Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Do not worry about Tomorrow

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt 6:34 NIV

You know that feeling when you want something so bad you can taste it (as the old saying goes)? Something you feel so deep in your soul that you just know it has to happen? I have had several of those moments in my life before and for the past year there has been something that consumed my thoughts. Something that I prayed about every single day, sometimes multiple times a day, for the past year.

In February of 2013 I started to think about Hensley going to kindergarten. Only 19 months before he ever entered kindergarten ( I am a planner ). I started thinking about where he would go and how where he went would effect the rest of his life. Being someone who loved school all my life and also someone who changed schools twice in my life time I knew how that effected me and I didn't want that for Hensley. I wanted a great school and I also wanted him to attend a school district I knew he would stay at through the course of the next 13 years.

I did some research online and quickly learned that the school district  near our home was not exactly exceptional. So my brain started to turn. I Googled my little heart out. Soon I came realize there was a whole other option beside private versus public. I had never myself heard of charter schools but quickly learned the ones in our area were pretty awesome. They were smaller then public schools, privately owned, had lots of one on one opportunities with great technology, with all the great things public schools offer such as sports and after school clubs. And the best part was that they each had what all private schools had with no cost! I couldn't understand at first why more parents I knew weren't putting there children in these schools, and then I realized it wasn't that they weren't trying. The only way to get in was to be lucky!!! Each school held there own private lottery drawing each year to enroll new students. And once I learned how few spots there compared to how many applied each year I was shocked.

Still Andy and I were very curious to see what all the buzz was about. We toured a local charter school in February 2013 and were amazed. It was an outstanding school with a fantastic staff and so many opportunities that just aren't available to public schools. I knew when we left that night from the tour that this was the type of place I wanted Hensley to be. I felt it in my bones. We prayed, we researched, and we prayed some more. I found out that there were many charter schools in our area and they all were pretty great. So instead of picking one and applying I decided to apply to them all and see what happened. Six in total. I believed that with so many around the chances had to be pretty good that we would get accepted to one, at least. There were some we liked more then others, some that were closer, and little things that made some more of a match for us then others but we knew and trusted that God would lead us to the one where Hensley would be his best.

Going back for a moment we went through this similar situation way back in 2010 when I started feeling so strongly that Hensley needed to be in a preschool program. We prayed hard about that issue and were lead to Pleasant Garden Baptist Church, a church we had never been too and knew no one at. I had no idea why I felt so strongly to visit that church and at the time we had never left Hensley with any one but my mom but I felt compelled to take him to the nursery that day and see what it was like. It was very out of character for us to do either one of these things but at the same time it felt so right. We learned that day that they had an amazing preschool program and sign ups were coming up. Hensley has been there ever since and it's been the greatest decision we had ever made.

As March 2014 approached we anticipated the charter school lottery drawings and knew it would be a scary time. We kept the faith and trusted in GOD each and every day knowing he would point us in the right direction and lead us to the best place for Hensley. We knew in our hearts that we had been led down this path for a reason, however that did not stop me from worrying constantly.  As the lottery drawings came and went we were finding ourselves on every waiting list. It was frustrating and sad. There were many times I cried and many times I thought maybe I was trying to make myself believe that we were suppose to be on this path. As the last lottery drawing was held I was a ball of nerves knowing it was our last shot as well as the drawing for the school we sought after the most. Many people had told us not to lose faith just because we were on the waiting list because those people get called all the time for open spots. It was a nice idea but being 24 on the list and even higher at some other schools (124, 211, etc) was very disheartening.

Driving away from the final school drawing that day I was emotionally drained. The past year this subject had taken over my thoughts and worries. And the past month had consisted of disappointments one after another. We were number 24 on the waiting list. The lowest number on any of the waiting lists we were on. But this school was smaller, only 44 in the two kindergarten classes. All I could think was that there was no way 23 other people would pass up a spot at this amazing school in order to give Hensley a chance. I cried leaving the lottery that warm March afternoon. I knew all the drawings were over. It was time for plan B. However I no idea what that plan would be.

Crushed. That's the word I would use to describe me from that day forward. For a few weeks I just let it all set in. That this dream was over. That my gut was wrong this time.

Then Andy and started talking about other options and even decided during one conversation to just let him attend the local (not so fantastic) school district and try again next year for charter schools. This decision never felt right. It never settled with me. I knew it just wasn't what was meant to be. I starting filling out paper work to get a change in public school districts and we even considered moving, which had always been in the back of our minds to do anyway, and started looking at houses. I knew it was going to be a long summer leading up to the Fall when this journey would really begin for us. Still we prayed. For guidance. For peace with what all had happened. For strength. We prayed and we trusted.

This past Thursday Hensley and I did our usual routine of coming home from preschool and letting him check the mail. "Just junk", he said as he handed me the mail. This was his usual response the mail unless a package or colorful envelope arrived. As soon as I looked at who it was addressed to my heart started beating. TO THE PARENT OF HENSLEY WHITT, it read. Not a usual envelope. I glanced at the top left corner to see the return address, CLOVER GARDEN CHARTER SCHOOL. eeeekkkkkK!

I ripped open that letter faster then the speed of light!! I only had to read the first line....."This letter is to formally announce the acceptance of your child Hensley Cole Whitt into Clover Garden Charter School."

This was it. The moment we prayed for. The moment I knew deep in my soul would happen. I had questioned myself and I had doubted my gut but never during this whole process I never stopped trusting GOD. After all this time of feeling like I was carrying a huge boulder, it finally felt like someone had taken it out of my hands.

And I cried.

I cried because I was so happy. So relieved. So thankful.

I am no longer dreading the upcoming school year. We are excited. So excited!

I think we are all to quick to give up on a dream or a prayer and as much as we WANT to trust GOD I have learned that if we truly trusted him with all our heart we would never have a day or worry in our lives. SO even though I trust in Him and love him and know he will never leave me nor forsake me I pray nightly for my trust in him to grow strong enough that I never have another day of worry in my life.

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