“…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.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
The day started out like most days getting the girls off to school, working around the house, running errands, etc. Little did any of us know that on THIS day, God was about to move in a BIG way. He was about to change the trajectory of my 18-year-old daughter’s life and what she was going to do once she graduated from high school this year.
It was a mid-November day, my cell phone rings and its my oldest, Kaity. Upon answering, I got an immediate exclamation from my daughter saying, “Guess what?!?!?” But before I could finish asking what, she practically yelled, “I just got a phone call from GCU (Grand Canyon University) and I’ve been accepted to go to college there! AND I qualify for an ACADEMIC scholarship!”
Now, normally, this would be a welcome and almost expected announcement since she is a senior and that’s what they do…apply to college. But all I could keep asking myself was, “When did she apply to college and did she really just say she is getting an academic scholarship, too?”
I need to stop for a moment, if I may, and give some background here or you’re going to think I’m crazy for asking those questions!
You see, Kaity was born with a significant learning disability. She also had far-sighted vision with many functionality issues that required extensive vision therapy. Having two educators as parents, we knew pretty early on SOMETHING was wrong, but could not pinpoint the specifics. It wasn’t until the end of second grade before we finally started getting some much-needed answers…and a whole lot of new questions that couldn’t be answered.
So, she most likely WON’T go to college? It’s likely she will always significantly struggle her way through school? She may never read or write proficiently? But if she doesn’t do those things, than what does her future look like? God had been teaching me lessons about holding loosely to my own ideas, dreams and expectations in many areas of my life…and now He was asking me to do the same for my daughter’s.
After the initial shock of it all, and grieving what I thought was every hope and dream I had for my daughter’s future, she and I proceeded to home-school. We worked side by side for the next four years to figure out how she learned, what she needed in order to learn, and what would give her the best hope for success, on her terms, as she moved up through school. It was hard!!!
In middle school she returned to the regular classroom, but most things were still HARD. We chose a private Christian school for high school and for the first time, God gave me a glimmer of hope that this girl of mine had a fighting chance…that she might be able to not only graduate from high school but maybe, just maybe, go on to college. I held my breath, prayed, coached, empowered where I could, and stood back watching as my girl, who could barely write a cohesive sentence or read in second grade was now becoming more and more independent. She was actually FLOURISHING in more ways than academically…socially, emotionally, spiritually she was growing by leaps and bounds!
It’s now her senior year and as Kaity was looking toward her future, she decided that college was NOT going to be a part of it. In her words, “Why would I PAY a huge sum of money for another four years to torture myself?!?!” Could I blame her? Although she had reached a level of success in high school that originally was thought to be out of reach, it was simply something to “get through” so she could finally pursue her own interests. School of Ministry at our church and possibly some photography classes at the local junior college was what she planned after high school and we fully supported that decision.
So How Did She Get Accepted to College???
Kaity had wanted to do a Discovery Weekend at GCU simply because she had several friends already there or going to be there next Fall. She filled out (what she thought was ) the application to be able to go to that weekend and waited to hear back from them to schedule when she would attend.
Fast forward to the day she got the call…
The “application” for the Discovery Weekend was actually the application to get into the college! And the scholarship? Yea, she had managed to maintain a 3.1 GPA and they gave money for that! What about all the college testing she was supposed to do to even apply? Nope! Not required for admission. WHAT?!?!
THEN, God continued to blow us away…because she had been at a Christian HS for her first two years, if she went back and graduated from there, they would give her another big chunk of change to go toward her tuition!!
GOD wasn’t done yet…He was also planning her summer…she landed a PAID internship with a professional photographer in South Carolina on Hilton Head Island!! Within three weeks, she was now heading to college, graduating from her previous high school, and getting paid to work with a photographer doing something she absolutely loves!
Maybe you’re currently in the trenches, where I was 10 years ago, or you’re just starting your journey because you just got word something is “wrong” with your child and you fear the worst. Maybe just getting through the next hour is your hearts cry because you have a strong-willed toddler who refuses to sleep even though he’s exhausted (and so are you!).
You serve El Roi, the God Who Sees, and He knows every detail of your situation. He CHOSE you for this child and the needs that they have, because NO ONE could be the mom your child needs but YOU! It is no accident and no mistake…trust that! We will never be fully equipped for everything we face as a mom, but I promise you, that’s on purpose: to ensure we remain dependent on the One who CAN equip us; to remind us of our constant need for Jesus…
Hindsight is always 20/20 and as I reflect back on all that God has done in the 18 years I’ve been blessed to be Kaity’s mom, I can see much more clearly now. The challenges she has faced were meant to not only prepare her for who He is calling her to be now and in the future, but He has used her life to refine and sharpen me. And I wouldn’t change
One. Single. Thing.
How can I pray for you today? What challenge are you currently facing that you would love to have someone cover in prayer? I had MANY prayer warriors during those years and know they are what helped sustain me. I would count it a privilege and an honor to be one for you…simply comment below…