As I swung the door open, it wasn’t too surprising to see mom standing there. She often stopped over to bring a gallon of milk or see if I needed anything.
“Hi Mom. Just can’t stay away from your granddaughter can you?” I teased.
“I came to get you. “ she answered.
“For what? Where are we going?” I asked
“We’re going to sign you up for night school.”
“Night school? Mom, I don’t have money for night school.” I said truthfully.
“I have money.” She answered “ and I’ll baby-sit so that you can attend classes.”
I knew my Mom. The discussion was over.
This is how I graduated from High School and kept my promise. A promise to Mom isn’t something to be taken lightly. This particular promise was huge! I was an ordained High School graduate. In my family, you graduate from High School, no matter what!
At the end of my junior year of High School, I broke the difficult news to my mom and dad that I was pregnant. Instead of graduating from High School, I fell headlong into the adult world. Mom and Dad were quite naturally heartbroken but they recovered nicely with the anticipation and arrival of their first grandchild.
My leaving High School added to the heartbreak. “Mom, I’ll go back to High School. I promise.” At the time of the promise, I fully intended to do just that. However, becoming a mom and becoming pregnant for the second time a few months later made the possibility seem remote. I pushed graduating to the back burner. Mom evidently didn’t. In fact, she was more determined than ever that I would graduate and she wouldn’t be leaving it to chance!
So with exception of two weeks off to bring my oldest son into the world, I attended night school and graduated. My mom, dad, siblings, husband and two of my children watched as I walked the aisle to receive the coveted diploma. A few years later, I attended college and received an Associates Degree in Human Services. I’m currently taking a writing course. I have completed a speaker’s course. You might say that I’ve become a career student. Thanks to mom, I learned not only the value of an education but also the value of overcoming. She held me to my promise and it has become more than the achievement of finishing High School. It has become part of the fabric of my life. No longer, do I view obstacles and mistakes as barriers to success. Rather, I see them as challenges to overcome. Instead of wallowing in my failure, Mom gave me a hand up.
Her persistence and belief in me, brings to mind the story of Barnabas with his young cousin John Mark. Apparently, John Mark had failed the evangelistic team in Perga (Acts 13:13) when he left to head back to Jerusalem. Later in Acts 15: 37- 39, we learn that this caused quite a rift between Paul and Barnabas to the extent that Barnabas and John Mark headed in one direction while Paul and Silas headed in a different direction. Barnabas wasn’t willing to give up on John Mark because of a failure. He saw potential, while Paul could see only unreliability. It appears that this second chance produced the reliable character that had been lacking in John Mark. Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 4: 9-11 tells the outcome.
2 Timothy 4: 9-11 Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.
(Author’s note- Mark and John Mark are the same person)
No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed.
No steam ever drives anything until it is confined.
No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled.
No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined.