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Sunday, August 3, 2008

The calm before the storm…

-as posted on my blogspot-

[phew! this is a long one!]

It seems like just a few weeks ago, school was out and I had a full summer ahead of me. But now, it’s only a week until football camp starts; I feel like either the breathe before the plunge, or the calm before the storm – take your pick.

This summer has been kind of bittersweet for me. Not because anything bad has happened, but because it might be the last summer of its kind. This next school year is going to be a lot different for me.

This coming school year I’ll be going to the public school ’round here. It’s actually a pretty decent school as far as public education goes. There are several reasons behind the decision: First – ever since my family moved last year, I’ve had this feeling (I believe the Holy Spirit) that I should go to the school the next year (which would be this year). I wasn’t sure what to do about it, so I just prayed that if it was God’s will, He would make it happen. At that time, the plan was to enroll in PACYBER’s early college program and take college courses my junior and senior year.

But early this spring, the early college program was discontinued. It was primarily an act by the PA board of education to try to put cyber schools out of business – they decided that because not all schools offered early college programs, it wasn’t fair for cyber schools to do so. (>.>) PACYBER did find another way to do it…but it’s limited to one college class per semester instead of the normal 10 credits it was before.

Only 1 college class really made PACYBER a whole lot less attractive. I would have to take their normal classes for nearly all my courses. Something I wouldn’t be all too happy about. Last year the transition from homeschooling to cyberschool was easy. Too easy. The only real difficult class I had was Pre-Calc – but my teacher was so terrible (class would have averaged a failing grade were it not for the easy extra credit assignments she kept giving us) that I’m not sure if I’ll be ready to take Calc next year. I only had 5 classes; this is because my IS (instructional supervisor) thought taking more might be too hard for me (lol…my freshman year homeschooling, I took 7 classes, was on a lego robotics team, and played football. 5 classes is cake).

So from an educational standpoint, with no good co-ops around for math, and cyber school being so limited, public school seems to be the best option. But also, I’m not just going for education…I want God to use me there. Homeschooling(/cyberschool) seems so limited in actually reaching out to my peers. I have this passion in me to see kids’ lives transformed by God’s amazing love; but being at home all day, I didn’t see that many people on a daily bases.

Yet, the thought of going to public school is also terrifying. I’ll no longer be in the protection of my home. What if the work load is too much for me (especially in math)? What if I’m not the one who’s influencing my peers, but they are influencing me? or what if I’m completely missing God’s voice and this is all a mistake? Those are some of the thoughts and doubts that creep in every now and again.

But I think those thoughts are a healthy dose of encouragement to stay close to God and not let things come in between us. The future always has an uncertainty about it – but God is bigger than anything that can happen. And isn’t He who is within me greater than he who is in the world? What do I have to fear?

I guess this where the rubber meets the road. Is my faith just a bunch of talk, or is it real? I suppose this is what having faith is all about. Trusting God outside of my comfort zone. It almost feels like jumping off a cliff, praying God will pull through and be there to catch me. It’s rather terrifying, but it’s also completely awesome. I know God will be there – even if things don’t meet my expectations, God promises never to leave or forsake me.

But as big of a change as that will be, it’s not all that could change this school year. My sister is going on a year long discipleship school (Honor Academy with Teen Mania), and she leaves in two weeks (Aug 16). I’m going to really miss her. *sigh* It will be so different with her gone. =/

And if Beth leaving isn’t enough, my best friends (and I use that term very sparingly) are likely to be moving to Tennessee in the not-so-distant future. Counting Beth, it would be like 9 siblings moving away. So far I’ve been pushing the thought to the deepest corner of my mind, hoping it will just disappear. But if it doesn’t…. well, that really would not be cool.

I know God will work everything out for the good; but that doesn’t change that I’ll miss them like crazy. And if ya’ll are reading this: I love you guys! :)

That about sums up life for me right now. If you have time, I could always use some prayer…and the students at my school. Pray for God to send a revival to the Christians in that school that will then overflow to everyone else. And also, for my friends; that God would guide them and give them wisdom – and that even if times to get tough for them, they would always know God’s love through it all.

So… like I said, this summer could be the last of its kind. My sister won’t be here next summer, and tentatively, neither will my best friends. The summer after that, my other sister could be going to the Airforce Academy next year. And this next week will be the calm before the storm (or was it the breathe before the plunge?)….once football camp starts, I’ll be kept pretty busy right up into the start of school. I probably won’t be online much during that time, but if you need to get in contact with me, email or phone would be the best way as I will check both daily. And if you’ve made it this far in the post, high-five!

I’ll end with this:

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: “They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.” None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing–nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable–absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Rom 8:35-39

I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward–to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision–you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. (Philippians 3; MSG)

Dive deep…Elyon’s strength!

-Ben

posted by admin at 10:40 pm  

6 Comments

  1. I read it!!!!
    So you play football?
    Cool!

    Comment by Abiz206 — August 5, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

  2. Benji! *hug* I will definitely be keeping you in my prayers during this tough time. God will sustain you. He is a plan in all of this, never loose sight of that. (: Always know that you have us here, praying for ya. Send me an email anytime if you need anything. (: Give Beth a hug for me. See you on the flipside.

    Comment by Meg — August 5, 2008 @ 9:06 pm

  3. Ben…I will be prayin’ for ya, man! That has to be a hard time, but God will get you through it! I hope that as a result, you will draw closer to God!
    I’ll also pray that YOU will influence everyone around you, not the other way around!
    “Do not love the world, or the things in it…”

    Comment by Michael — August 8, 2008 @ 9:59 am

  4. Thanks guys! :)

    Comment by admin — August 8, 2008 @ 10:55 am

  5. Hey Ben, I’m praying for ya. May you always find God’s will and pursue him with all your heart.

    Comment by Josh — August 9, 2008 @ 9:21 pm

  6. wow, I’m not doing too good at reading everyone’s blogs, but now I’m catching up. :) praying Ben! I feel for ya, I’ve been feeling the same way, but I think I’m meant to stay homeschooled, though your blog post was very inspiring. :) you will definitely be in my prayers.

    Comment by SapphiraAdi — August 27, 2008 @ 5:50 am

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