heart aches for Nick. If your will is for me to open Bridgeport Family Law to help families who have been where we have been then dear God you are going to have to write this exam with me. I turn this over to you God as I have done all I can do. Your will, not mine be done.”
The exam is a two day process. I stood in line to check in, and get my seat number. The number three has always been my lucky number. The clerk handed me my seat number – 33. I knew God was with me. I finished the exam before the time ran out. Now, just one more day. I had not watched TV or called my home phone to obtain messages so I did not hear that a major Minnesota blizzard was on it’s way. The next morning, the hotel clerk told me that it would not be possible for the shuttle or a taxi to get me there on time. As I looked outside I knew he was right. I turned to hear someone say, “ma’am follow me, I’ll will get you there.”
I don’t recall much after that except writing down his name and address and thanking him as I got out of his van, knowing God was in control. As I finished the last essay question I thanked God for watching over Nick, for sending the retired cop, “the man with the van” and for all my mother had done for me. I walked out and up the stairs to the door where my daughter Allison was waiting. The first thing she said was “mom I can tell you passed the exam by the look on your face”. I hoped she was right.
On April 14,1999 the letter from the Minnesota Supreme Court arrived. I read the words “we are pleased to inform you …..”. I drove to my mother’s home. I hugged her, cried and said. “Mom, because of God and you I passed”. As she read the letter she was speechless then said she had been praying for me everyday. I went to Hamline University where my daughter was in college and ran through heavy rains from building to building until I found her. I called my oldest son, Charles who was working out of state. He was so excited for me. I then called Nick. There are no words to describe these moments. That evening I mailed the retired cop and “the man with the van” thank you notes, telling them I passed the bar.
On May 7, 1999, my daughter and I opened the doors to Bridgeport Family Law at 607 Grand Avenue in Saint Paul. My mother was there to run the kitchen as only my mother can.
THE THREE THINGS I LEARNED:
My visions are always from God and a road map of His will for my life.
In life’s darkest moments, trust God, pray and see the miracle of His work.
Never give up and be willing to do what you have to do to see your vision to reality.
– My next blog will tell the story of how God tested my faith and directed my steps while waiting for the results of the bar exam.