Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It Is Well....

i feel like today has been a very long day. very long.

it's another one of those days that reminds you that His ways are higher than our ways.

to cut to the chase, Chad will be taking the CFA again in 2010.

after six agonizing months of preparation and study, chad took the CFA Level III on june 6th.

and then the wait began.

it's a long wait. an odd amount of time, where our entire family is left in suspense as the tests are scored. the relief washes over us because the test is over -- and just enough time goes by for life to recalibrate and summer to ensue.

and then...just when you've begun to forget about the hell that is "study season," the emails start circulating that scores are going to be released soon. and the panic returns. from january to june we are turned upside down. and then in august, we remember it's not over. results arrive. and that was today.

the first half of the day was ...surreal.
i was jittery.
and the cycle continued until chad walked in the door.

scores are released at 9am, but since chad gives presentations all day, he waits until he gets home to open the email and uncover the results.

when i heard the door open, i nearly threw up.

it was time.

he walked up the stairs and was all smiles.

he had bought me flowers, thanking me for all of my support (if that's what you want to call it. i waiver between undying love and support and utter frustration and exhaustion over this test...). as he held the flowers out for me, they were shaking. his hands were shaking. he was jittery when i went in for a hug to thank him. we were both clammy, despite our best attempts to have small talk about our days.

he also hadn't eaten all day.

it was 3pm.

i asked if he wanted to eat or would rather log in and get it over with.
he chose the latter.

and so the three of us ascended to our bedroom where our main computer is and got down on our knees to completely release whatever was about to transpire over the following 10 minutes to God. it seems like just yesterday when we did this last year.

a string of "God knows best..." and "scores don't matter," and "no matter what happens, we are still blessed," were uttered between the two of us as tears fell.

and as isaac destroyed our bedroom mini-blinds.

normally i sit on his lap as he logs in and together our faces press close to the monitor. i just couldn't do it this year. i remember his legs almost giving way last year, because they were shaking. and frankly, the monitor scares me and it felt safer to watch from across the room, through my fingers...like some horror movie as you anticipate something scary popping out at you.

i leaned against my dresser and felt lightheaded, truth be told.

but i will never forget the unspeakable exhilaration of being present when he passed Level 2, and wanted to be ready. i coughed really loudly so he wouldn't hear me turn my camera on, in preparation of capturing what could have been one of the happiest days of his life. (i know that sounds extreme, but after investing 8 years into a life goal...i would have to call it such.)

he pulled up the CFA Server, and with shaky hands, started to log in.

incorrect password.
this happens every year.
every. year.

it's God's way of offering comic relief, i have to believe.

we both let out nervous laughs and agree this must be a very effective chinese torture method.

he logs in again.

incorrect password.

i feel my chest burning.

logs in again...

i stand closer to my camera...my left hand pressing hard against my mouth...

and his head falls into his hands and...well...that is that.

it doesn't help morale at all that capital letters across the screen spell out the word: FAIL.

it is a horror movie.
and we live it every year.
and God presses "repeat" annually for reasons that are utterly beyond us.

for some awful reason, my husband desperately, desperately wants a Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

this is what was published in the papers back in May, prior to this years exam:

A record 128,600 enrolled to take the Chartered Financial Analyst exam in June, and if history is any guide, more than half will fail during Wall Street's worst shakeout in at least three decades.

Candidates from 154 countries are scheduled to take one of three levels of the CFA exam.

A CFA is the ultimate credential on Wall Street possessed by Bill Gross, who runs the world's biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., and Abby Joseph Cohen, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s senior investment strategist. It's especially true after financial firms cut more than 311,000 jobs since global markets started to unravel in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Of the 49,797 people who took the Level 1 exam in December, just 35 percent passed. Topics range from ethical standards and securities valuation to financial statement analysis and portfolio management.

i guess it's not too crazy of him to desire this designation, but...words can't really describe how crushing it is to pour yourself out and come up short.

the only person in the room with a dry eye was isaac.

sometimes you run out of reinforcing, positive words to say.
sometimes they really aren't even relevant or desired.

it took a few minutes of reeling and speechlessness to grapple with the situation.

personal fulfillment deferred by another year.

