Leave the Letters in the Mailbox
She needs two points. This is a simple math problem, one point, plus one point equals two points. As the school year rushes to a close, my prayer life has increased dramatically. Test anxiety, homework, finals and the school’s computer system crash has wreaked havoc on my family (and I’m not a teacher!) Not only did the local system crash, the entire County computer system crashed and stayed down for seven days. This meant End of Year testing, school projects and final exams simultaneously.
As an aside, if you are critical of teachers and faculty imagine for a moment the pressure staff is already under at the end of the year. Then add a system-wide computer crash so bad that emails aren’t even working.
I am thankful . . . for many things. My husband has a job. I remain cancer free. We’ve seen our share of job loss, fear, uncertainty. Still, knowing that college looms near, and, absent a book contract, I worry about money, am still searching for part-time employment. I pray about this, scholarship money, a book contract, a job; I pray about these things often.
But it is my daughter’s struggles that consume me. I pray, worry. Worry, then pray. Multiple times each day I pray, Lord, she only needs two points. Please help her make those two points.
This year, her struggles have been many. She’s dealt with anemia and vertigo. I’ve seen her stagger into the house, eat something then sleep so hard I have to wake her to do her homework. In addition to the health issues, during the first semester she had a teacher (whose contract will not be renewed next year) who shouldn’t have been teaching. I’ve met with faculty, pulled her out of that teacher’s classes and emailed the new teacher so often that she probably hates me (I promise, I am not a pushy person, or a helicopter parent.) For those who don’t know, helicopter parents do their child’s work, they hover, don’t allow their children to make their own mistakes, or decisions. I haven’t helped my daughter with schoolwork since Elementary School. For that I am proud. Yes, her grades would be higher if she came to me or her father for help, but she earned the grades she has; scratched and sweated out every single point. For that I am proud. I am not one of “those” mothers who will send my daughter to college then do her assignments. Instead, I posted a note on her computer which reads:
I am smart
I can do this
It will be difficult, but worth it
I will own the grades I make
Perhaps that is why I feel so helpless, because during this second semester, with the new teacher, she has pulled her grades up dramatically. Perhaps that is why I continually ask God please, just two points so she doesn’t fail.You know she has worked so hard.
Then today I read a devotional which began: Genuine faith puts a letter in the mailbox and lets go. Distrust, however, holds on to a corner of the envelope and then wonders why the answer never arrives (Streams in the Desert)
Y’all know I am a word gal. I love hand-written letters, anxiously await the arrival of mail every single day. I’m a letter writin’ card mailin’ fool. I send notes to complete strangers. Cards, letters, vegetable and flower seeds to people I will never meet. During that time I have never stood at the mailbox holding onto the corner of the envelope. No. I slap a forever stamp in the top right-hand-corner and hoist the red flag knowing that the US Post Office will deliver my letter. I am confident the Post Office will deliver the letter. They have never failed me.
But when I read that genuine faith puts a letter in the mailbox and lets go I realized that I (literally) have been placing more faith in the postal service than God. Sure, I’ve been doing my part, praying and believing that God will answer the prayer. But my belief only lasted for a few hours, until worry snuck in and whispered what if she doesn’t pass? At that moment I snatch the envelope from God and tuck it in my pocket.
So today, as another school day begins, it is my desire to replace the prayer of she needs two points with the affirmation of Thank you God for the two points. I may not yet see them, but I believe they are coming.
Renea Winchester is the award-winning author of In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes. In 2012 she released Stress-Free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author. 2014 will see the release of In the Kitchen with Billy: Farming, Friends & Fried Bologna Sandwiches. She is currently working on her first novel. She would love to hear from you. Visit her at www.reneawinchester.com
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