It was the morning of the visit to meet with the Department of Education. I was so excited to go and learn what I needed to do in order to get this process started. I sat down to pray over and journal through all the emotions I was feeling. I was reminded of the message from Sunday’s sermon- Building God’s Kingdom- Foundation built in Jesus Christ. It was on 1 Peter 2:1-9. As I was listening, it made me think about the foundation of the school. Literally and figuratively- starting it off with Christ as the cornerstone.As I was getting ready to “build” a school from the ground up, how would I ensure that it was rooted and grounded in Him?
“Today is the day where I believe you are beginning this journey of starting the school! I feel like yesterday’s message was just what I needed to hear- to build the foundation of this school in you- every step along the way. God I pray you are leading this. God I pray for your hand and beautiful vision be in all of this. God let this school bring glory to you- bring children to know you- to transform families and teachers. God all around- I want you in this. God I pray and ask for your wisdom , for your guidance Lord, because I won’t know all of the answers or next steps, but I know you do. Lord God, take all of me, and put in all of you Lord.”
We made it to Nashville and sat together inside Mr. Hodges office. It felt so official. Inside I was like a little girl, "geeking" out- I couldn’t believe I was really sitting there, getting ready to share out loud these thoughts and ideas that had been floating around in my head and prayer journal. As we prepared to start, I reached into my bag and pulled out my journal. She started asking me about what type of school I was interested in starting so that we could figure out what type of category the school would need to be.
As I began to share with her the journey I had been on so far, I opened up to one page in particular in my journal- it had a list of some of the major components I knew would be a part of the school. I started by telling her that this would be a religious school where students would carry their Bibles with them to class. They would actually open them and study God’s word- that this would be a school where His word would be embedded in the curriculum, a place where students would be able to praise, worship, and pray together. I told her about the vision He gave me for a place where students could spend time outside or in a greenhouse, getting their hands dirty as they learned how to nurture life- through plants and animals. I told her about how this would be a place where students would start their days with Chapel and end their days with a time of gratitude.
After pouring out the ideas from my journal, she went on to talk to me about applying for a Category 4 Independent school and the process and paperwork I would need to complete. We all talked about Clarksville and how special our city is- the growth and the need for a school like this, and after about 30 minutes we finished up. I had my packet of information and I knew the next steps I needed to take. Before getting up, she reached out her hands across the table and told me to take a moment to stop and look around as she pointed to my prayer journal.
“Think about how special it is to be here- this all came from your prayer journal and this is really happening, not all people get to see their prayers answered like this.” She encouraged me to keep going- to come to her with any questions, and then joked about wishing she had kids in Clarksville so that they could go to a school like this.
Going to this meeting felt like one of the first steps or leaps of faith I would take. Taking one step forward into the unknown. I didn't know how all of this would turn out, I didn't know if this would be something I would do next year or ten years down the road, and if I started to really think about EVERYTHING it would take to start a school- it would start to feel super overwhelming. So I tried to just take it one step at a time. This was me just trying to listen to the next right thing He was showing me.
We all stood up and hugged, shook hands, and took a picture together. It was official. Can you see the excitement on my face? When I took this picture, I didn't know when I would be able to share it with anyone, but I knew one day I would be able to look back and see how He guided me there. When I look at this picture I see the support He surrounded me with from the beginning. I see a loving, faithful husband believing in his wife. I see a mom- trying to figure out how she can make this happen not only for her own kids, but for the other children that would fill that school. I see the journey it took to get me there and the risks I would need to take after this.
"Dear Lord God, Yesterday was pretty special. It was pretty surreal, exciting- just making it feel so much more real! Eeek! You are really doing this Lord- Thank you Thank you Lord God! Please Lord help me to stay focused on you. God as I take in all of the next “to-do’s” I pray and ask for your peace- keep anxiety or fear from this Lord. God I know I need to stay connected and so grounded in you Lord. Not wrapped up in what if’s and hows- I trust you Lord. Please God help me through this with your wisdom and guidance.