Chad is one of the smartest people i know. and if you know him, you would wholeheartedly agree. it's beyond us HOW this is our reality....again.

and i'm certain there are 51% of the test takers out there banging their heads against the wall, saying the same thing.

i ran the gamut with my encouraging one-liners.
but my husband failed.
i know it.
he knows it.
and there's nothing that will erase those big letters across the horror movie monitor.
it's just flat out HARD to watch your husband be reduced to "FAIL"...and i would trade places with him in a heartbeat. i couldn't think of ANYTHING i wouldn't do to reverse the test results.

many people have suggested he give up.
let the dream go.
move on with his life.
accept that he'll never have his CFA.
and i used to be one of them...

but with so much time invested -- that feels silly.
and i would certainly have quit. because i tend to be the quitter in this house.
but not chad. he astounds me with his persistence and dedication. and he's never even considered giving up. it would be against his DNA to throw in the towel, and so...well...we brace ourselves for another year of endurance, as the goal is still within his power to attain.

so while the score keepers may call him a failure, as i lift his wet face out of his hands, in my heart i know nothing is further from the truth. i see a brave man who annually risks his pride and his personal comfort to strive for the very, very top. of course chad would aim to be in Wall Street's top one percent.

though closure on this season of our lives will be left for another year...i burst with pride.

i am honored to know him.

...and i am honored that he is mine.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, It is well, with my soul.

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back like a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Horatio Spafford


meet joelle said...

claim it dear allison and chad. claim it and believe it. for HE know s the plans HE has for you........
my heart is with you at this moment.

Julie Nickerson said...

This made me cry, but your words were beautiful!

Chad is one of the most brilliant, sweetest, kindest, generous and hard working man I know!

We prayed for you all last night and will keep praying for peace and of course that next year-2010-is the YEAR!!!

we love you!!!

heather said...

i can't imagine how hard this road is! sending you guys lots of love.

Anonymous said...

Oh honey I SOBBED as I read thru this, HEARTBREAKING!!! And cried again as I read it to Diane. Oh how we love Chad, he is everything you said and more. As the Lord begins to comfort his heart, I will continue praying. I'm sooo greatful that even thru the pain of disappointment, it IS well w/ your soul. Praise God for His comfort and his soverignty!

Hope said...

I cried reading this, your love for him is beautiful. Then I giggled at the password thing :)

Maybe 2010 is his year, 10 means Divine Perfection in the Bible. My mamma loves numbers and their meanings!

There are 10 commandments (Ex. 20); 1/10 of your income is a tithe; the were 10 plagues on Egypt (Ex. 9:14ff); 10 x 10 silver sockets formed the foundation of the Tabernacle (Ex 38:27); There are 10 "I AM's spoken by Jesus in John: 1) I am the Bread of Life (6:35); 2) I am the Bread of Life which came down from heaven (6:41); 3) I am the Living Bread (6:51); 4) I am the Light of the world (8:12); 5) I am One that bears witness of Myself (8:18); 6) I am the Door of the sheep (10:7,9); 7) I am the Good Shepherd (10:14); 8) I am the Resurrection and the Life (14:6); 9) I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (11:25); and 10) I am the True Vine (15:1,5).

If I didn't believe and have faith that God has a plan...I don't think I would make it from day to day. Sometimes the valleys, sadness, disappointments make us stronger in the end.

Praying for ya'll!


Nina said...

You are a nice and encouraging wife. I just kept saying, "Stupid test!"

God will reward Chad's commitment. I really believe that Allison.

chrissy said...

this nearly made me cry. it's so hard. so so hard. but i'd be proud of him, too! i love that he doesn't give up. it WILL pay off. gosh...it has to. 2010. here we come!!! xoxo

Kelly said...

So heartbreaking Allison. My heart sank and soared all at once as I can't imagine going through something like this and not having the Lord and scripture to claim. In all your ways you are acknowledging the Lord amidst your disappointment, heartache, with your finances and future. Chad is one of the most genuine, kind, generous, loving men I have met. It is his love for you guys that keeps him going. It's good you don't know what to say, it's good you just love him and accept him. He will NEVER "FAIL" at loving you guys.

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