by Korinne Pina
David arrived home a little earlier than usual, eager to share his good news. Lisa was so preoccupied with preparing dinner that she hardly noticed when David came up behind her. In his excitement, he swung her around the island counter, hugging her so tight it nearly knocked the wind out of her! David exclaimed, “I got in!”
“What has gotten into you?!?!,” Lisa asked incredulously as she gasped for air. But something about this night seemed oddly familiar. Having a distinct feeling of dread at what David was about to reveal, she braced herself and asked cautiously, “Got in where?”
“I got into grad school at Liberty University! I’ve been accepted into their online MBA program!”
Instantly, a million questions flooded her mind…How could they possibly manage for the two of them to continue working full time while David went to school? They had already refinanced the house after she lost her sales position at the jewelry store due to downsizing. Who would take Alex to soccer practice when she led Bible study on Tuesday nights? Who would help Steven with his math homework when her boss required her to work extra hours? How would David continue to run his business with the demand of his education interfering? When would they be able to make time for their marriage? David was already away on business at least three times a month as it were. Lisa felt her blood pressure rise and her spirits sink just thinking about it.
But Lisa had never been one to discourage David’s dreams. He had always talked about going back to school when the kids were older, but he had given up on the idea years ago because it never seemed like the right time. When David had taken residential classes, the stressful hour and a half commute both ways to their small town’s university and the six hours a week he sacrificed listening to lectures, proved to be too much of a strain to an already tight schedule. As a result, his GPA suffered and he quit. At the time, Lisa had been disheartened by this, but felt David was doing the responsible thing. After all, the endeavor had infringed on his time investment in growing their family business. Not long after, profits fell and their business nearly went under; they still hadn’t fully recovered.
It wasn’t long before Lisa realized she’d slipped into a daze; engulfed in worry that threatened to take her under like quicksand. She snapped out of it in time to hear David question with a hint of boyish impatience, “Well, what do you think?”
Lisa refused to be the culprit of David’s thwarted ambition. Silently, Lisa lamented in her heart, “How in the world are we going to get through this again? Does he really think doing it online will make this any different than before?”
But seeing a glint of passion in his eyes she hadn’t seen since the first time he shared the news of returning to school, she took a leap of faith. Besides, she couldn’t bear to hurt him. With as much enthusiasm as she could muster, she supportively replied, “That’s wonderful, honey!”
If only he had talked to her first, Lisa would’ve felt prepared for this decision.
This is a fictitious story, but it paints a very familiar picture of some of the struggles we face when trying to incorporate education into an already hectic lifestyle with our families.
Perhaps you identify with David and you are eager to begin your academic pursuits at a later stage in your life and all you want is the support of those you love. Or perhaps you’re like Lisa, feeling torn between wanting to be supportive, but overwhelmed by the struggles ahead. Both positions represent legitimate concerns. God’s word gives us wisdom for how to approach either situation.
He tells us in Proverbs 3 vs. 5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Often times we may eagerly take a chance on something we’re excited about without discussing the decision with those directly affected by our choices. This can invalidate their feelings or cause unnecessary fear. On the other hand, we also can be unnecessarily overcome by fear if we don’t seek God’s will in order to have His divine perspective.
If we are willing to trust God wholeheartedly, no matter how scary it may be, and consult those we love when making plans, He will grant us wisdom and equip us with courage to pursue our dreams!