I remember so vividly that one purposeful, strong knock on the front door of my house. I was finishing up my senior year of high school, graduating with honors at the top of my class and looking at a significant scholarship to a school I did not want to attend. The afternoon was unlike any other, and yet little did I know, my entire life would be changed by the visitor standing at my door that day.
My family had only lived in Florida a couple of years, selling most of our belongings and leaving Michigan in order to provide a better climate for my younger sickly brother to live. During those two years, my family began attending church, I became a Christian, got involved with the youth group and desperately wanted to attend a Christian College about an hour from home. Of course, I had no way of paying for it, no license or transportation and most of all, my parents were against it. They had already decided that I would be taking advantage of the scholarship I had earned. It seemed reasonable to everyone except for me.
What I was not aware of was the fact that a friend of mine had been working behind the scenes. He had explained my deep desire to attend to one of his professors, who in turn took it upon himself to pay my family a visit, unannounced (Coincidence? I think not). The element of surprise was just what was needed. My parents received him politely and listened to all the college had to offer an eager young college student. The classes were rigorous, the professors top notch, and the environment was perfect for growth and maturing. However, I knew the cost was still substantial for a family with four other children.
The words which floated out of the professor’s mouth next were unbelievable to me. A private donor had already stepped forward and was willing to pay all college expenses not just for one year, but for all four years! I was astounded, elated and it utter shock! If only I could remember the look on the face of this professor as he watched the emotions unfold in the living room of complete strangers that afternoon. He knew nothing of the difficult dynamics of my home, of the desperate desire of a young girl to be be free to grow and belong. He certainly had not heard the persistent tearful prayers raised up to a God I had not known long but trusted to hear my cries for help and change. To have stayed in the situation I was in would have been too much for me, but by myself, I was powerless to change my circumstances.
In one swift hour of one spring afternoon, my God had used one caring professor to answer the prayers (too many to count) of one desperate young woman. My life was forever changed by that professor, who later would become one of my favorite professors and whose sacrifice has become one of those precious, valuable gifts I have chosen to keep in the inventory of my heart. His is one of the letters of thanks I have written this week, in hopes of blessing him in some small way.
With the goal of this first week of my Luke 2:52 Project to regain a hopeful, optimistic perspective, it is fitting to begin where it all really began for me, with a thankful heart and the dream of an adventure!