“Rachel, you’re next!”
My turn had come. The moment I had been preparing for the past four months was here. My heart pounded and my mouth felt as if I hadn’t had a drink for 24 hours. I followed the man who had called my name to the door of the testing room.
|One of the testing rooms for Bible Bee Oral Rounds|
“Do your best!” he smiled as I entered the room. My mind was whirling. I felt cold. I was both very excited and very nervous. As I walked up to the front of the room, I looked around for my Dad. Our eyes met and he gave me thumbs up and an encouraging look. I got to the front of the room and stood in front of the table as I had been instructed. My judges, a man and woman, sat behind the table. The woman smiled and handed me the headset. I took it and put it on, adjusting the microphone so it was in the correct position.
She began to give me my instructions for the oral test. “You have up to 5 minutes to quote up to 3 passages. Don’t feel like you need to rush because you will have plenty of time.”
“Yes,” I thought to myself. “Do. Not. Rush!” I let out a slight nervous sigh as she finished giving me
“When you’re ready, just state your name and the Bible version you will be using.”
I sent up one more prayer for strength and focus. I had to quote these three passages of scripture with as few mistakes as possible, with about thirty people listening to me! I didn’t know what three passages I would be reciting…only that they would be 3 out of the 205 passages I had memorized for the 2015 National Bible Bee. These 205 passages totaled up to over 800 individual verses and the passages all varied in length from 1 verse to 22 verses! And while I had worked diligently to memorize and perfect these verses the last 3 months, I still had those passages I struggled with. I hoped I would not receive one of those passages, but I knew all I could do was my best in God’s
|Bethany, Emily, Bella, and I: waiting for testing to begin|
Somehow, I found my voice.
“Rachel Crosswhite, King James Version.”
Ready or not, here I go!
The woman gave me my first reference and started the timer. “Please recite: Romans five, one through eleven.”
Taking a deep breath, I shut my eyes and began, in a shaky voice, to recite the given passage. “Romans five, one through eleven. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also…”
I quoted the passage, not too fast, but not too slow either…thinking about each word. God showed Himself strong! Just before my oral round, I had a practice session in our room with Daddy, quoting verses and warming up so my mind was “in motion”. During that practice session, I had quoted this passage, and had a brain freeze - forgetting how the passage continued at one point in the middle of it. Because of that, I had gone over this passage several times. Now, I was quoting that same passage, which was fresh in my mind, and I didn’t blank! Praise God!
“…we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Romans five, one through eleven.”
One down, two to go!
“John twenty, twenty-four through thirty one”, was the next passage I was given to recite.
I swallowed hard. This was one of those passages I had struggled with. But a couple weeks before Nationals, I had found a pattern to the saids and saiths that had confused me, and added hand motions. That helped tremendously. If I focused and used my motions, I could quote it right most of the time. I practiced it often. And here I was: needing to quote this passage for my oral recitation. I knew it was possible, but I must really focus under the pressure. “Lord, help me,” I silently prayed.
“John twenty, twenty-four through thirty-one. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails…”
|Waiting for Opening Ceremony to begin the first evening.|
So much fun! ^_^
I was here to do my best. As I quoted the passage, I used my hand motions, careful thinking about each word before I pronounced it. I came to the last two verses, which were especially good ones…
“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that believing ye might have life through His name. John twenty, twenty-four through thirty-one.”
I breathed a sigh of relief, for as far as I knew at that point, I felt like I had kept it all straight! Praise the Lord! Two passages down, one to go.
The woman gave me my final passage. “Please recite: Psalm sixteen.”
“Psalm sixteen. Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord…”
This passage was a favorite, and I knew it well. Like Romans 5:1-11, I had quoted this prior in my warm up session with my Dad. God allowed me to have one last run-through of the Psalm. I also remember, that day, walking down the hallway to go somewhere, and I held a portion of my verse cards in my hand, reading this Psalm. I had reviewed it then, too!
I emphasized the familiar words…
“…Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm Sixteen.”
I took a deep breath. I opened my eyes. I was done. As I removed the headset with shaking hands, the woman congratulated me and said I may go sit down. My eyes welled up with tears of happiness and relief, and through the applause of the crowd, I made my way back to where Daddy was sitting. He gave me a hug.
I sat there and sent up a prayer of thanksgiving to my Heavenly Father. God had girded me with strength, and had made my way perfect. I had quoted all three of my passages with no passes, no word prompts, and no tongue twist-ups. Glory to HIS name! I had trusted Him to help me, and He did!
|Closing Ceremony evening. Here's the annual "winner!"|
picture of 2015! Congratulations, Delie!
At that point, I didn’t know how many points I received, or if I made any mistakes, but six weeks later, I found out my total score of both written and oral recitation tests.
By God's grace, I received a perfect score! Praise the Lord! All during the study season, I had prayed that He would bless me with a perfect oral score, and I placed my trust in Him for strength. Without Him, I knew I could not have memorized 880 verses word perfectly in three and a half months. I just had to give it over to Him, and trust Him completely for the results. It was totally worth it.
So now, I’m going to give you a dare, but it’s a good dare. I dare you…whatever you are facing in life, maybe with an upcoming test, a trip or an event you’re worried about, or any difficulty; you fill in that blank…Trust fully in God. He promises to never leave you, or forsake you. He is our refuge and strength and a very present help in trouble. Ask Him for strength. Fully rely on Him. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. He shall direct your path!
As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.