Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
-Hebrews 12:1

Saturday, Christen and I decided we needed to get out and soak up some sun to help relax ourselves. We were getting ready to go to the Montgomery beach aka the YMCA, and I happened to check the mail before we left. Right there on top was a letter from my old friend the National Council of the Architectural Registration Board. Let me provide you with a little background information- NCARB is notorious for taking their precious time when it comes to grading tests. Two months is a fast turn around, truthfully. So to see a letter only one week after testing is unheard of - and scary. I immediately thought it must have been so obvious to them that I failed the test for a turnaround this quick. I decided to open the letter outside so I could prepare myself to break the news to Christen. I took a deep breath and told the Lord that I was thankful for everyone's support and that even though becoming a licensed architect was a goal of mine, it is not what defines me. Regardless of the outcome I would glorify his name. After this, opening the letter is like taking off a band-aid, you just have to rip it! So I did. My eyes know exactly where to look on the paper for that four letter word, it's just a matter of which four letters you get. Praise the Lord, I got a PASS.

Once again, God has poured out his blessing upon me. I was speechless in the moment. Given the craziness of that week I knew it was likely that I could fail simply because I might not be able to focus during the test. It was hard to study that week but a new determination to pass had come over me. Not only was I passing for my family and personal ambition but now I felt a strange determination not to let all of you down. You had asked God to allow me to focus and retain the knowledge I had studied. I had no doubt he would pull through, it was up to me to decide the rest. It was hard to stay up later and get up earlier than I already was that week to read a boring book on earthquake forces that don't exist in Alabama, but I could not live with myself knowing you all had asked God to help me and I had not given him my best. I also believe that God understood my need to know the results of that test so I could move on to the final test with a sense of confidence. Again, thank you all for your support and encouragement.

To God be the glory!

- Raleigh