“Don’t let something in the past trip you up!”
I read those words on a church sign driving home last night. Not scripture, but wise words nonetheless.
Sometimes we can allow a loss to make us lose sight of all we have gained.
At other times we would do well to change things up a bit and break away from the familiar and open ourselves up to something fresh and new.
Just because something was, doesn’t mean it always will be.
“Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5 NKJV
In the past, I was plagued with fear. Much of that concerned Lan’s future. He always struggled in school. The constant struggle was something I’d become accustomed to.
This year, through hard work and lots of prayer, has been different.
Yet, I found some old mindsets could still creep in. Doubt. Uncertainty.
I could become fixated on old struggles of just scraping by to earn the required credits.
Freshman biology with the toughest teacher in the school was a struggle. It is still fresh in my mind.
When I met with his guidance counselor last week, I was informed that chemistry was designated as his science for next year when Lan will be a junior.
Instead of looking forward, I was momentarily caught in the anxiety of the past. Lan’s study habits and grades have vastly improved. Yet, chemistry is unforgiving. It is absolute. Abstract.
I asked, solemnly, “Is chemistry required to graduate?”
The counselor’s answer was “No.”
Freshman biology and the physical science Lan is currently taking will suffice for his “required” sciences. He can finish high school taking zoology and anatomy both of which will also help him with graphic design.
If I hadn’t asked, next year could have been very frustrating.
In the past, I wouldn’t have thought to ask if there was an alternative. I would have just accepted the status quo. And struggled.
“you do not have because you do not ask,” James 4:2 NKJV
Sometimes instead of allowing our experiences to make us wiser, we can allow them to encase us in fear. Fear paralyzes. It doesn’t allow us to look forward toward a positive future.
Now, I’m motivated to explore opportunities as the nation slowly realizes there is a vast need for resources and alternatives in higher education.
One friend who is a university professor informed me there are individualized education programs for college students with special needs. Accommodations for people on the spectrum are increasing.
Instead of my “ideas” about the future, I am learning to trust God and allow Him to reveal His plan for Lan moment by moment.
This isn’t easy for me, but most things that are best for us are never easy. Or quickly revealed.
They require faith.
And in my case, the ability to leave past disappointments, struggles and preconceived notions behind me.
“Face forward.” That’s what Lan said to me last week. Not exactly scripture, but wise words nonetheless.
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV