Let me make a statement, first:
I am so glad that God is in charge and not me!
That being said, let me tell you the story.
A Child Placed:
Katherine is now staying with her aunt and her 2 cousins every day after school, and the school where she is supposed to go according to her aunt's residency is performing below the state average for Katherine's grade level and the teacher to student ratio is very high.
So high, in fact that Katherine was turned down admittance to that school.
Instead, she is being bussed to a different school. This other school had a bad reputation a few years ago, but has a new principal (who transferred from the most sought after school in the city) who has been working diligently to bring the school up to standards, and is doing a wonderful job of it. The after school programs are incredible, and the school hours coincide with Katherine's mother's work hours, so she will be able to drop her off directly at the school and pick her up not too long after she releases. Yay!
AND...the maybe the best part is that now that she is admitted to that school, she will be allowed to stay there through 5th grade! She won't have to transfer back to her district school after this year!
Which brings me to...
4 Children Found (I know, it's out of order in the title, but is sounds so much better that way in the title!)
As I mentioned before, Katerine's aunt has two children of her own. She also watches two other schoo aged children after school. Last week at Downtown Baptist, were I take the kids every Wednesday, offered a fingerprinting and ID service for the children. I called to ask if Katherine was still going to be able to join us for Wednesday Bible Study and AWANA, and in doing that, I talked to Katherine's aunt and invited her and her children and the other two she watches to come along and take advantage of the offer. She accepted and brought the kids.
The kids saw all the other church kids having so much fun at AWANA that they decided that they wanted to stay and participate.
So, they did and had a BLAST!!!! In fact, one of the younger ones was crying because he didn't want to go home! I assured them that they could come back the following week, and they did! It was so great to see them all! These kids don't go to church and don't know God and His Son and all that he has done for us! Now they will have a chance to learn about God and make a faith decision for themselves!
Which brings us to the last part...
A Child Graced:
Jo, my middle child, can be somewhat shy and timid, to say the least. She is often afraid to try new things and will usually sit and watch for a long while before she participates. Usually, when it is time for AWANA on Wednesday nights, she does NOT want to go and will cry when I leave her there even though by the time I pick her up (and even just 3 minutes after I drop her off) she is fine and having a wonderful time.
One of the kids that Katherine's aunt watches is 4 years old, one year older than Jo, but they are in the same AWANA class. So, when Jo saw that he was a little shy and perhaps overwhelmed with the whole new situation, she took his little hand in hers and bent down to look him in the eyes (she's so tall!) and said, "Come here with me. I will take care of you." No tears from Jo because she had someone else to take care of be strong for. My little girl acted with grace and love to someone she didn't even know! I am so proud of her!
So, what can I say about all this?
The other day, Jimmy and I were talking in the car (which is often the only place quiet we get to talk) and we were discussing how God, if He is indeed a good God, can allow so many bad things to happen to good people?
That is a question that is really hard to answer.
But, what we decided together, which is also what our pastor had preached on recently, was that we can't see the whole picture. We can only see the strands of what is happening to us in our own personal lives.
I am working on a cross stitch piece and let me tell you, the back is something else! I am not a perfectionist, and the back has threads crossing every which way across it. Anyone (like my husband or children!) looking at it says that it is just a mess!!!! But, turn it over, and you can see a beautiful picture emerging. (Kind of. Work with me here!)
Perhaps that is a little bit like how God works His ways. We can only see the back. We just see the mess of strings.
Like I just saw Katherine getting pulled out of her school.
But God had His plan. He knew that in the end Katherine would end up in a school that would meet her needs, and He knew that she was a strong enough kid to withstand the change in the middle of the year.
And He also knew that by Katherine going to a different school, her cousins and her friends would have the opportunity to come to church and hear His word.
And finally, He knew that my little Jo would find someone that would help her be brave. Someone who needed her 3 year old care.
He was crossing His own stitches in His own time!
I am so glad I am not in charge!
Oh, and if you are looking for me on Wednesday evenings, just look for the pile of kids in the corner of the fellowship hall. You'll prolly find me somewhere close to the bottom!