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Thursday, March 29, 2012

When Things Don't Work Out


Last week my daughter received some unwelcome news: she wasn't going to be able to attend the college of her choice. Even though she'd received a letter saying she was admitted, we just couldn't make the money work. We're willing to pay for in-state college, but this one was out of state and the long and short of it was, we (her dad, me, and her) didn't want to strap her with college loans totalling in the tens of thousands to start her adult life.

But receiving the news was hard. Even though we knew it was the right call to make, it wasn't what she wanted. At one point last week she and I sat together and we both cried. I sat down and wrote her a letter reminding her that we supported her and loved her, and that-- in spite of how she felt-- God still has a plan for her life. And it's the best plan.

But more intervention was needed. So last Friday I sprung her from school at lunchtime. Curt and I took her to lunch (Red Robin-- yum!) and talked to her about her plans. Then I took her shopping because she needed some spring clothes and it was a good time to do a little retail therapy. And when it was all said and done, she was a little happier, her step a little lighter. Did we solve all her problems? No. Of course not. But I think at the end of the day, she knows that we're here for her.

Sometimes things don't work out. This lesson is as much a part of life as anything else she'll learn in college. She's learning it the hard way right now. And my heart is broken for her. It's hard to watch your own dreams die but I'd say it's even harder to watch your child's dream die. All I can say is, I'm glad I was able to be beside her as she navigates this new direction. There's nowhere else I'd rather be.
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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is this a Christian college she wanted to attend out of state? I am a strong believer in a 4 year christian university experience...it will be life changing for your daughter. I know you and your husband have prayed about this, but I urge you to reconsider if she has her sights on a christian school versus staying in state for a state school.
There are grants, scholarships, loans, school employment and most importantly walking in faith. Studying Lysa TerKeurst's books have started our family on Faith Walking...we have completed two very expensive adoptions and are now about to send our second son (of 6) to a christian university all on a pastor's salary. Did we have the money for any of that? No, but God has provided.

Zibilee said...

I know what you are going through Marybeth. My son has one year left in high school, and getting him to college is going to be a stretch. It's hard to have to tell your kids that they can't go forward into the path that they desire, but I find your advice and care for her practical and very sensible for the economic times we face at the moment. God bless you all over there.

Arlene Grimm said...

Marybeth....I feel your pain but you are right. Young people who go into debt for college are making a big mistake. With the economy like it is right now, there are no guarantees for jobs when they graduate. My oldest son went to Bama. He had full scholarship...worked to pay for incidentals. We helped a little but we had told our kids that we put ourselves through school and they could too. When it is their own money, they take class more seriously. I know that sounds harsh to many parents today but in the good old days, college was just NOT a given for most people. Back to my son...he graduated magna cum laude and could not find a job when he graduated. He had to take a very entry level minimum pay job that he worked at for over a year to gain experience. 11 years later he has a good job and a family. Thanks to his perseverance, he did not start married life with a load of debt. You are right, the real world is often a harsh place. When we are believers we have to trust that God has a plan for us that is better than our own plans. You and your husband are wise parents and you are giving your child your best advice. I will pray for you all as your hearts heal from this hurt!

Nicole said...

We are going thru the exact same thing right now with our second oldest. He has been accepted to 2 Universities with one being more expensive.(which is his first choice) As the bulk of the cost will fall on his shoulders we are encouraging him to have the least amount of debt. I can so identify with the dissapointment of not being able to fulfill his dream. I am really trying to encourage him to seek what God's plan is and to be confident that He does have a plan as to where he should go and that He will use him there (even if it isn't his first choice)....tho I do wish He would just write it on a wall!!haha Our family LOVED your Itallian sausage and rice casserole!!! Thanx for the recipe. Like your family mine doesn't usually rave about something!!!

Pam said...

Your post today is hitting really close to home. Our oldest son has been accepted to a Christian university out of state. We also have concerns of debt load when he graduates as he wants to be a missionary and paying off those loans will have to come first before he ever steps foot on the field. Debt will most definitely delay what he (and we) believe God has called him to do. We are in the process right now of applying for scholarships and grants and have been somewhat successful although there is still a ways to go. Through much prayer on our part and our son's part, we believe this is the right direction and choice for his college experience. We have been walking an unemployment journey for over a year now, and sometimes I wonder if we are foolish to think going to this school is even possible with our circumstances. We have watched God miraculously provide for our family in ways that have been really unbelievable and I find myself believing HE can do the same for the college path, too. I've had moments of doubt in the last few days as scholarship opportunities are not turning out quite like I had expected. Your post today hit my heart. I've been thinking about "what if" we have to tell him he can't go. But then something within me rises up and says I can't make this opportunity happen, but God can. We are doing all we can and know God will do what HE can. We are walking forward trusting in HIS provision. Blessings to you and your precious daughter as God reveals HIS perfect plan.

Kim said...

I feel you were writing about our situation. My daughter was excepted at an all girls private college. Very expensive. We've told her what we can afford the rest is up to her. But we are also trying to make sure she doesn't start off with lots of debt. She's been doing the whole FASA thing and scholarships.
But she understands it may not work out and community college, her she comes for a year or so. It breaks my heart that we are unable to fullfill her dream. But maybe that's not what God has instore.
Good luck. This whole college thing is really an experience.

Anonymous said...

Well we have been there too. My oldest wanted to attend a private college in NY but when the finances did not pan out we had to do the same thing. She decided to attend a SUNY school. Her first semester she was ready to transfer but something changed that second semester and now she is President of the student body. She is networking with the "big wigs" and loving it. She says she will miss it but she is so looking forward to the day she walks into a special education classroom and begins to teach. She is now wondering about graduate schools.....
My son just got word a week ago that he did not make it into his first choice for SUNY so it was a somber week here but things are looking up and we now need to go visit a few more schools. He is off to Europe for 8 days and Washington DC in May so he is excited for those trips. College visits will have to wait another day......

Corinne said...

I guess I'm going to go against the tide of comments here. A great school like Alabama can give a young person an excellent start by allowing them to network within their field. Certain schools still seem to matter when looking for a job.

Perhaps looking for all the financial resources out there such as scholarships, savings, grants, work study and part time jobs along with trusting in God to provide would make this all possible.

Debt for an education is not necessarily a bad thing.

I wouldn't give up yet...

Corinne

Robin in New Jersey said...

I understand your sadness.

Our son took a year off after graduation to work and save money so he could get into the film school he wants to attend. His first choice was way too expensive. He will have debt, but there is no way around it. To save money, he will live at home and commute the 30 minute drive.

Our 16 year old wants to go to Liberty University and we know there is now way we are going to be able to make it happen. She will have to settle for the local community college and living at home and maybe if our situation improves, she can go there in a couple years.

My heart hurts for my children. My husband had a really good job and he was let go 2 years ago and we are no longer able to make ends meet. Life is very difficult.

Blessings to you and yours.