Perseverance

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. — James 1:12

Many things do not come easy to my kids. These ‘things’ run the gamut over many different subjects: academics, sports, music. You name it and one, if not all, of my children struggle with these areas.

This is not just discouraging for my kids but this mama’s heart is hurt on a steady basis as I watch my kids fight for things that other kids just take for granted. There have been buckets of tears shed over this issue. There have been many ‘Why me?’ questions tossed up to the heavens. Regardless of the musings and questionings, we continue to be challenged with situations that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of as difficult.

Today, though, I was given a reason why my kids need to struggle as hard as they do.

Emma has been working hard to obtain her driver’s license. Let me rephrase that, Emma and I have been working hard. We have been working hard for the past five months so that her license would be a reality. There were many, many times, though, when we didn’t think it would ever happen.

We live 40 minutes away from the nearest city. It is a small city, a city which could almost be termed as a big town but to this country bumpkin family we think of it as a city; a city that owns one way streets and unmarked intersections (I never heard of that before until I came to this city,) and little idiosyncrasies that keep a new driver on their toes. In the area that we live, we have options to go to smaller towns to get the licenses for our kids but we go to the small city quite a bit so we thought it would be logical for the kids to take their driver’s test there.

There have been many a time in the past little while where I wondered if we had made the right decision. I won’t disclose the number that it took Emma to pass her driving test but lets just say she didn’t get it on her first try. We spent a great deal of time coming to the city to practise driving. We would leave home at 7 in the morning, get a half hour of driving in and then try to get home by 9:30 so we could get started on school. We did this about 3 or 4 times a week. By the third week, fatigue became my second name. Grumpy was another name that was bandied about in relation to me as well but we will leave it at that.

We would practice for a month, sometimes two months, and then we would head on over to the building that distributes the golden ticket aka the driver’s licenses. Something would happen: a silly mistake, a misunderstanding of right of way, that blasted parallel parking, and we would go home without that piece of paper. Tears would be shed, chocolate would be inhaled by massive amounts and then we would start the process all over again.

Both Emma and I were getting tired of this liturgy.

The small town was looking better and better as the days plodded by.

Today was yet another attempt to get that all-too-important piece of paper. We haven’t been able to get as much practice in because of the onset of winter weather but we decided to throw caution to the wind and try anyway.

I received a phone call an hour and a half after she left home to tell me that she, finally, had in her possession that elusive golden ticket!

The Hallelujah chorus filled my brain as the tears were shed once again but this time they were tears of joy and, yes, relief. Relief that our 7:00 a.m. pilgrimages were over.

The man who tested Emma( Neil is his name; we love Neil!) had tested her the last time as well. He told her that if she had gone to the small town for her licence she would have gotten it on her first time. He told her that he was impressed that she didn’t take the easy way out but kept plugging away at the harder option. He said that she showed great perseverance and that she should be proud of herself.

I then realized that this situation has been a great lesson for Emma to learn, one that will do her well in the future. It was also a lesson for me: yes, things do not come easy for my kids but they do know what it means to keep fighting, to persevere in order to reach their goals.

This also means that I don’t have to make as many trips to town now. Cue the Hallelujah Chorus again.

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