Mission Impossible

Although my title may conjure images of Tom Cruise wielding weapons and women through a film franchise, it is not what I want to talk about (yet!  I’m just now watching these movies for the first time…a post may very well be coming…)

No, I am returning (once again) to the topic of education.  More specifically, higher education.  This is the story of how God has directed my path over the last few months.  It has proven that not even the bureaucracy of our Nations educational system is too much for my God to handle.

Back in March, God laid it on my heart to NOT rush out of the States right away, but to stay and study here a while instead.  At the time I simply assumed that I’d attend community college for a while, get general course work out of the way, then transfer somewhere ‘bigger’.  I knew I couldn’t afford anything else!

Knowing that community college was imminent, I didn’t feel any pressing need to take a formal test.  (Refer back to previous posts for more thoughts, if you dare!)  So, no ‘prerequisite’ tests!  Well, that was my plan before my sister (Sierra) came up to me one day and said “By the way, you’re signing up to take the ACT with me and my friend.”  Okay then!

Fast forward about a month.  Just a random Friday, bumming around the house, working on homework, hanging out.  Pretty relaxed stuff, until I remembered that I was taking the ACT the next day!  Cue the panic.

After studying for about four hours I just gave up and handed the results over to God.  “I’m not going to need the scores anyway, because I’ll be going to community college” I told myself.  And up in heaven, God was laughing at me and my foolish assumptions.

Another month and a half go by.  I’d been *officially* accepted into community college (do they even reject people?).  And God pulled one of His I-won’t-let-you-get-away-from-this-topic things.

A university that I hadn’t even remembered hearing about before starting showing up EVERYWHERE!  I have friends going there, I met strangers going there, I saw commercials and heard ads on the radio.  Random people would bring it up when it didn’t fit into the conversation!  From complete anonymity to extremely in-your-face.  So I started looking into it…

I called the university to see what it would take to transfer in after a few years of community college.  They said, “Hey, well, why not go ahead and put in an application right now?  Do it over the phone.  We’ll waive the application fee!”

After giving them all my information, I remembered that a friend of mine going had just received a full-tuition academic scholarship.  When I asked about it, they said that I had to receive the scholarship the fall semester right after I graduated from high school, so I needed to send in the paperwork for it right away.

This happened THREE WEEKS AGO.  My friend had been awarded one of the last of these scholarships months ago.  But (thanks to much harassing from that particular friend) I finally overnighted the forms needed (thank you, Dad, for giving me the $20).

I got a letter in the mail telling me that I was accepted into the university – apparently no small feat – but I wouldn’t even consider going without this full-tuition scholarship.  How could I?  So I put it before God – a ‘fleece before the Lord’, if you will.  God if you want me to go to this school, let me know.  Please allow this scholarship to be the deciding factor in all of this.

But how could I possibly get this scholarship?  All the priority deadlines had passed months ago, I was way past late.  Talk about the eleventh hour!  Somewhere around 11:58…

Monday the 8th I was supposed to go to my community college and register for classes.  It had only been about a week since I sent in the scholarship forms, so I hadn’t heard anything about it yet.  Inner turmoil ensued!  Do I go ahead and register for classes then try to cancel them if I get the scholarship?  Do I wait to see if I get the scholarship before registering?  Will I know in time?  Is there even a chance I’ll get the scholarship? 

When I tried to call the community college to talk to them about it and explain my situation, nobody answered the phone.  I checked my email to see if they sent me the confirmation code for my appointment to register for classes, but it wasn’t there.  Nobody ever sent it.  I tried to call them again (14 times, to be exact), trying different departments.  No answer.

Okay, fine.  I’ll just drive over and talk to someone in person.  Sierra and I were going to swing in the library on the way to return some stuff and pick up a few more things.  It was 3 o’clock, and I had to be at the college by 5 if I wanted to talk to someone.  Well, ‘swinging in’ is apparently a flexible term.  I returned some movies and picked out three books, but when I got in the car, it was 4:50.  It takes ten minutes to get from the library to the community college.  Needless to say, I was livid.

Sierra just turned to me and said “I know you don’t want to hear this right now, but God has a plan in all of this.  Trust that He’s in control.”

I didn’t want to hear it all right!  I had already been struggling with going to community college (read my previous post, Weak and Foolish).  After months of warring with my pride, I’d finally accepted what I saw as the next step in God’s will for my life.  He’s telling me to stay here.  Isn’t community college what I’m supposed to do?

And the next day (Tuesday the 9th), we left.

Having to go away for a week, the week, that I was supposed to find out if I got the scholarship or not was torture.  Building a house out in the country, no internet, practically no phone.  I couldn’t register for classes.  I didn’t know if I was going to be able to attend this university.  I just. Didn’t. Know.

So then, after I *thought* I had surrendered every bit of my pride, I had to give up more.  I had already handed over the ability to make the choice, now I had to lose control of even knowing what the ultimate decision would be!

With my type-A personality, I know that I have a fleshly need to control situations – to deal with everything myself.  The result of my flesh struggle is that most of my refining trials involve surrender and trust.  Complete surrender of my pride and desires and trusting that God (in His ultimate wisdom and sovereignty) will do the very best thing for me.  And as simple as that sounds, it is so hard.  The moment I think I’ve laid everything down, God shows more junk hiding just under the surface.

With extreme prayer and supplication I came to a place of accepting the situation God placed me in.  Of thanking Him for being in control when I had no power whatsoever.  Remembering that He loves me and will do what is ultimately best.

Of peace.

And on Tuesday, July 16th (just two weeks after I sent in the shot-in-the-dark-application) I received an email telling me that I qualified for the full-tuition academic scholarship.

Full-tuition for four years. 

The GPA I ended up with because I was able to take a year off while I was so sick (homeschooling is the best).  The ACT score I got even though I didn’t study and didn’t care.  One of the scholarships being available only a month and a half before school starts.  And the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE ON MY SIDE!

I still have to come up with several thousand dollars a semester for room and board and books.  But what is that in the face of Jehovah Jireh?  The Lord always provides.  And now He’s done it again!

When I turned in my application for this university, and for the scholarship I thought it was impossible.  How could it ever happen?  And bigger than that, how could I ever lay down my pride, desires, expectations, and control of the situation?  Definitely impossible.  Mission impossible.

But with God, nothing is impossible.



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