This weekend we are at a crossroads. Our daughter, Jill, did not perform as she had hoped in her accounting class, and she is now concerned about the need to change her major from business to something else. But what else? That's the big question on the sign at the crossroads where we find ourselves now standing.
I say "ourselves" because it is her Daddy and I who are funding the four year training course otherwise known as college. And we, like most parents these days, are finding that the money tree outside is more like the money branch or the money seedling than anything else. Oh, we have paid private school tuition for the better part of the last two decades, and you'd think that this outlay would prepare us for the money pit that is also known as college. And that is where you would be wrong.
So, I did what every good hovering, panicked, running on fumes in the financial arena does when presented with information of this nature and I started looking at potential occupations for my little precious. Granted, she is going to do exactly the same thing that I am doing and it will be her decision, but I couldn't stand the suspense of not knowing just how close to the brink of disaster we'd be if she decided to change horses in midstream. The answer - thankfully - is "not too bad". Most of what she has taken to date has been either a general studies class or could cross up for something else (ie economics can count in the same category as psychology.)
Now I am waiting for her to ask the burning question...and that is "what do you think I should do?" And to this there is no correct answer. This is that grand crossroads where you have to accept that you may train them up in the way that they should go...but there comes a point where they have to believe in themselves and trot off in a direction for better or worse.
I have always been fascinated by that bible verse by the way...Proverbs 22:6. I've always thought that it meant with regard to a Christian upbringing, but I think it may be more than that. I somehow believe that it means that we - as parents - are to help discover and encourage the natural talents and abilities which God infused into the little beings in our care. We are to look for their passions and temperaments as well as their natural abilities to steer them toward something that will eventually allow them to support themselves while giving them the ability to be used by God for kingdom work at the same time. I should have gone into an English or journalism major...but I settled on business. What I now do is write for a living...at a bank. Interesting.
With Jill, I see a beautiful, organized, efficient girl. She loves her family, friends and animals. She can memorize anything...and is literal, honest, and able to express herself. She hates being the center of attention (although she is beautiful and doesn't like being ignored either), will not sing in public (although she adores music), and manages her money well (she goes directly to the sale rack). She is not interested in fame, following a dream, or seeing the world. She will make a wonderful wife one day as she isn't spoiled in a negative way and she is one of the most loyal people I know. As a mother...she will be patient and will provide the perfect combination of stability, reliability and love that children need to feel grounded.
She would be content to be the center of someone's world, raise children, and figure it all out in her own time. But you know...sometimes you have to figure it out now and trust that the pieces will fall into place later on. We'll see if she is she will stay in the business school, move to education, or even public relations. I have no idea which will best suit her...but God does.
Funny how we make our plans sometimes and we carry on until we get to a crossroads. Perhaps it is a serious disappointment, the realization that Plan A is not in the cards, or because someone has told us that there are limited funds and time is running out. It may be a layoff, a family change, or a move to a new locale. And when we get to the fork in the road...it is then that we decide to look up.
We are currently praying that Jill will make the choice that will take her not only in the direction of her dreams...as undisclosed as they appear to be right now...but in the direction that will lead her to God's best instead of having to watch her loop back around to it after spending some time in the desert. Time is precious...and I don't want her wasting any of that treasure.
This weekend...you'll find us sitting on a bench just outside the crossroads. It isn't my favorite spot, but perhaps one day, it will make perfect sense that we decided to dwell here awhile. But ultimately, I will have to leave her on the bench to wrestle this tiger alone. And from what I know of my girl...she will be victorious. She'd better be...the money tree is looking a little pekid...