Some people love to make decisions. It comes easily for them. I have one son who, when he had money in his pocket, wanted to go right away to the toy store so he could spend it on whatever he fancied. I have another who would walk the aisles, mulling, thinking, considering, and then walk out without anything because he couldn’t decide which thing he wanted.
That decision-making process only gets more difficult as time goes on, and the biggest is right around the corner: college.
My mind spins when I think about all the decisions coming up quickly for my eldest. And all the tasks: SAT, ACT, Air Force Academy application, senate nominations, college applications, ROTC scholarships, etc., etc., etc. It’s overwhelming. What if he doesn’t have a high enough GPA? How do I motivate him to study? How many times should he take the SAT? What if we do something wrong in the Academy application? Will that ruin his chances? And how in the world are we going to pay for college if he doesn’t get into the Academy or get a major scholarship?
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matt. 6:25-34).
Ahhhh. Isn’t that just like our Heavenly Father to comfort us with the equivalent of “I’ve got this.” The decisions still have to be made, and the tasks still have to be completed, but the weight is not on us. Do your part; trust God with the results. I don’t have to fear that my son won’t get into the Air Force Academy. If that’s the ultimate plan for him, he’ll get there—not by sitting and waiting for God to move, mind you, but by working diligently and trusting God.
It’s such a delicate balance: work and faith. You want to trust God for a job, but you can’t sit in your recliner waiting for bosses to come knocking. You want to know where God wants you to go to college, but an acceptance letter isn’t just going to magically appear in your mailbox.
I think what God wants is for us to walk closely with Him every day, to talk to Him about everything, and trust that He’s got our future under control. Do I know where the finances are going to come from to send my kids to the colleges of their choice? No. Not completely. But we started college funds for them, we encourage them to do their best in school, and we’ll apply for financial aid and every scholarship for which they qualify.
And we’ll leave the results to God.
One of the hardest things for me when the kids were juniors & seniors in high school was to let them (mainly the boys) take care of the things that they needed to do around college applications, tests, etc. I helped them, of course, stay on task and be aware of deadlines, etc. but really, ultimately, it was their responsibility. Most high schools have college & career centers and it’s a really good idea to encourage kids to visit them regularly and get to know the advisers. Simon did that without my even really knowing and he got himself an internship at Microsoft his senior year because of it. And now, my main responsibility is to pray for and encourage my college student a lot and fill out the FAFSA every January.
Yes, that’s true! I have permission to remind him of deadlines, and I gave him a to-do list of deadlines, but the rest is up to him. The Academy Liaison Officer won’t even talk to the parents. They want to know it’s all coming from the kid. Having aunts and uncles praying too is a good idea :-).