It’s been said we are affected by our up-bringing in one of two ways. We will either follow the footsteps of our parents and say; this is how I was raised and this is the way I am. Or, we will strive to break the mold and be better.
Like most people, we wanted more for our children than what we had growing up. Please don’t get us wrong we grew up in loving environments, where our parents did the best, they could with what they knew at the time.
However, as we grew in our relationship with God and with the changes happening in our world compared to when we were kids, it was the desire of our hearts to place our daughter in a private school. Our son was already in the public school system at the time and was doing extremely well. So we decided that was the best place for him. But for Trinity, we decided to enroll her in private school from the start.
She attended pre-k, kindergarten and first grade, excelling in math and reading, doing very well. But then when the real estate market crashed, and with losing over 72% of our income, we found it impossible to keep her in a private school.
After praying, we decided to pull her out at the end of first grade and enroll her in public school. When making this decision it’s important to know that we not only prayed about it, we decided to make our children’s education a priority. Therefore, we made sure one of us was home every day when both the kids got out of school. We wanted to help with homework and be available to answer any questions that came up from all the different things that took place at school.
While this sounds great, it was a lot of work. To our surprise, Trinity had a hard time adjusting to the public school system. The student-teacher class ratio was larger in public school. Therefore, she was no longer getting individual attention to help with her understanding of some subjects. Even though we were available after school; there were times we hired a tutor.
As Trinity advanced to middle school, her grades got better, but she began to experience the girl drama. You know; confusion, gossip, and name calling, just to name a few. Then one day she came home and told us there was a Career and Technical Academy that came to her school to give the students an opportunity to apply. This particular school falls in the category of a magnet school. However, because it’s a career and technical academy, the students have an opportunity to earn college credits and work experience, by the time they graduate from high school; which we thought would be great for her.
There were several career choices to enroll in, and Trinity was very passionate about applying for Culinary. Now it would be important to know that Trinity has had a love for cooking and baking since she was a toddler. So needless to say this was something she really wanted to do.
The acceptance process was done on a lottery system. There were only 446 seats available for freshmen, with over 1,300 applicants. Despite the odds, Trinity was prayerful about applying and communicated to us that this what she wanted.
She understood she had to pick two other careers, in case she didn’t get her first pick. And there was a chance that she may not get selected at all.
Well in April of this year, we received the letter of acceptance! Not only was she accepted; she was accepted for her first choice of career-culinary!
Last week, we attended freshmen orientation. As we sat in the parent’s lecture, our eyes filled with tears. As we sat there, hearing about: the school’s five star rating, the national recognition the school gets and how many students who go through their program have the opportunity to leave with college credits or are prepared to go into the workplace.
We sat there overwhelmed with emotion thinking about how we pulled her out of private school. But, here we were. Eight years later and we have come full circle. God not only granted Trinity the desire of her heart, He granted us ours; by sending her to a top-notch Career and Academy High school that costs us nothing.
After the orientation, we talked how fitting Isaiah 61:7 was regarding our situation…”Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
The double may have come eight years later, but the fact is, it came! Because we chose to live within His priorities (God, Spouse, Family, Ministry, Work) God has shown Himself to us over and over again!
Some may wonder what about our son Brandon. Well, God has shown Himself faithful with him too. When the real estate market crashed we used all our savings, retirement, and college funds to float. As parents, we can’t express the nervousness we felt about that, when our son entered high school. However, as we walked with God and applied kingdom financial principles, God got us through those years. He provided for us in every area of our life; including, provision for Brandon to attend a university. Brandon is in his 3rd year of college in which he has received scholarships and grants every semester!
We serve an and / also God who is so faithful. It’s moments like these that we write down in our journal to remind ourselves of God’s goodness when the events of life happen. If God is faithful to see us through these times, He will most certainly get us through any difficult times ahead.
Whatever your struggle, your trouble or shame may be, continue to seek God and confess double for your trouble. Then when it happens, remember to give all the praise and glory to Him. For it is only God from where our help comes!
~ André and Timberley Gray