The hard wooden edge of the small auditorium chair digs into the skin on the back of my legs but I can’t help waiting on the edge of my seat. It’s finally my chance. The principal walks quickly forward in her pumps, a stack of papers cradled in her arms, and she looks tense. She starts with an apology. Not a good sign. The lottery hasn’t even begun, but she is already sorry.
She’s sorry that of the hundreds who are applying, there are only 9 spots open. She’s sorry that we won’t get chosen. She’s sorry that this is just the way it is. And I hang on every word, praying that God would choose Oliver.
And then they begin.
I have my son’s number in my hand and I begin to track the process as they call out from tiny slips of paper, those who will get a spot at the charter school we want to send our boy to for Kindergarten. And those 9 spots fill. And my dreams for a safe, good, and excellent education begin to evaporate in a matter of seconds.
They move to the waiting list drawing and I know that there is still hope for my boy. There are 9 other spots that still may open up during the next few months, and if we get a good position on the waiting list, he might still have a chance. I hold my breath, but not for long.
Waiting list number one child…number two…number three….number four…number 5-and that’s it! My number! He’s number 5 on the waiting list! I’m elated. The principal congratulates me. She assures me that my chances are good, and that I will know by May-but it comes and goes. The office assures me I will know by June, but it comes and goes. The secretary assures me that I will know by July, but it comes and he is now only number 3 on the waiting list. School starts in a short handful of weeks, and I am unsettled to say the least.
I want to know. I want to plan. I want what I feel is the best for my precious 6 year old.
And then I realize what I am doing. I’m not surrendering. I’m trying to control the situation. My mind is counting on a lottery instead of the One who feeds sparrows and commands oceans. And I’m anxious. I’m afraid that God’s ways are not good enough. I have forgotten that my son has his own walk with God and his own journey to be had through life. I have forgotten that God loves Oliver. God has good in store for Oliver. God created good works for Oliver to do before the foundation of the world. God is watching over every hair on Oliver’s head. God knows what is right for Oliver. And for me.
I can surrender my ideal to God’s best.
In the midst of all the things I cannot do for my little boy, I can be unwavering in my trust in God. I need not doubt His path for my son. I can even look with happy expectation for the ways God will bless us through whatever school Oliver will attend. And I can know that in the life of a believer age 36 or 6, nothing happens by chance.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
UPDATE: To see how the our journey ends, read this follow up post!
YOUR TURN!! How do you surrender your kids to God? Are you trying to decide what school to send your child to as well?
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