We had just moved to Connecticut in 1999. We had three kids four and under and I was scrambling to find friends, preschool, church….you know, resources. My guy told me about a colleague whose wife was also from the South, had several children and wanted to help us learn the ropes of New England. I was ecstatic; we were experts in the fine art of moving at this point, but with young children I had a whole new challenge. Our oldest had been in preschool previously, and I needed to find a place for her. After talking on the phone, I learned that there was one preschool that was far above the others in town and it was very difficult to get in, but Mary was on the board and might be able to help. I was certain Mary was our ticket to the ‘right’ school and to many opportunities in our new community.
We were invited for lunch and I told Jessica, our four year old, all about the new friend she would be meeting. My sunny girl was excited and the first little while went great, our girls were the same age and size and began playing together immediately, while Mary and I talked about our new town. I’m not sure how to describe what happened next. It was something I had never seen in my child, and still today haven’t witnessed again. Jessica was racing through their beautiful home, knocking things over in her wake. I walked into the formal living room to find her standing on their sofa, trying to climb into the aquarium. They played hide and seek, a game my girl was a master at, and she hid so well that I couldn’t find her. For more than a half hour I was going through all three floors of this woman’s home, calling her name and begging her to come out. I convinced myself that she had gone outside and fallen into the lake in the backyard, and was frantically crying for my child, when she popped out of nowhere, giggling. I packed up my kids and left, Mary and I hardly spoke to each other, we didn’t make future plans and we certainly didn’t discuss my daughter going to preschool with hers.
We were able to get my girl into a great preschool that didn’t have a waiting list, and I eventually made some good friends, although it took more time and work than I expected. There was such a closed door on this relationship that I couldn’t deny it, and apparently it needed to be that obvious for me to be willing to just let it go. The lesson in this humbling time? I can think I know what’s right, devising what seems best for myself and my brood, but the truth is that God has better plans. I am convinced that He was protecting us from something, and guiding us to a totally different path for a reason, I don’t need to understand it, I just need to trust Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6