God’s Got This

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Back to School

Back to school commercials. The sounds of band practice as I drive by the high school. Stopping for runners to cross the street as they train for cross-country season. Teacher friends posting pictures of their classrooms they’ve  set up for the new year. And, the list could go on that indicate that it is time for students to head back into the classroom.

Reminisce

Drew preschool

As I see these events take place, I reminisce the days of getting my son, Drew ready for school. From the first time he stepped on the school bus as a kindergartener to the time he graduated from college, flashes of pictures and years go through my mind.  I recall the many prayers said for Drew especially the first time he drove our car out of driveway as a licensed driver.

Drew running

Letting Go

Not only are teachers preparing classrooms and parents getting the school supply lists, there are parents who are preparing to take the next step with their child. This step is crossing the threshold of being at home over to the threshold of college days and their child being on their own. It is a very nail-biting time for most parents in this category.  The parent knows it is time to let go but also to be concerned and wary about the things of this world that their child will be exposed to.

 

I know all about the excitement and the butterflies that are taking place in families faced with this new season of life. As the saying goes, “been there, done that and got the t-shirt. After years of activities from late night homework and completing class projects to the countless cross-country events and practices, it was time for Drew to take the next adventure. There were all kinds of questions, and scenarios that would go through my head. Yet, I knew that I had given Drew all the things I could give him and it was time to let him go and place him in the Father’s hands.

Once Jim and I got Drew moved into his college dorm, we said our good-byes. Yes, I held back the tears until we got in the car. Although Western Kentucky University was only an hour drive from our home, it was  the longest hour of my life. As we drove home, I said a prayer asking God to guide Drew. I asked God to place good Christian friends/influences into Drew’s path as he attended college.

Drew

Meanwhile back at WKU, Drew made his way to the locker room at the athletic building. He was scouting out where he would have to be for cross-country training. As he was looking around, a guy who was in his sophomore year approached Drew. He introduced himself ( Mike). Mike asked Drew if he needed anything. Drew told him that he was just checking out the facility and that he was a walk-on for the cross-country/track team. Mike shared that he was a runner as well and would be one of his teammates and showed him some of the ropes.

In this process, the prayer I was saying in the car was being answered.  As Drew and Mike’s conversation progressed, Mike asked Drew where would he be going to church the following Sunday. Drew really didn’t have an answer.  Mike said, “you will be going with me.”  From that point on, there was no question as to where Drew was on Sunday mornings. Not only did Mike keep Drew involved in worship while at college, he gave Drew tips on how to study the scriptures. Drew and Mike began a Bible Study among their teammates. Drew also became involved in Campus Crusade. Prayer answered.  Six years after meeting Mike on that first afternoon at Western, Mike stood as Drew’s best man at Drew’s wedding.

To the Parents

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I share this story/testimony because it is uncharted territory for you and your college student.  These are the years where unconditional love and listening become so important. Yes, during these years, there were many times I had to bite my tongue because Drew wasn’t doing things they way I thought they should be done.  However, Drew learned to figure things out without Mom or Dad standing there telling him what to do. Also, it was the tough times and decisions that God was molding Drew into the man that he is today.  As hard as it is, I encourage you to let go and place your college student into the Father’s hands and trust.  One needs to surround them with prayer and your child needs to know that you will be there in an instant if they need you. Trust me, they will let you know at 2:00 AM that they need you.

To The Students

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To the college student, I share this with you to encourage you, to remember who you are, and that you do represent your family.  I encourage you to seek out friends that will encourage you on your faith journey.  Not only seek Godly friends but continue to respect your parents. After all, they did raise you and got you to where you are thus far. Also, don’t roll your eyes because Mom wants to straighten your bed or freshen up your dorm room on those first few visits. Just let her sweep or whatever she wants to do because this is the only love language in action that she has known for years. As time goes on, she will learn to arrive and simply visit without wanting to fold your laundry.  If Mom or Dad give advice on a certain topic, don’t be defensive but simply listen. Your parents have been around the block a couple of times. Although their ride around the block may be vastly different from the block you are traveling around, there may be some guidance and wisdom in what they are sharing with you. And, realize in a couple of short hours they will be gone.

Into The Father’s Hands

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From the first day of pre-school/kindergarten to the first day of college, it is hard seeing your babies step into that big world. It is a world of unknowns for them and for you. Even though it is a world of unknowns, it is important to remember that you  have an all-knowing God. He has plans for your child’s future. You  simply have to place that future into the Father’s hands and allow Him to guide them.  You also need to place yourself into the Father’s hands and ask God to guide you and give the wisdom you need on this journey as well. It does not matter if it is the very first day of kindergarten or college, God’s got this!

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm youplans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

Blessings,

April

 

 

 

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Full Cirlce

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

Give It Time It Will Come Back Around

We’ve all heard the saying; “give it time it will come back around.” Or, ” life has a way of coming full circle.” Most times when we hear or say these phrases we are referring things of our culture that were once popular and  went out of style. Yet some of these things come back around to another generation.

The Backdrop

Recently, I have seen life actually come full circle in our family. My father was pastor of Union United Methodist Church when my brother, Max was a pre-teen and I was in high school  Our family was blessed with four and a half years of being involved in ministry with this church family.  Max and I both experienced significant  milestones while at this church.  As always, it was hard telling this church family good-bye as Dad was called to another assignment in his ministry.

Full Circle

After many years of working security jobs for various companies, my brother received the call into ministry.  He has currently completed nine years of serving his first church. As his ministry was coming to completion at this church, life came  full circle for my brother. Max’s  new placement is Union United Methodist Church. Yes, life has come full circle not only for Max but for me as well.  It warms my heart that God has led Max and his family to this church family that loved on Max, my parents and me so many years ago.

I see this journey that my brother and his family are now taking is not really a new beginning but a continuation of a ministry that began thirty-five  years ago with Dad at the helm. Max has taken the helm  and is carrying out a legacy of love, grace and sharing the gospel just as my dad did those thirty-five years ago at Union.

Setting The Stage

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Reflecting on how these events have come full circle, I reminisce how God has been setting the stage my brother for this assignment. When I look back I can see God’s hand in all that has happened with Max’s faith journey. I can also see how Max has fully trusted God and God’s leading over the years.  Through the things Max has done and experienced, God was preparing Max and his family for this assignment for this particular time in their lives and for the Union church family.

Trust God’s Plan

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Yes, life does come full circle. There are paths we each take with a purpose or specific goal in mind. However, as the saying goes; “we make plans and God laughs!”. Yes, God may have a specific place or assignment for you but it may not be in the time of which you think it will be. God has a way of taking each of us down different roads and even some detours before the purpose he has for us is fulfilled.

God’s Leading and Our Obedience

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There are times we are directed down the  roads we didn’t think we would take. It is during these times  we  need to stay in tuned to God’s leading and voice. Yes, these detours we take can be frustrating at times. It is when we go down these  paths that we have the opportunity to see where God is leading us.  He is preparing us for the mission He has planned for us. God sets the stage and He also prepares us before we approach the destination.   Who knows, life can come full circle just as it happened to Max.

Reflection

Where is God leading you? Are you trusting God? Are you seeking and receiving the blessings God is giving you on the journey to your destination?