To say I have been anxious lately would be the understatement of the year. To those who know me, seldom do I really get worked up over things. I have always had a very easy going, look on the bright side kind of mentality. Since my possibly final Architectural Registration Exam two weeks ago I have been a nervous wreck. As I mentioned in a previous post, I allowed the devil to slip into my life and take hold of my thoughts- with each passing day I began fear the worst more and more. None of the other tests had really affected me like this one had. Of course the others were just as hard as this one, some harder truthfully, but I could rely on the fact that if I failed one of those and had to retest in six months-I could at least move on to the other tests. But this test was the last test and I let myself begin to think that the sum of all seven test would be determined by this final. Forget the fact that I passed six other test, if I failed this test - I failed them all.

The devil is real and he fears those of the faith. One of the toughest things about this blog is being so publicly open about everything that is going on in our lives. It is hard to be open at times because you are revealing to the world your imperfections, and although we never will be, we try to appear perfect. I believe the devil hates this blog; he hates the truth within every post, and he hates the community of fellowship that is being formed. He decided to plant a seed of fear in my life recently. He made me question, why did you tell the whole world on the internet that you just took your last test knowing that you probably failed it. If you had of just kept your mouth shut no one would even know if you failed it. Stop writing on the blog-you're just advertising that you and Christen are not perfect. I confess, I deeply considered this.

As God always intended, Sunday was a renewal of faith for me. Our music minister had the opportunity to preach and he spoke on Daniel 3. It's the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (you probably didn't say that last one right...) that we are all very familiar with. This was a story that growing up, I loved. To recap, King Nebuchadnezzar was outraged at the three believers because they would not worship his idols. He threw the trio into a blazing furnace and asked them once again "if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?"

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

Did you catch that - even if. It's so subtle but it is the defining moment of this story. They believed God would rescue them, but if he chose not to make a visible miracle, and example, of them to the world, it did not change their hearts. This message drove out any remaining fear in my heart. Pass or fail is irrelevant when it comes to the purpose of this blog. I may fail, but my faith does not have to fail. There is a truth that lies within my story just as it did for the three believers.

He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."

Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!" So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

God is with us always, and I assure you he was there when I opened a certain letter that came in the mail today. He told me he was there, and even if the results were not what I had hoped for, that he needed me. He needed me to deliver this message.

The first words I read were Congratulations! They felt as if they were from God himself - I believe they were at least. Our God is and awesome God and I am here today to say thank you to him. He continues to bless my family in ways that my novice writing skills cannot describe.

So today, I sign off as

Raleigh J. Price, AIA, LEED AP

Thank you Lord, I pray that all see your graciousness. Once again, you never cease to amaze me.