Sometimes God leads by circumstances.
So Blondechick is attending Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. It's a private Christian college that's not too difficult to get into, it's close to home, and she got a voice scholarship. Overall, it's been a good experience for her, but we have had to question whether it's worth the hefty price tag. Papa R's income is high enough that we get little aid other than loans, and what we are expected to pay is far more than we can afford on a pay-as-you-go basis (especially after she switched her major and lost $1,000 a semester).
Up till now, God has provided us with lump sums--through bonuses, tax returns, a gift, the sale of our camper--that have paid the bill each semester. Five semesters in a row, including B21's year there, and each time, it has seemed like clear direction from God, that the money was provided.
For this next semester, we just don't have the lump sum. No cash bonus yet, with the new company, and we now have a high-deductible medical plan with no dental or prescription coverage. So it looks like we're going to need a good chunk of our savings to pay for wisdom teeth surgery in January for B17, and other ongoing health expenditures.
So we've been praying and talking to Blondechick and the TIU financial aid office. The plan now is for her to live at home next semester, take a few classes at the local UW school, keep waitressing at Olive Garden, save up, and defer the decision of where she wants to finish school. I'm planning to take B17 on some college visits this spring, and she may come along, but she's just not eager to go away to school. (Who would guess that our most extroverted child would be so keen to stick close to home?)
After the initial disappointment, she's now looking forward to moving back home. When she's been home to visit, she has hated to leave and go back to the dorm. She says she feels most herself here, and one thing she is concentrating on, personally, is who she is in Christ, and living from that center. Not trying to be what the world tells her to be, which is all wrapped up in appearance, image and personality; it's been easy for her to play that part, but she's in a different place now. It's been good--so good!--to see her respond with her whole heart to God's working through circumstances in her life recently. This move home, though a disappointment, has that same feeling of being something painful to give up, that God will use for good if one just lets go.
We're eager to see how he continues to lead her through this next phase of her journey!