Erin came home from school today and shared a little slice of her life. It’s a sweet story of Erin’s heart and God’s hand. It causes me to recall this verse: “…Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” Genesis 28:16. I asked if she would consider sharing it here to encourage others. Here she is….
At my high school, I’m involved with a peer tutoring program. In the program, the peer tutors (grades 10-12) are in the freshmen study hall classes simply to be available to the freshmen if they need any help or have any questions. We also receive notes from teachers with specific students and subjects to work with.
There was one student I was given to work with repeatedly on missing assignments. For some reason, I found myself drawn to this student. I really wanted him to succeed and turn in all his work and to raise his grade. I knew he was perfectly capable of this, because he was receiving A’s on all of his tests, but wasn’t turning in any assignments. This at least made my job a little easier, because he at least knew the material, but just wasn’t doing the work.
I continued working with this student, reminding him to do his work, walking him down to his teacher’s room to pick up lost assignments, and sitting down with him to begin working on assignments. I felt like all the work I was doing was not having any affect on him. I wanted him to turn in his work and succeed so badly, but I knew I could only do so much and he had to do the rest. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
After three weeks of constant reminders and working with this student, we finally walked down to his teacher’s room and he turned in one of the missing assignments. This felt like a huge victory for me. Though we had turned in one assignment, there were still quite a few to turn in, so we began working again.
Other things came up in the class, and I didn’t have a chance to sit down and work with this student for a week or two. Finally today, I saw him playing video games on his computer, so I asked him if he had any missing assignments to work on. We checked his grades, and found about five or six missing assignments. He found one assignment in his backpack that was already completed, so we walked it down to his teacher.
On the way there, I asked him how his Thanksgiving was. I intended it to be small talk to fill up the silence as we walked through hallway, but God had a different plan for the question. I soon found out that the student I’ve been working with is a “foster kid” (his description). And it turns out, I know a thing or two about foster care. I told him that I had a foster brother that we ended up adopting. I don’t know what it’s like to be in foster care, but now he can at least know that I’m not completely oblivious to his situation, and I do understand a few things.
I knew that I was drawn to this student for a reason. It took me almost a full semester to figure out part of the reason, but now I’m beginning to understand. I don’t know God’s full plan, but I don’t need to know the whole thing to be a part of it. Maybe I’m just in this student’s life for a semester to help him through this semester and then it’s over. Or maybe, with God, I’ll be able to make a bigger impact on him. I’ll show him that someone else cares and wants him to do his best. And maybe this whole thing isn’t about the student all. Maybe it’s God’s way to show me a piece of his plan for me. I want to major in education and recently I’ve thought about beginning after school programs for struggling students when I’m a teacher someday. This could have been God’s way to introduce me to part of his plan. But once again, I don’t really know, and I really don’t need to know God’s whole plan to be a part of it.