The original plan for reintegration included Asher attending a small, Christian high school in our area. With our son continuing to question God, we wanted him to experience a worldview that made room for the supernatural. We continue to enforce a strong policy of acceptance in our home regardless of Asher’s spiritual convictions. His relationship with God is ultimately… with God. We are called to love him and provide a backdrop of unconditional love with healthy boundaries. But we also believe it is our responsibility to provide Asher with as many opportunities to ask and hopefully answer his questions surrounding faith.

The application for Calvary High School was long and required several steps that took far longer than necessary. JCF needed near-constant prompting to furnish a specific academic reference form. The staff at Calvary High were taking summer vacation time and at any given point at least one member of the admittance team was unable to participate in the required family interview. It was hectic and overwhelming.

But today Asher is at school.

However, he is not at Calvary High.

Last week, after I finally reached Calvary’s guidance counselor about scheduling our family interview, we learned that Asher was missing a math credit and history credit that are usually taken in a student’s sophomore year. Because Calvary is such a small school, they cannot offer different sections of these classes to catch any stragglers. The net result was that Asher, if accepted, would need to repeat his sophomore year of high school and graduate a year later than scheduled.

Joseph and I were already struggling to figure out how we were going to pay the many thousands of dollars required for Calvary’s tuition. The thought of adding another year to that sum, without absolute need, was unappealing. But the other, far more pressing factor, was that we couldn’t imagine Asher living at home for another year. Right now, moving out in two years is a very present target for everyone.

The crisis provided a backdrop for us to sit down with Asher and share with him the situation. We brought up the missing sense of connection we feel with him. But it also allowed us to assure him that his decisions regarding God do not bear on our commitment to care for him. He acknowledged that his choice of Calvary was based on us more than his own desires and that he preferred a public school option.

So, the decision was made for Asher to attend Washington High.

Joseph reminded me that if we believe God was present at JCF, certainly He is present in high school.

And I am, again, humbled in my pride. For so many reasons, this was not the path I ever saw us taking with any of our children. Yet here I am, facing the uncomfortable reality that either God is big enough to cover the situations out of my control or He is not. And my tightly held, firmly espoused theology must work in life and not simply in theory after all.