Alyssa got up quickly, opened the door and resolutely walked downstairs. After asking her family to come to the family room she said. “You guys, I need to ask you something. I’ve been very selfish and my dream of being an artist has been an idol in my life. Will you all forgive me? Mom and Dad, I’m not going to art school any more. Use the money for our mortgage and other needs till you get another job.” Tears welled up in her eyes as she gave up her lifelong dream. “Dad, this is the money I was saving up for art school, please use it, I don’t need it any more.”
Her Dad, speechless, took the check and then hugged Alyssa.
“Mom and Dad, will you please forgive me for being disrespectful, especially to you Mom, and for just caring about my own ambitions, not the needs of others?”
Mrs. Sunton, who had tears in her eyes, reached out to hug her daughter, something she hadn’t done for a very long time.
“Carson, John, will you two forgive me for being such a terrible sister? I love you guys, and I want to spend more time with you.”
They nodded and came to hug her too. After a long time of just hugging and crying together they finally broke up. Mr. Sunton went to his office to call the bank. The boys went out to play football. Mrs. Sunton and Alyssa just sat together and talked. This was the first time Alyssa had really poured her heart out to her Mom. They talked about friends, and money, and artists, grownups, and many other things that they never had seemed to feel comfortable talking about together. That night Alyssa thanked God for forgiving her and giving her such a forgiving family.
Ten days later Alyssa turned seventeen. Aunt Z. took her out for lunch so that she could give Alyssa her birthday present. After they ate the scrumptious chicken croissants that they both loved, Aunt Z. handed Alyssa an envelope.
“Alyssa, I’m so proud of what you’re doing. You were very courageous to give up school and follow the Lord’s leading in your life. The check in this envelope should cover your tuition, board, and everything else that you need to go to art school!”
Alyssa gasped and stared speechless at her Aunt.
“Oh Aunt Z.! I’d given up art school altogether! I never thought I’d ever get the chance to go! But that’s so much money, I couldn’t possibly take it!” Though she stated that she wouldn’t take it, her face showed the delight she was experiencing inside.
Aunt Z. held up her hand and then pressed the envelope into Alyssa’s. “I recently inherited a lot of money that I didn’t need. Some of that went towards this gift. You take it, I’m already an artist. You aren’t!” Aunt Z. smiled at the expression on her niece’s face.
Alyssa just sat there, thinking of the future she had given up that day when she asked the Lord to change her priorities and help her overcome her idol. He truly had, she had barely thought about it for almost a week. But now the Lord had provided in a way she never imagined. She was going to art school!