Our second child, the Ballerina, recently graduated from our family homeschool. We had planned for her to attend an accredited Christian college that specializes in Fine Arts and has an outstanding ballet program.
One of her friends already attends the school, and loves it. Our daughter was accepted academically, and had been adequately prepared in her pre-professional conservatory classes with her ballet instructor. In February, she and her dad and I made the six hour road trip to tour the college and attend the dance audition. We had a wonderful time, and according to our daughter, the audition went well. We returned home, and our family looked forward to her next step.
A few weeks later, we received a letter in the mail, and to our surprise, we found out she didn’t make it.
Our ballerina did not have a “Plan B.” This particular college is one of a kind. It wasn’t like she could find a similar program elsewhere. She was not ready to audition for a professional dance company… she needed more training. She really didn’t want to attend college just to get a degree–it was only a rung on the ladder toward a ballet career.
How did we encourage our daughter during one of the biggest disappointments of her life?
First of all, we supported her from the beginning. We supported her using college as a step toward a ballet career and not necessarily to obtain a degree. Which is ironic, considering I recently posted “10 Steps to Prepare Your Child for College.” I still believe in preparing your homeschooled child for college, but we support, as we do all our children, HER dreams… the dreams God has planted in her heart.
We prayed for her, that God would show her what He wanted her to do, in His time. Jeremiah 29:11 is one of our family’s favorite verses: ”For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We encouraged her to wait. ”But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) This was the hardest part. For the time being, she planned to stay at her current dance school another year. Though it is a good school, it seemed like a let down compared to what other graduates were doing.
Graduation approached, and we finished up our school year and prepared for the homeschool graduation ceremony we would participate in. We planned a party; made a display board and a photo album of her school years. And people would inevitably ask: ”What are you doing after graduation?” or, “Which college are you attending?” This was hard for our girl. Then her ballet instructor, one of the best and most professional in the area, announced she was leaving the school. Could things get any worse?
In the meantime, our Ballerina had attended a local, week-long mission project with a friend. She did not dance all week, and found she could be happy serving Jesus even if she wasn’t dancing. Her love for missions equals her love for ballet.
All of a sudden, everything fell into place. Our daughter got a job. The former ballet instructor started her own studio, with a pre-professional as well as a professional training program. Our daughter will be following her to the new ballet school. She will train six days a week, at a price that is affordable with her part-time job.
Our Ballerina then found out she was accepted to a two-week summer training program (these are huge in the dance world!) at a ballet school with a twist… this school is one of just a few in the country that combine ballet and missions. She will be training in a studio, and serving on the streets of the city as well, sharing the Gospel through dance and working with the less fortunate. A ballerina-missionary, just like she dreamed of.
I am so excited for her, and so glad she waited on the Lord, waited for His plan.
~ Written by Kim A.