All on your own
You’re lying here in your dorm room, wondering what the future holds. You’re aware that your roommates’ parents, like the parents of other freshmen, are supportive of their children. Some of them even made sacrifices to enable your classmates to go to college. Unlike your father. In the vast dining hall, and in the cozy dorm room, you had laughed and chatted cheerfully with other freshmen, all while knowing that you had so much more to cope with than they did. You felt impoverished, abandoned, and fearful. Would it always be like this?
After high school, your life was a mess. You wanted to study teaching, but this was against your father’s wishes. Thank goodness you had Christian Science to lean on. Because of Daddy’s intractable stand, your relationship to God as your Father became more important than ever. You studied the fifth commandment: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” 1 This gave you the strength to be assertive about your goals, while still being respectful and non-confrontational to Daddy. God was your Father, and Daddy’s father. You prayed daily that God would guide you.
Your one place of refuge was church. One Sunday, as though in answer to your prayer, the congregation sang Hymn 253 from the Christian Science Hymnal. The words spoke to you, especially the line, “Father, where Thine own children are, / I love to be.” In that moment, the burden of decision lifted. God was speaking directly to you. There was to be no stress or fear, just Love. It was right to be “where Thine own (school) children are.”
With your hand in God’s, you applied to teachers’ college. When your father found out, he disowned you. His rejection was devastating. Your emotions went into free-fall. And still, that took you even nearer to God, and you prayed not to be resentful and self-willed, but to do His will. You felt His gentle assurance that you were doing the right thing, that this was the right path. But your father’s rejection left you heartbroken, and you developed a stress-related rash on your arms and face, and became full of doubt and fear about making the wrong decisions.
Things moved fast. You were accepted into teachers’ college as a late entry—with one problem. The college needed parental permission because you were under 18. When you explained honestly that you had applied against you father’s will, you thought it was all over, but your heavenly Father was by your side as He’d assured you He would be so many times before. Instead, you discovered, your older brother’s signature could be accepted. You ran away from home. Your heavenly Father was guiding each step.
You’re lying here in your dorm room on the first night of college, feeling far from home and family but near to God. You’ve forgotten the rash on your face and arms now. You’ve been studying the Bible, especially a line from Job, which says, “then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot.” 2 And you’ve been lifting up your heart and your whole life to God and feeling His security and closeness. You don’t know what the future holds, but you know that you have put your hand in His.
In this moment, Jean, things seem far from certain. But tomorrow you will notice that the rash is completely gone. Your skin is already smooth and clear. You are in the place where you belong.
In a few weeks, your human father will accept you as his daughter and support you financially throughout college. There will be respect and forgiveness on both sides. Your whole family will be proud of you when you graduate. You will keep your hand in God’s and become a successful teacher. What started as a mess will lead you to the truth of being God’s beloved, His cherished child.
I can’t promise you it will be easy, but it will be simple when you put your hand in His and trustingly keep it there.
God bless you now. He always will.
Topics: College and University, Family | Tags: abandoned, alone, disowned, estranged, financial issues, struggling, trusting God