"Do not fear, only believe." -Jesus
There seems to be a theme of believing God in my life right now. With my feeble faith, I am trying to believe God in a lot of areas... with our employment situation, with my kids being in daycare all day, with our charter school, with my sister's excruciating migraines, with our future....the list goes on. Life is difficult right now. I can't say I am enjoying a lot of things going on, but I can say that God has been so faithful to provide and follow through on the vision he has cast in my heart and the hearts of others.
The above verse, spoken by Jesus, comes from Mark 5. He is speaking to a synagogue ruler after the ruler hears that his daughter has died. And Jesus says to him, "Do not fear, only believe." This statement is so profound to me. I can only imagine the grief the ruler was beginning to feel as he hears of his daughter's death, and Jesus is telling him to not look at the impossibility that she could be brought back to life. One thing in my life that has been a "wall of impossibility" to me was starting a charter school for teen moms. I would ask myself over and over, "Why would I be respected enough to start a charter school?" and I would think things like, "I am soooo underqualified!" and "We don't have any educators starting this school!!" All of my doubts and struggles in this have been overwhelmingly countered with God saying, "Do not fear, only believe." HE cast a vision (and continues to!) and we have waveringly taken steps of faith to follow that vision.
Back in October and November we had the task of adding more board members to the three original founding board members. Amazingly, our board came together right before our November deadline, and as we began meeting I realized that God had brought together the best board for our school. After our December 31st deadline, we were given our time to present to the State Charter Board on February 13th, and we were the first school out of 7 schools to present to the Board. So, this week gets here. I am working full time, Travis went out of town on Monday for work, and Monday night I come down with a horrible stomach bug. Great. I am thinking, "It's okay. I will feel better by Tuesday night and be ready Wednesday morning for our presentation." Wednesday night rolls around and I feel awful. I texted the Chairman of our board and told him to be prepared to do my part in the presentation, just in case I don't make it. I was going to be devastated if I couldn't make it to the most important presentation we would make, but I also wasn't able to practice at all on Wednesday night like I'd planned. I prayed and just asked God to heal my body and help me to believe that He would work in this. Thursday morning I woke up at 5am and didn't feel completely better, but I was determined. I got myself ready, got the kids ready, and left the house to drop the kids off. I dropped Lillie off at her daycare, and as I was getting out I sat the yogurt she was eating on the driver's seat. Yes, dumb mistake. I took Lillie in and then came back and sat right on the yogurt....in my nice black business suit. I said a couple choice words and tried my hardest to clean the white yogurt off my jacket, with baby wipes. I had no time to go home, so I decided to just let it be. What else could I do?! I dropped Ty off and spent the whole drive up to the Office of Education praying that I wouldn't get in a car accident and that the rest of our board would make it on time and safely. We all arrived in plenty of time, and were ready to present. I was no longer feeling sick (God and adrenaline are the best medicine!) and I wasn't nervous at all. I had asked lots of people to be lifting us up in prayer during our presentation and I could totally tell. We did our 12 minute formal presentation without any flaws, and then the State Charter School Board had 45 minutes to ask us any questions they had. I was most worried about this part, but our team was awesome!! Everyone answered questions effortlessly! And, at the end of our time, the State Board Chairman says, "I can tell that you have assembled the exact board that is needed for your school. I am excited about this application!" WOW!! I couldn't believe it. We were ecstatic!! We left there feeling really good about our presentation and how it had gone. (As a sidenote, I felt amazing through the whole presentation and then went home and felt miserable again and took a two hour nap. God totally took care of me during that time!).
The next morning, myself and two others of our board went back to another State Charter School Board meeting to hear if we would be recommended to be approved by the State Board of Education (lots of boards to go through!). They brought up the rankings on the smartboard of the schools that had presented the first day. Our school was listed fourth and I thought, "That's pretty good." But after a few minutes I realized they were listed alphabetically, and in reality we were ranked #1! But the Board still had to go through individual schools and discuss, ask more questions if needed, and decide if they really wanted these schools in the community. Our school and another school (sitting in #2) were discussed first. And instead of asking any questions of either school they just decided to approve our schools right away. Another WOW moment! Then we waited as they discussed the other schools for about an hour. Once the Board decided who was going through, they had to rank the schools in priority for funding purposes (in case there wasn't enough funding for all the schools). There was a motion to put Kairos Academy (our school) first and the other school second, and then a second motion to put the other school first and our school second. They voted on the second motion first, which failed. Then they voted on the first motion and it PASSED!! Not only had we been approved, but we are listed FIRST to be funded by the Legislature when the money comes through. WOW, WOW, WOW! God's vision continues and I am in awe!
Those two days were such a special time! I want to relive them over and over! God was so faithful to carry out what he started in us, and I am amazed!! As we move forward, the hard work continues, and my same fears and doubts come up. Starting a school is no small feat, but I look back and realize that God is good at trampling the "walls of impossibility" we put before ourselves. So, I move on following God's vision remembering "Do not fear, only believe!"
***As a sidenote, THANK YOU to those of you who have wished us well and prayed for us and our school! I am so thankful to have amazing people in my life who care so deeply about the things that matter to me. And, to my husband who has been incredible in this process. Any of you who are friends with Travis on Facebook know that he was my #1 supporter the days of the presentation and the results. Even when he was away from home on a work trip, he was watching the presentation online and posting results to Facebook! Thanks Travis, I love you more than words!