"Where are you going to college?" is the inevitable question every highschool grad will be asked, again and again. With a steady gaze and unwavering voice, my daughter has answered, "I'm not going to college."
As if to comfort, some have turned to me and said in a low voice, "Perhaps she'll be ready for college next year."
I don't think so.
And, thank you, but I don't need to be comforted. I am proud of her decision, one that she made prayerfully and carefully.
If not college, then *what*?? I will answer that question with another question, the same one that Melody asked me some time back when she was grappling with the college decision:
"Would it be OK to use my gifts at home and at church?"
The simple answer is "yes." At home she will have a safe refuge plus the one essential she needs as a budding composer: the luxury of time. She will continue under the wise tutelage of her long-time teacher/mentor, an arrangement that simply cannot be improved upon at this time.
At church, Melody has ample opportunity to grow in leadership skills as well as musically. The responsibilities she carries out there would be a challenge to someone twice her age.
Will she stagnate? I think not. Her homeschool education has endowed her with a thirst for knowledge and a love of reading. On her nightstand this very moment you will find a stack of books: The Bible, a medical mystery-thriller, Paradise Lost, Mein Kamf, three holocaust survivor memoirs, and a large tome on WWII. Melody will continue to enjoy the intellectual freedom to study what she wishes, when she wishes.
But what about money? Looking at college from the utilitarian standpoint, I suppose it is possible her financial future may not have the safety net that a college education could supply. But she also will not incur the huge debts that would require the income of a college grad :)
In her own words, "I feel called to the life of faith." Faith WILL be required, because the musical opportunities that carry remuneration are irregular. The sales garnered from her newly released CD are being held in a special account, to be used as seed money for the next project. Ultimately, it is an act of faith to pursue what you love and expect that at some point the abundant rewards will follow, financial provision included.
Lean seasons and challenging stretches will no doubt be a part of her journey. I'm just crazy enough to believe that those experiences, too, will be part and parcel of her ongoing life learning. My hope is that she will gain confidence in her calling and that all of her encounters, both joyful and difficult, will be the means by which the intangible qualities of maturity can blossom.
May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace; may our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce; may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields; may our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing; may there be no cry of distress in our streets! Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!