“You must have a lot of people praying for you,” the caseworker had said to her. Those words continued to run through the young girl’s mind as she sat, in awe, amazed by the power of God over her life. Amazed, again, by His goodness; frustrated, again, by her crippling doubt and consuming worry. Oh how good her Father was, how good He is, and how little she had trusted Him in the process. “You’ve been there all along Papa, and I didn’t believe. I’m so sorry. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you,” her heart echoed to her best friend. Her lips kissed the soft cheek of her little girl as her Papa breathed back, “I’m the God of the learning curve.”
He’s the God of your learning curve.
That line still runs through my mind, that despite my shortcomings, despite my fear and doubt, God comes through. He meets me where I am at on the learning curve. He walks me through the unknown and teaches me patiently. He never gives up on me even when I stumble, and He shows up again and again, time after time, season after season. No matter where we come from or how much knowledge we have, Holy Spirit comes and teaches us ALL things. This is amazing and huge news. He does not teach only a few things, nor does He leave us in the dark, but rather He teaches us ALL things through His mighty power and infinite wisdom and love nature. God is love: pure, true, beautiful love. Yes there is judgment, and hell exists, and those who don’t believe and follow Jesus will go there, but God’s nature towards His creation, at its core, is love. His nature towards sin is judgment, and that is why Jesus took our sin. Now when we are in Christ Jesus, we are a new creation and God no longer sees our sin since we have been forgiven. He sees the cross and Jesus washing us clean. His nature towards you as a person is love. His nature is to teach you, protect you, and draw you to Himself as you journey through life side by side. This weekend I was in awe again of His nature towards me even when I fell short. He is the God of my learning curve. Despite my shortcomings, He shows up. He shows up.
“You must have a lot of people praying for you.” She still couldn’t believe the words the caseworker had said to her on the phone while she was vacationing in Florida. “You have been accepted for Consolidated Waiver for Vanessa for life.” Her mind swirled with what this meant. Her years of advocating for funding were coming to a close. Her years of worry about Vanessa’s future and what would happen to her were coming to a close. “In all my years as a supports coordinator I haven’t seen this happen since funding became limited a few years back,” the caseworker had told her. God had showed up for her family, just as He had for all those past years. Tears welled up in her eyes as she sat in the beauty of her Papa. She needed Him day in and day out, but was not expecting this blessing to come so soon. They had just been accepted for Personal and Family Waiver, a much lower amount, which in and of itself was a miracle, but to be accepted for Consolidated Waiver was beyond amazing. God has heard us. God has answered us. She had advocated for the funding as well as she knew how, and he came and invaded that learning curve, teaching her all she needed to know, leading her to do her part, and showing up to do His part.
He’s the God of the learning curve.
I want to lay some background here. Vanessa has an intellectual disability and will need help her entire life. The county gives funding to individuals like her to support her for a group home or life-sharing opportunity, job coach or day program, and any needs she may have as life comes her way. Most individuals receive this funding sometime after age 21, when they are done school. When Vanessa’s mother passed away in 2014, she was put on an emergency list for funding to help out whatever family took her in. The emergency list means you are guaranteed funding within six months. Due to not having enough funding in the county, we have been on the emergency list for four years now. Every couple of months we would send another letter, her caseworker would send a notice to county saying we need help, and we would pray. Each month we would hear nothing back. There are three levels of funding. First level- Personal and Family Waiver. This is up to 33,000 dollars a year and covers limited in home help. We were recently accepted for this, and we were able to hire staff three days a week to help Vanessa learn independence and job skills in the community. It has been a blessing but is not enough to carry her when she is older. The second level- Community Living Waiver. This is up to 70,000 a year and covers a group home. It is not enough for round the clock staff or job support and a home. This would not be sufficient for Vanessa for the rest of her life once she lives alone. Third level- Consolidated Waiver. This has no yearly limit. It can cover independent living, family living, life sharing, or group homes. It will also cover a job coach, day program, and respite staff, and it will be for the rest of her life. This funding is only available to the number of people who currently have it. There’s no more open slots. Therefore, in order to receive it, someone in the community who has it must pass away or move out of PA. This funding is what we have been advocating for but have been told we will most likely not get it until well after Vanessa is 21. She wants to move out after she’s done school, at age 21, but without funding that is never possible. I have struggled feeling very stuck, especially when we feel we cannot sufficiently take care of Vanessa without help, and having no funding made me feel hopeless. This is the funding we just received, and this is the story of God’s faithfulness in it.
Friday she received a call from the caseworker saying, “you must have a lot of people praying for you because you just got accepted for Consolidated Waiver.” They chatted for a while before she hung up the phone. Her mind raced with the implications of what this means. No longer was Vanessa’s future a big black cloud of fear and unknowns. No longer would she need to worry about if she could sufficiently take care of Vanessa. No longer was she stuck. The depth of God’s hand in this journey was slowly sinking in, heavier and heavier, as she replayed the words the caseworker had said. Over a month ago she had written a letter and sent it to the caseworker stating why Vanessa needs funding and why she could not live under her roof for the rest of her life, as Vanessa herself did not want to be doing that. The caseworker was to submit the letter to the county. Weeks went by with no word, nothing unusual, and the young girl forgot all about the letter. A month and a half later the caseworker asked if she had typed up that letter, in which she responded, “yes, and I sent it to you.” “Hm that’s weird,” The caseworker exclaimed! “I never got it. Could you send it again?” So she sent it and the caseworker forwarded it on to county. She checked her emails and saw it had previously sent but the caseworker simply didn’t get it. God intercepted it. Consolidated Waiver is only given to someone when another person who has it moves or passes away. In the past week someone passed away, and the waiver was given to the next in line, Vanessa. Had the letter been sent a month or so ago, Vanessa’s case would have been evaluated then, and put in a pile with the rest since no funding was available, but since the letter never sent, and was sent this past week, when the county went to evaluate it, someone had just passed and their funding was available, so it was awarded to Vanessa. God’s hand is in all things. All things.
He’s the God of the learning curve.
I stand in awe of His goodness. This is the end to almost three years of advocating, sitting on my living room floor in tears, begging God to show up big. As I was chatting with Him about the whole situation this past weekend, I felt Him saying, “I’m the God of your learning curve, but you must commit to learn, and I will exponentially teach you.” This has stuck with me. He is faithful to do His part. I must do mine. I needed to advocate, go to meetings, write letters, pray, and intercede on Vanessa’s behalf, and God is faithful to fulfill His part. He will show up for you. He does show up for you. He is faithful dear child.
He’s the God of your learning curve.