My firstborn was going to college. She didn’t know where. We jumped on a bandwagon of tours a friend was planning, and started big: Pitt, Penn State, U of DE; then medium: West Chester, Millersville, U of Scranton (didn’t even know that one existed)…the list goes on. Fourteen schools visited, applied to, and admitted to later, my daughter decided she didn’t want to go to any of the schools she’d applied to. She wanted small…really small…smaller-than-her-high- school small. Oh boy. It was March, application deadlines were nearly past, and we had to start over. We visited Elizabethtown and Messiah, two great schools that she and I really liked. We went back to U of DE for Admitted Students Day, because I thought she should give it another chance. It was an unusually warm and beautiful day for February. Shops were open, kids were hanging out, the campus was beautiful and she hated it. I did not understand. While there, we went into a store and the girl working there had gone to Elizabethtown and LOVED it. In my mind that had to be a sign. Lexi went to her guidance counselor for guidance and it turned out that her counselor graduated from Elizabethtown. Another sign. I was convinced it must be Elizabethtown. My daughter was not.
There was one school, the farthest one away, that kept coming up in her mind. She applied, got in, and so we visited St. Francis U. It was a beautiful spring day at home: sunny, warm, birds chirping. We drove up the turnpike for hours. We got off the turnpike and started driving into the mountains. It was getting colder. Off in the distance it looked like snow. We drove on. We got closer to the snow. We got farther away from civilization. We reached the campus…on top of a mountain…in the middle of nowhere…yikes! As we toured the campus I was skeptical but my firstborn loved it. I couldn’t understand how she didn’t want to go to U of DE where the sun was shining and kids were riding bikes and there was a Starbucks on the corner. By the time we left, she was nearly ready to commit, but I was having a hard time being supportive. Why didn’t she want the same things I wanted? There was a learning curve for me as I realized that what I liked wasn’t necessarily what she liked. I needed to pray. I knew God would have her best interest in mind. I asked Him to humble me and soften my heart towards my daughter. And mostly to trust in His plan for her…which wasn’t necessarily my plan!
National Decision Day, May 1, was looming. Lexi was struggling between Elizabethtown and St. Francis. I was praying like crazy. She went to visit her guidance counselor once again to weigh the pros and cons. I knew it was her deadline for making a decision so I prayed that God would help me accept His will and that He would give her wisdom. That afternoon I went to the mall and saw a display of necklaces. When I picked one up and looked closer, it had a St. Francis medal on it. A sense of peace washed over me and I knew that wherever my daughter ended up it would be ok…that God would hold her in the palm of His hand. She came home from school and announced her decision: St. Francis U. That tiny little school on top of a mountain, in the middle of nowhere. It was ok, I was at peace.
Fast forward six months. She LOVES St. Francis. She goes to CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), a women’s Bible study, and is set for a missions trip in January. She recently sent me a text that said, “I know this is where God wants me to be.” It is exciting to see how God is working in her life. And it has nothing to do with me. He has His own perfect plan for Lexi and I get to see it unfold. It’s hard to let go of your kids and let them make decisions for themselves. But knowing God loves them even more than I do makes it all so much easier!
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;”