Last week, her Mom and I left Waverly in Lynchburg, Virginia for her to start college today at Liberty University. We - and a host of other wonderful people (family, friends, church members, classmates and others) - are incredibly excited for the latest chapter in her life.
I sit here at my desk and look at the picture frame that she left for me before she departed the Thursday before last. It is one where she is surrounded by seven (7) young men and women that live in the slums of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya.
The smile on her face is infectious. It is hard not to smile back at the picture.
And I want to say that the picture frame came from the Bishara women there with the beads that they string together to make jewelry and other products for sale - and their own self-sustainment.
On Thursday of last week, I would say that we all were able to see God's hand at work in a visit to the Student Accounts Office. Now, this isn't to say that she magically received a discount on her tuition or room and board. Rather, I believe that God showed the first of many reasons why He has led Waverly to Liberty.
I wanted to make sure that amounts were getting drafted from my bank account correctly as the amounts that I thought were on the original plan at the end of January weren't what was coming out of my account.
Once we confirmed what was going on, the advisor shared with Waverly that the best thing that she could do - as an incoming freshman - was to get plugged in somewhere - church, small group, etc. Waverly indeed has a well-thought out plan for this. However, he went on to share that he transferred in after his first two years.
He said that he went to a small school in Springfield, Missouri, Baptist Bible College. We all looked at each other and smiled as our church, North Park Baptist Church, and its founding pastor, Dr. John Gross, and current pastor, Randy Harp, have been heavily involved in - and are graduates of - BBC for parts of 50 or more years.
The advisor went on to say that he was aware of Randy and North Park.
He offered for Waverly to reach out to him or his wife, who was on staff at Thomas Road Baptist Church, whenever she needed.
The other two instances were stories that Waverly related to me over the past three days.
The first was making a connection Friday night at an incoming freshman function at Williams Stadium from a couple of young adults from our church who traveled this summer as part of the Lift Ministries team. They had told Waverly to be on the lookout for a particular individual with a distinct name. She didn't believe that she would encounter them so quickly.
The second came on Sunday when she visited Heritage Baptist Church in Lynchburg, which is pastored by the son of the missionaries that she visited in Tanzania. However, it was the woman who greeted her - upon noticing that she was new - who revealed in the course of the conversation that her parents were friends of more than 25 years of Karen and Sandy Baird.
To me, that is just God revealing Himself to Waverly that she is where God wants her to be right now in her life. As a parent, that's exciting.
If you read this, please keep Waverly in your prayers. While she's prepared for today for quite some time, it is still an awesome, new and empowering set of experiences for her.
I think she's up to it, but isn't that what a Dad is supposed to believe? :-)