Despite the anticipation of a new school year, no one knows what the coming months hold. Some students have their dreams figured out and goals in place, others go with the flow. A freshman at a new high school, Beth De Courcy, was the former, prepared to hustle hard to make her hopes come true. She had moved to California with her future meticulously planned: graduate from high school, go to The Master’s University, and finally, do what she loved — teach. This sixteen-year-old had no idea God stood ready to exchange her plans for something far above what she could ask or think.
That January, her Vice Principal called her into his office. Her mind scrambled for the reason why.
“I failed my pre-calculus test this morning,” she blurted, “but don’t worry I am going to get tutoring!”
He chuckled, “Beth, stop confessing and listen. I have a neat opportunity to share with you!” He explained that the school had a special education program and a mom had just called about her son Carter, a sophomore with Down Syndrome. She hoped that the school would pair him with a fellow student who would work alongside him for an hour a day.
Beth thought the request interesting, but couldn’t see what it had to do with her.
“Beth,” her principal announced, “the teachers all picked you unanimously.”
Beth was shocked—she had zero exposure to anything related to special needs. She couldn’t recall ever interacting with even one person with special needs in her life.
“I would ruin him,” Beth protested. “You should reconsider finding someone with a more specific skill set who would be of greater benefit to him. I’m just not equipped for this.”
The Vice Principal couldn’t help but notice the hesitancy on Beth’s face and in her words. Since he also knew that she was a believer, he dismissed her with a simple encouragement, “Go home and pray about it, Beth. We can chat more later.”
Ashamed, Beth looks back at that moment and sees her naivety and pride toward people with special needs, unconsciously thinking she stood in a separate, even higher, category than them. Little did she know that she stood on the threshold of God’s classroom, where He was about to change her theology and practice in big ways…
Danielle Ledoux is a former intern with Joni and Friends’ Cause 4 Life program who enjoys writing about God’s work in people’s lives. She is a graduate of Pensacola Christian College and recently received her Master of Fine Arts in Dramatics.