And, We’re Off!

I’ve only been to a racetrack once in my whole life, and it was many,  many years ago.  But the starting line of, “And, they’re off,” has always stuck with me.  Funny how things like that happen, huh?

We were feeling like we were off to start a race as we finally got everything loaded and began driving to Arizona where Jeffrey was set to start college – away from home all by himself (Is It Really Going To Happen)!

I wrote about all the wacky things that happened on that trip in my book The God of All Comfort, so I’m not going to get back into it here.  Instead I want to fast forward to arriving at the college.

Dad & Jeffrey
Jeffrey & Dad

It was absolutely amazing to me that Jeffrey showed no fear and just took off after the orientation, visiting all sorts of club sign-in’s and other informational meetings without hardly a glance in Gary or my direction!  Didn’t he need one of us close-by to help?  Evidently not!

Indeed the Lord had put everything together, piece-by-piece.

That first year there were definitely hiccups, and we’d get emails or telephone calls from his nursing staff or the college disability coordinator at least a couple times a week.  Unfortunately a lot of it was because Jeffrey was failing to do what he’d promised to do – such as being responsible and considerate of the time allotment we’d scheduled with the nursing organization.  It got to the point where a couple of times we had to actually threaten Jeffrey with pulling him out of college.

Then he’d turn himself around – at least for a few days.

In Jeffrey’s opinion, he was now a “free” young adult, and could do what he wanted – just like the majority of young students who move away to college.

But Jeffrey wasn’t like the other students because he had a whole list of special needs that had to be addressed.

By the end of his freshman year, we were informed by the college that Jeffrey was welcome back the following year, but had to move off-campus because of numerous complaints from not only the nurses, but also other school staff and some kids around his dorm.

Big problem…

But have I told you lately that we serve a God who is bigger than any of our problems?

Well we do – and He did.

There were a ton of question marks after Jeffrey’s freshman year, and as we packed up all his stuff from his dorm we wondered just what our next steps were supposed to be.  Were we going to be able to find a licensed residence home close to the campus by the start of his sophomore year so that he could continue on with his schooling?

As we continued to press-in seeking God’s will (Psalm 42:1), we believed the Lord kept telling us to trust Him, so we rented a storage facility close to the college, put away a great deal of Jeffrey’s stuff, and moved him back home to Oregon with us for the summer.

Jeffrey’s disability caseworker started frantically putting out calls to all the licensed caregivers in the area about any openings they may have to place Jeffrey in their home.

John 14_27 (2)Wouldn’t you know just a couple weeks before Jeffrey was to start back up at school a wonderful Christian couple agreed to take him in and provide transportation back and forth to the school for him?

Yes, truly Father God is amazing.  So as Jeffrey’s sophomore year got set to begin, we once again moved him back down to Arizona and got him settled in – this time to a home off-campus.  This wonderful couple stated that they were bound and determined to see Jeffrey through his next 3 years of college – because he was indeed a trailblazer.  We’d definitely heard that before (The “Impossible” Becomes “Wow”)!

But sometimes even well-laid plans can go haywire, can’t they?  Heartbreak was coming for us, which I’ll talk about next week when I wrap up this series.

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