I emailed this yesterday to a few people:
Our first thoughts this morning were of PRAISE and THANKSGIVING!!!
As Ericka's most godly friend, Hannah, likes to say...
"THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES!" Mark 12:11 NASV
It *is* so marvelous! Please saturate the Lord's ear with songs, praises and even dancing before the Lord for His MARVELOUS intervention in Job's life!!!
Indeed, our hearts are STILL dancing and singing along this week...praising the Lord like Moses' sister, Miriam, or like ephod-clad King David of old!!!
What exactly is so praise-worthy? Answered prayer!
Background: We have always solely trusted in the Lord's provision for our kids' education. We trusted Him in the choice to home school, even when the private school at our church offered JDS a full scholarship (unsolicited, of course, since we were planning to home school). We have trusted Him all these years, especially as we navigated the sometimes tumultuous waters of high school. We have trusted Him to lead, guide and direct each of our children's paths to the colleges that they would thrive in attending. And we have most assuredly trusted Him to pave the way with the money to pay for that college, being a single-income family of six.
Fast Forward to last week: John Brown University offered JDS a very good financial aid package in April, which had a deadline of being accepted/rejected around the first week of May. Although it was a very good offer, there was still money unaccounted for to pay for JDS's entire first year and none of us felt a "peace" about accepting without knowing about the rest.
Taylor, JDS's admissions counselor, called again last week for our decision. Simon explained the situation to her, asking the college if it were possible to get the roughly $6500 that still remained unaccounted for. They came back with an additional $4000! What a praise-worthy thing!
Side Note: Part of his financial package depends upon his ability to earn/save $3000 this summer, which he has been doing and is already working increased hours this week (30) without having finished all of high school yet. Another part was his taking out a student loan, which we realize is common. JDS, however, has always been taught the Bible teaches not to get into debt and it was firmly in his heart NOT to do so for college. He just felt that God would provide for where He wanted him to go.
Having small loans our first year of college ourselves, we counseled him to do it, which he reluctantly agreed to do after some persuasion. After all, his parents should know best, right?
After the dust settled, there still remained a tidy sum of $2250 unaccounted for.
Fast Forward to Monday this week: I was at my friend, Hannah's, house loving on her new baby and talking about everything. Once we stumbled onto JDS and college, the tears started flowing. You see, Taylor sent an email last week stating she was out of the office Thur. & Friday, so I KNEW that she would be calling that very day (Monday) for an answer. Since nothing had happened, we were going to have to decline the very generous financial aid for lack of $2250. But to add more onto that, I was wracked with guilt over counseling JDS to take a loan for $2500 when we had always taught him to the contrary. I felt like a hypocrite!
So, I fasted and prayed Monday...fervently prayed. I prayed that the Lord would make it CLEAR to us whether JBU was His choice for JDS or not. I prayed that He would make it obvious, like in Daniel when the hand of God wrote on the wall. I prayed that He would provide the money, as I'd always prayed, if this is the school for JDS. I prayed that He would encourage us by allowing someone else to find JDS "worthy" of the investment. And I prayed specifically that IF this is where God wanted JDS to attend school, that He would provide the combined $4750 so that JDS did not have to go into debt. Big prayers. Specific prayers. Hard prayers.
Around 3:30 or 4 PM, the phone rang. I answered. It was Taylor. I asked her to wait until we could get her on speaker phone so that Simon could be a part of the conversation. She said she had been debating about whether to call today or not until her boss called her to talk about JDS. She said that once she hung up with him, she HAD to give us a call!
Earlier that day, some anonymous person called, committing $4000 to JDS for school, as long as it did not conflict with the financial aid award he had already been given through the school!! In addition, it may be renewable for up all four years of college!!!
I immediately began crying tears of joy...and so did Simon...and Taylor!!! We were a joyful, teary-eyed mess of grown ups praising the Lord together for this great and marvelous answer to prayer, which, by the way, made it quite OBVIOUS where the Lord wanted JDS to attend school, to boot!!!
When all is said and done, the only monies not accounted for are a measly $716, which we are going to help him with.
Fast Forward to mid-June: We are planning to take JDS in a month to JBU (for the first time) for early registration and he will move there in August to begin this next chapter in his life.
Please join us in dancing, shouting and singing praises to our Great God and King!!
And please pray that JDS would experience phenomenal growth in his relationship with the Lord as he walks this new path...just the two of them.