Integrating faith, learning and living into our individual callings; that’s a challenge. Seven years ago, I had it down; I had a scripture for every class I taught. I had a devotional or chapter and verse for each class, and knew how to apply it to that day’s lesson. I prayed with students and guided them according to scriptural principles. It was all going so smoothly. If anyone asked, I could give them my philosophy of teaching, how I believed teaching through relationships and meeting each student at their need was how the Lord equipped me to integrate faith into my teaching. I had it down.
Then the bomb dropped. An event took place that changed everything I felt about God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus and myself. After waiting all my life to have children, I had a son. I was so ecstatic when I got pregnant, having spent many years trying and failing. Once again, as in my work, I had done everything right. I went to the doctor, took the vitamins, drank lots of water. It was all supposed to be okay. We were supposed to have a beautiful little boy who would grow up and play football for the Dallas Cowboys. He would succeed in life like his parents had, with six advanced degrees between the two of us. Isn’t that what God promised?
But that’s not what happened. I awoke at 5:30 in the morning and was rushed to the hospital for an emergency C-section. After he was born, the pediatrician came to me, as I lay there, literally still cut open. I still remember her words. “He generally seems fine, but I see something in the facial structure.” That was when the Lord pulled a veil over me. If I had fully tried to take in what was happening it would have been too much. My son, Zane, was born with Down Syndrome. Everything that happened in the next couple of weeks seemed so surreal. This was not how it was supposed to go. I didn’t know it then, but the Holy Spirit was about to play a huge part in my life. Little did I know that the Holy Spirit would show me not only how to have patience and raise a child with challenges, but He would teach me how to listen and understand when there are no words, as my son cannot speak. At one point, we took my son to a healing prayer service. When we brought him up for prayer, the preacher looked at me and said, “You need a miracle.” I said, “Yes we do.” I was so touched by the man’s sensitivity to what we needed. A few years later I was in my office, counseling a student who had some very real problems regarding his schoolwork and home life. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and I said to the student, “You need a miracle.” Funny how the Holy Spirit will sustain, inform, comfort and equip, not only in raising a challenging child but to use my experience with Him, and my son, to minister to my students, to show them a perspective on life that is filled, not just with ambition and intellect, but with love and passion.