How To Approach GCSE Results
Just like last week's A Level results posts, this week we're rooting for all you girls preparing to receive GCSE results tomorrow morning! Our prayer is that you would be able to receive your results confident in your status as a child of God, regardless of what you achieve on paper.
Promoting a culture of peace
I remember the night before GCSE results day most vividly. I was surrounded by anxiety, apprehension, and noise. The world around me was telling me to panic, so I felt that’s what I should be doing, it was normal, all my friends were.
However, why should we be accepting what the world is telling us is normal? If we truly believe God uses all things for the good of those who love him, no matter what letters are printed under our names, we can be at peace.
It says in Luke 12:25, “who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” In other words, what are we to gain by worrying? Nothing.
When the world around you is provoking panic, promote peace.
Turn away from the noise to the stillness of your creator, who could not love you any more or any less no matter what grades are under your name, and hide under the shadow of his wings. For Jesus doesn’t give to us as the world gives. It says in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Right now, in this very moment, Jesus wants to replace the worldly troubles on your heart with his heavenly peace.
So tonight, instead of submitting to the world and becoming a part of that anxiety, apprehension and noise, use this as opportunity to witness to your friends about the Prince of Peace. When the world surrounding you is telling you to panic, ask Jesus for his heavenly perspective and vision to turn your panic into peace into praise.
Amy has just finished her first year studying Music at Durham University
Trusting in God's perfect plan
On results day last year, God blessed me with the grades I had been wanting all year. However, some of my other Christian friends did not get the grades they had been praying for. Whatever grades we open tomorrow there are a few key things God tells us in his word that can reassure us and give us peace:
Firstly, however hard it might be, God commands us in Philippians not to worry about anything but instead to pray about everything. Jesus asks the question in Matthew ‘who by worrying can add a single hour to their life?’. If we don’t get the results we want we must pray and speak to our loving father about it rather than worry.
In Jeremiah we read: ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’. Whatever our results are, we must remember they are part of God’s perfect plan and future for us, even if it is not the future we want.
If God does bless us with the grades we want, we must remember to thank him! Last year I was definitely guilty of giving myself a pat on the back after opening my results rather than giving praise and glory to God. If we have been praying to God about results and he answers our prayers then we should remember to thank him and we should continue to work for him and his glory.
Finally, my world often seems to revolve around school and my grades when in fact it should revolve around my saviour Jesus Christ. Whatever our results, we should remember to fix our eyes on Jesus and set our minds on things above.
Izzy is going into her final year at Dean Close school.
When the buzz dies down...
If I'm honest, waiting for my GCSE results wasn't too painful at all. I had spent the week leading up to it at a Christian festival called Soul Survivor and so was totally distracted by all the fun I was having there. On the morning of results day, my best friends gathered round me in our tent, prayed for me and then mum and I drove from Shepton Mallet to my school where my results were waiting for me in that all important and ever daunting white envelope. Reality started to kick in at this point. As soon as I opened the letter, I burst into tears. This wasn't because my results were terrible or because I was outrageously happy with them but I just felt so overwhelmed (and probably far too tired from a crazy week at Bath and West Show ground).
It's such an odd feeling that months and months of hard work, exhaustion, pressure, emotional stress, tears and perseverance can be squeezed into that one tiny envelope and that a few letters on a page are all that you've been working for. When you're in that moment, GCSEs feel like the be all and end all; but I can promise you that they're absolutely not.
To tell the truth, when I first looked at the sheet of paper, there were a couple of grades that I wasn't too happy with, and that was something that I had to deal with with God after expectations had been set so high and I didn't quite meet them. But, with hindsight, my GCSE results only really mattered for a day or two and after that, people became less interested and stopped asking me what I got.
This doesn't mean they weren't important - not at all, it just means that you must surround your results day with a greater perspective of what we're living for, which ultimately is to see God's kingdom come and to live a life devoted to following Jesus.
When the buzz of results day dies down it can leave you thinking, “well, all that work was for nothing!”, when in fact it's totally the opposite. All that hard work and perseverance grounded me with a good work ethic for my A levels and all the emotional ups and downs made me become more real with facing my emotions and working through them in a healthy way. Quite possibly the most important thing I learnt is that the grades I got don't define me as a person. Sure - the Lord saw my heart throughout my working and revision and honoured that by giving me what I needed for the next stage...but that's something He'll always do, even if the next stage is not something you were expecting. The Lord has a great plan for you and only He really knows what that will look like. Be prepared for anything but take courage in the fact that you are on a beautiful adventure with a God who knows you and loves you the most and that his plans for you will always prosper.
Abbie has just finished her final year at Stroud High School.