In doctoral studies, it is easy to find oneself isolated in his study carrel, cut off from the outside world. Once he discerns that his specific research interest is shared by a group of persons that can be counted on one hand, the walls of his already diminutive study carrel begin closing in even tighter. 

The past week served an unusually high number of obstacles in my preparation for a Latin proficiency exam—which is required for my advancement in the program. I traveled out-of-state for work, suffered an extremely painful gout flare up, and worked a conference all while battling painful kidney stones. 

Upon mentioning these difficulties via social media, I was moved to tears by the generous outpouring of love and prayer from my friends and family. I cannot communicate how quickly the walls began to expand again and what had felt like an isolated small space became a room full of those encouraging me, cheering me on, and praying for me. 

Your prayers were heard and your encouragement was felt. I managed to complete my exam without much pain in less than the allotted time.

While I have not received news of my grade, I am hopeful. While I am confident that I understood the material in large part, I am not at all certain that I met the minimum requirement of 85%. 

Nonetheless, please know how much I appreciate our friendship and the encouragement you have offered me. My hope is that it does not terminate on me, but that I will, in-turn, be an encouragement to others along the way. 

My prayer is that I can get some of these health issues under control. And while I remain hopeful that I will not have to take the exam again, don’t be surprised in the event that I am in need of your support, encouragement, and prayers again soon!

Thank you so much.


I received word today that I managed to pass the exam! Thank you for your support and prayers.

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