Countdown to College Blog
January is an interesting month in the seasons of college counseling as it is a month of contrasts. Our seniors are grappling with the fact that they are starting their last semester of high school and all the “last times” and goodbyes are coming soon. Many, but not all, are waiting to hear from colleges and feel like they are in a never-ending holding pattern. The waiting has become tiresome and they just want to know the plan for their post-high school lives.
Meanwhile, our juniors are starting Junior Seminar and taking their first serious steps as a group toward really grappling with the questions of what they want their college experiences to be like. And our sophomores and their parents are just becoming acquainted with the college counselors, the students having been introduced to us in December with a career interest inventory and the parents being introduced to us with the Grade 10 College Planning Parent Night on Jan. 19, the first in our series of parent nights with this class. We feel a sense of excitement and hopeful anticipation (and some nerves too) from the sophomores and juniors as they each take their respective steps in starting this process.
Amidst those contrasts, this verse popped out at me in my daily reading:
He has showered his kindness on us, with all wisdom and understanding.
Ephesians 1:8, NLT
My first response to this verse was to see it as a prayer for students and parents. The greater context of this verse is that it sits in a passage that reminds us of God's tremendous love for us, demonstrated by His plan to redeem us through Jesus. In other versions, the word “showered” is translated as “lavished,” which perhaps better communicates the overflowing and never-ending love that God has for us. Either way, it’s a thought that we all benefit from pondering and praying over, regardless of our stage in the college admissions process. I hope this prayer gives you a moment of pause to feel showered and lavished by God’s love:
We are so grateful for your astounding capacity to love and are thankful that you have chosen to love us as your children. Help us not to miss the magnitude of that love and to feel it every single day, in ways large and small. Give us eyes to see the ways in which you work in our lives. Help us to feel your extraordinary kindness toward us.
Please help our community of students and parents to feel that love and kindness in the specific context of planning for college. Replace feelings of anxiety or trepidation with feelings of peace and calm as we know that we rest in your goodness. Provide each student and parent with a clear understanding of your love for them, communicating as only you can do in the vast variety of ways that speak to each of us individually. Be incredibly obvious in your kindness; shower us and lavish us with it such that we can’t possibly mistake it for anything other than your love.
Father, we know that your love is sometimes expressed by giving us both wisdom and understanding, and we pray that for our community as well. Help our students to discern who you created them to be and how you would like them to act on that in their daily lives and in their planning for the future. Give them your perfect understanding as they seek to identify the college community where they will thrive the most, and help them to define “thriving” as you would. Sway their thoughts to match your thoughts. Help us all to see the world around us as you see it.
You are good to us and we are so grateful. Work in and among our community to achieve your perfect ends in our lives. Shower us with your kindness. Give us your wisdom and understanding in all things. Draw us all nearer to you.
We love you. Amen.
Director of College Counseling