With a decision made regarding Josiah, Asher, & Esperansa’s schooling we then began to discuss what to do with Karunia, who would be beginning high school.
The day we’d visited the elementary and middle schools and returned home discussing how pleased and surprised we were you could see her guard going up. When we commented that perhaps we should at least go visit the high school she balked. Later that afternoon she clearly explained to my mom all the reasons she couldn’t go to the public school, parroting back to her every reason she’d ever heard us discuss with each other (and some with her) over the past year plus as to why we needed to put the kids in a private school.
We tried to way-lay her fears. We explained how we’d been wrong in our assumptions and that the public schools were going to be flexible and could accommodate us. We tried to assure her we’d be able to get to know her teachers, that people would be willing to help, and that she would be able to make friends. She didn’t relent. Her fears and concerns could not be laid to rest.
We went to visit the school and talk with a guidance counselor. Dan and I were once again pleased, despite not being able to tour the school on that visit since testing was in session. Karunia wasn’t impressed.
We were torn. We could force her to go to the public school, but we know our daughter and she’s strong willed just as Dan and I are. Of course she couldn’t disobey if we told her she was going to the public school but she most certainly could develop a bad attitude and refuse to enjoy the school year. She could most make everyone miserable. She could resent us for that.
We force our children to do so many things (rightly so – we are parents and in that process there are obviously times we must make our children do things they don’t want to do), but was this an area we needed to force.
One night, in the middle of the night, Dan woke up (because I’d thrown all the bed covers on him and he was sweating to death) and couldn’t get back to sleep. As he prayed about Karunia’s schooling he clearly felt the Lord speak to his heart, “allow her to choose. Show her all the options, ask her to pray about it and allow Me to direct her.”
So the next morning we told her she could choose. That we were going to take her to visit the four options in town. That we wanted her to pray about it and then tell us where she wanted to go (and why).
We visited the small Christian school option – the one she was so convinced was where she needed to be. She was completely and thoroughly unimpressed. We visited another small private school. We then went to the catholic high school. Karunia liked it. Dan and I did also.
I confess what I saw as the main advantage over the public school was simply that it wasn’t as big but still offered the advantages of a full school. Personally I wasn’t sure I felt that advantage was worth the cost of tuition but we’d entrusted the decision to her. The next day we re-visited the public school, this time being able to get a tour. She did confess it wasn’t as big as it appeared but other than that comment we couldn’t discern anything.
A few weeks went by. Finally Karunia came to tell Dan she’d made her decision. She said she wanted to go to the public high school. Dan asked her why. How pleased and proud we felt with her response. She said she felt God wanted her to attend the public school so that she might be able to tell people there about Mozambique and more importantly about Christ. She wanted to attend the public school that she could be a light.
Did I say we were proud? Proud of our eldest for wanting to be a light. Proud of her for not succumbing to fears that she might have trouble making friends and connecting with people in a large school. Proud that she truly took the opportunity to choose on her own and really prayed it through and allowed the Lord to lead her heart.
She’s growing up. We pray she continues to allow the Lord to lead her. We trust he’ll honor this decision and that she’ll have a great semester. We pray she can be a light!