Five years ago, I moved to Los Angeles. (I have since moved back to Australia.) At first, I used my Australian license, but as time moved on, I realized that I needed to get a license from the State of California.

When I got my first driving license in Australia, I passed with flying colors. As such, I wasn’t nervous about taking this new test, even though my personal life was going through shaky ground. Unfortunately, I made some errors and failed. I was upset at myself and lost some of my confidence.

A few weeks later, II was upset at myself and lost some of my confidence again went for another test. This time I was very nervous, lost my composure and ended up driving on the wrong side of the road. What an epic fail!

Now I was feeling pretty down and miserably anxious. I had no vision of ever being able to successfully pass this test. Still, my father always taught me that we are not “give-uppers”; we keep at it. So a few weeks later, off again I went to the DMV for my third round.

I was greeted by a lovely, older woman. She looked me up and down and asked me, “You’re a mother, right?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said. “I’ve got four children.”

She continued, “Do you drive them to school?”

“Yes, I do!” I proudly answered.

“So,” she said, “there is no reason why you keep failing. You listen to me: Today, you are going to succeed! You will pass! Do you understand?!”

She continued, “I can see you are very nervous.” (It was hard not to notice my sweaty face.) “Calm down, breathe deeply, be confident in yourself and trust in G‑d. He will help you succeed.”

I passed my driving test with flying colors! Not one mishap or mistake.

Sometimes, we need someone to point out to us what we know is true. I learned a simple lesson that day: Believe in G‑d, have confidence in yourself as G‑d’s beloved child, and you will pass with flying colors, too!

‘Strength and Joy Are in His Place’

Here’s another anecdote ...

Every Thursday while living in Los Angeles, I would go grocery shopping at Smart & Final. There was one check-out lane that I tried to go to every time. It was not the fast lane; nor was it the self-checkout lane. It was a lane that was served by a lovely woman who, when you were finished paying, would look into your eyes and wish you a G‑d blessed day! I really believe that my day was different after her blessing.

We recite every day in our prayers, “The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food at the proper time. ... You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”

In life, we need to look to G‑d expectantly, trusting that He will give us what we seek. We need to have a vision of what we need, believing in ourselves and trusting that G‑d will provide. With our trust and action come an abundance of clarity, confidence and composure to achieve.

We need to face our challenges head on withWe need to face our challenges head on with faith faith. When we are scared, it’s because our faith has weakened. When we start to feel low or sad about ourselves or when we have a thought which keeps ruminating in our head relentlessly, most often it’s not coming from the side of good, but rather trying to pull us down. “Strength and joy are in His place,” says the Psalmist. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and know that you come from a place of strength and joy!

The first prayer we say upon waking up is modeh ani, thank you G‑d for having mercifully restored my soul back to me. It ends with “your faithfulness is great.” G‑d has faith in us. He believes we are worthy of being born and reborn everyday anew. He believes that we can do what we are tasked with because His spark is within us—and that can never be removed, no matter what.

As the driving instructor taught me, believe in yourself, have confidence, and most of all, trust in G‑d. Anxiety is leaving things to nature, while emunah (“faith”) is putting it in G‑d’s hands.