Shh! It’s A Secret!

Sept_ 2013 Swearing In 102I have been quiet for the last few months. Which is not like me at all. But I’ve been mulling some things over in my mind. I just wasn’t sure how to proceed. In fact, I’d say right now I am just going to muddle through. So this blog is a muddle.

Let’s start with telling you about my summer. I spent it in bar study. I studied numerous subjects in preparation for an extremely hard test. Except apparently I studied enough, or right or something because it didn’t seem all that hard. And I passed. The first time I took it.

I had a hard time studying as much as I should have. We all say that though. But I really did. I had so much going on in my mind besides for bar study.

First, I was worried that I wouldn’t pass. I think everyone worries that they won’t pass. Even some of my besties, who did way better in law school than me, were worried. But after the bar, after it didn’t seem all that hard, I still worried.

Second, I worried that I would pass. Because then I’d have to leave the cocoon of academia and go to work. I’d be responsible for people’s lives and cases and families, and that is a big responsibility. What if I couldn’t make enough money? What if I opened a law office and the clients didn’t come? Scary!

Third, what if I passed the bar and the State Bar Association said no. See, I wasn’t the shoo-in like everyone else. I have a past. Yeppers, in case you haven’t figured it out by reading my blog, I do have a past. I am a felon. (Saying that in public is scary – what if YOU judge me). I was a drug addict. I did things that were wrong. I went to prison and did my time. I got out, eventually got clean and went to college. College was the first thing I was ever good at. So I stayed for seven years. Four years of undergraduate studies and three years of law school. I almost wish I could stay in school forever.

Back in 2009, when I decided to go to law school, I knew becoming a lawyer would be a tough row to hoe. Maybe I didn’t know how tough, but I knew it would be hard. I remembered watching movies of former felons becoming lawyers so I knew it was possible. In 2010, I even called a few bar associations to find out if it was possible. It was, maybe not easy but it was possible. I always knew I could do it academically. I never really worried about flunking, because I firmly believe, even to this day, that if you are living the life that God has called you to live that He will honor your efforts if they are YOUR best efforts.

But when I was studying for the bar I didn’t know if I’d be approved. I had one hearing in March, 2013, before the Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners, and they had said “we want to know more. Come back later.” So while I was studying for the bar, there was the underlying realization that I could have been doing all this work, all this bar studying for naught. I didn’t even know when I’d have the hearing. That was scary.

But I trusted God. I trusted that if I passed the bar, they’d say yes. Well, for the most part. I had my moments of doubts. I kept plugging away. I also reminded myself that there were a lot of other states. But it did make bar study more difficult. I could have just been throwing away my time. But then I remembered that God is a good God, and that I didn’t believe that He had brought me this far to let me fall that hard. He’s not mean like that. So I kept studying. Just in case you missed what I said, God is not mean!

Then after the bar a lot of little things happened. I was able to transfer my home phone (with a local phone number) to my phone account. I believe clients want to call you on a local phone number. Up until the last few months AT&T (my cell phone carrier) would only allow five phone numbers on an account. But they changed it – just in time for me!

Then I found a Groupon for Vista Print. That’s a sign right? Why would I need business cards if I wasn’t going to be an attorney? The building where I have an office had an opening occur just before the bar results and they hadn’t had an opening in over a year. Then, I found out my hearing was going to be held the day the bar results came out. So then I felt sure it would be alright. So sure that I told a few people that I was sure. Publicly, I still said “if I pass the bar,” but mostly I felt as if God was saying it would be alright.

So the day came. Results and hearing. I passed and they said yes. I cried. A little bit. And texted everyone. But then Satan stepped in. He tried so hard to plant more seeds of doubt in my head. On one hand, I believed everything was going to be alright.  I ordered those business cars, set up a web site, etc. But I still felt like the rug could be pulled out from under me. I was afraid the bar would declare this was all a colossal mistake and change their mind.

Then the day came. I was sworn in. It was real. I opened my law office and so far, I have seven clients. On one hand, I’m afraid that people won’t come if I tell my story. On the other hand, how can I not tell my story? God did this. God cleaned me up and gave me a dream. God let me believe that He could carry me this far. So, if I keep my mouth shut, I am denying all His work in me. Cause this is not me. This is His work.

I must admit I did cooperate. I will give myself props for that because I did let Him work. This past week I was in Court and I was asked if I was an attorney. And then someone told me that I had the attorney look. Me. I looked like an attorney. Because of His work in me. So I guess I’m coming out. Here, on this blog. Much like a person who is gay tells their family, or an alcoholic says in AA. I’m acknowledging His work in me. And today, I can acknowledge, that I think His work has been good.



About michellerap

Today I find my identity in God. I use to find my identity in externals, like motherhood, being a lawyer, etc. But that's not who I am. I am redeemed and wholly loved and precious in His sight. First and foremost, this is who I am. The other things are part of me, but they do not define me. God does. My job as a Christian is not to judge people but to show them the heart and hands of Christ. I am to show mercy and grace. And someday, when I am an attorney, I hope I can help those God puts in my path to find justice. I am a mother of four and a grandmother of nine. I am proud of each of them. I also have three dogs. I am lawyer who loves what I do. I am also Gluten-Free and any recipe I publish is GF. It's the only way I cook.
This entry was posted in God's Will, Healing, Inspirational Stories, Overcome, Thankfulness, Trust. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Shh! It’s A Secret!

  1. Terry Reed says:

    Michelle: Everyone who knows you is so very proud. Your experiences will make you a better lawyer. It’s kind of like at church…it’s not necessary to have committed some sin to help people through their’s, but it sure can help you understand where they are coming from! If I ever am in need I know who I’m gonna call!

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