Our Hoop-jumping, Test-taking, Faith-testing Day

My daughter and my sister’s daughter have been studying to get their GEDs, and their big test was today.

An hour’s drive from here.

At 7:30 AM.

Two weeks ago, we drove to the Community College’s campus to register for this test.  I have never seen and jumped through so many stinkin’ hoops in my life…even getting married was easier and less stressful than this.

There were extra hoops for us because our daughters were homeschooled.  Which, in this state come with regulations that were different than the ones in our Idaho that we are used to…regulations that I did not have the money for, and did not comply with.  My daughter in essence was a “drop out” from last year when we were in Canada.  They finally accepted a statement from us that she had not been enrolled in a cover school in this state, and last attended school in Canada, and was disenrolled at stated date.  We had been told her passport would be sufficient for ID, until the actual registration, when a different official informed us that we would need a state ID.  She does not drive yet, and getting GED took priority over driving permit, it’s just where we were.  So, we were given a grace period of 24 hours to get a state ID, which we did the following day.

WHEW!  We breathed a sigh of relief, and began cramming for the test…rejoicing that the hoop jumping days were DONE, woohoo!  party time!


Today, we woke up at 0’dark:30 to drive an hour to the testing site.  We dropped girls off, and reclined the seats in the car to make ourselves as comfortable as possible while we waited for them to take their test.  My sister had just suggested driving down to the river to sit, when her phone rang.  It was her daughter informing her that they were requiring her to show her Social Security Card and her ID to be able to test.  We went in, and were taken by surprise when we were informed that per instructions on the paper we had been given two weeks ago (which neither of us received, nor were instructed about), the girls could not take the GED if they did not have their SS cards.  Because I am a disorganized procrastinator, I still had all of Kristin’s papers and documents with me in my purse from last week, so I pulled out her SS card and gave it to her.  She took off to take her test.

Her cousin didn’t fare as well, and was told that she could not take the math portion of the test today, but could take the rest if we drove all the way back home, and could produce the SS card before the start of the next test.

Shock gave way to disbelief, then to disappointment, anger and hot tears.

It still makes no sense.  We provided ALL of this two weeks ago, the same people saw us, took our information, made copies, processed us in to this registration…they knew us there, we had been a memorable group from the get-go.  But, rules are rules, they don’t make ’em, they just have to abide by them, I get it…I do…it was just all so…complicated and messy.

We were in the process of gathering ourselves together to drive back to my sister’s place and retrieve her daughter’s S.S. card, when we realized the car battery was dead.  Another complication.  The security officer on duty came over to give us a jump, and just as we were venting and wondering what else could possibly happen to this day, the sweet front desk lady approached our car.  She offered her sincere apologies for the misunderstanding and asked if she could pray with us.  She offered the sweetest prayer, turning our hearts and minds off of this earthly mess, and onto God, and  His ability to work even frustrating, complicated, messy things into something good and beautiful.  When she was done, the security officer told her he had the same thought to come and pray, and was glad that she had done it.  He assured us that the rest of the test could be taken today, and they were going to take good care of us when we got back.  Her prayer for peace over us was answered immediately, the car started, and we were on our way.

On the way, we vented some more, lamented our plight, and wondered aloud what in the world God could bring from this day to call good.  We encouraged one another, in this lifelong journey of faith that we are on, and marveled that just the time we think we’ve arrived, the test gets harder, and again, we are reminded to look to God for His help and perspective.  We made it safely to my sister’s place, retrieved the card, and made it back to the campus in one piece.

My sister’s daughter took all of the test except for the Math portion.  She was informed of another campus two hours away that test every week, on Thursday.  She was offered the opportunity to take the Math portion this week if she wished to, with no need for further hoops, except for the most important one, to bring her SS card and ID to show at the testing site.

While the girls were finishing up, my sis and I stopped at Walmart and bought two cards and two boxes of chocolates for our Christian friends who prayed for us today.  We all signed the cards, thanking them for their patience, optimism, and faith, and helping us bear our burdens today…and went inside to deliver them to the recipients.

What I learned today:

I have not arrived.  Not by a long shot.

God is the God of hoops and tests, and LOVES to test us on what we think we know.

Two are better than one.  If one falls down, there is one to help her up.

Our kids are so far advanced in the faith department than I ever was at their age.  They have a perspective and simplicity to their trust in God that I admire, and learn from.