Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Redemption is Revealed!

My daughter Jessie graduates from college this coming Saturday. She is a fifth year senior because she studied abroad last year and it set her back a bit. But she would be the first to tell you it was a grand experience and well worth having to "redshirt" in order to graduate.

For those of you who might not know, she is the youngest of my three children, my only girl, and the overachiever of the family. She is the one who made up her mind in the 8th grade that she was going to be the valedictorian of her high school class--and she was. She is the one who decided to study abroad, made all the arrangements herself--and did. She is the one who looked for and found scholarships--and got them. The one who applied for a grant to try and find ways to make baked goods healthier--and got it.

None of this is new. She is also the child who announced to me that she wasn't going to have any part of the same half day Kindergarden program her brothers had been in. She wanted to stay all day and eat lunch and take naps with her friends, thank you very much. It was more money, but I wan't about to argue with her!

She is the one who, when she was about six or seven, was quite upset that she could not flip her omelette. This meant, of course, that unbeknownst to me, she had turned on the stove, gotten the omelette pan out, cracked and beaten the eggs, grated the cheese and sprinkled it over the eggs. But she wasn't quite tall enough to reach over with the spatula and get it flipped. Which is pretty much what I did when I walked into the kitchen and saw what she was doing!

So it comes as no surprise to those who know her that she will graduate with honors and has already been admitted into graduate school where she will receive dual Master's Degrees. Who knew you could get two at a time?

However, the reason I am telling you all of this is not only to brag on her, though as you can see, I am quite happy to do just that! It is to show you the redemption of the Lord in my life.

You see, I was a horrible student from Kindergarden through my dubious college experience. After the first week of Kindergarden I couldn't figure out why they kept sending me back every week. I hated everything about school, and that attitude never really changed. By ninth grade I had all but stopped showing up for class. At the end of the year, I had five Fs and a D. I have no idea how I got the D. The only reason I made it into 10th grade is because I changed school districts after my parents severed their parental rights and put me in The Sunbeam Home.

I actually managed to graduate, and after three years in Youth With a Mission, I went back to college for two and a half years before I got married and started having kids.

Jordan, my oldest, had a difficult time in school as well, but he had ongoing health issues and that probably contributed to a lot of it. He simply felt bad most of the time.

For high school he went to a small home school co-op. There were just five kids in the graduating class and that year, and after he graduated we went to Boston for our family vacation and toured the Harvard campus. As we were leaving, I put my arm around him and said, "Son, from now on you can tell everyone you know you graduated 5th in your class and went to Harvard! If they ask you any questions, just hold your hand up and say modestly, 'No, really, enough about me...'"

Anyway, Jacob and Jessie always did very well in school. For Jacob it just came easily. He graduated from OU magna cum laude two years ago and is going to seminary to get his Masters of Divinity degree. Jessie, on the other hand, worked very hard. I have never known anyone--man, woman or child--as disciplined and determined as her. She amazes me.

But here's the redemptive part. I have always deeply regretted squandering the educational opportunities that were handed to me on a silver platter. I had carte blanche--opportunities most people only dream about--and I blew them all.

Yet the God who is capable of redeeming everything, has redeemed that regret in my life through two of my children. What I squandered, they took advantage of. What I wasted, they utilized. What I missed out on, they have enjoyed. Where I failed, they have succeeded beyond my wildest expectations!

That's just how God does things.

I don't usually ask questions of my readers, but it's my blog so I can do whatever I want! And my question to you today is, "What is it that you need God to redeem in your life? What regret do you want to give Him and allow Him to bring to a satisfactory conclusion? It may take time, but He can do it.

Truly, there is nothing too hard for the Lord. And He delights even more than we do in being able to take our failures and redeem them--even if He does it through our children.