We are the Thompson family, and we have been blessed, upheld, sustained, and continually shown God’s love and grace at Messiah Lutheran School. Our family started attending church at Messiah shortly after our oldest, Lucy (going into 5th grade) was born. As she grew, the time came to decide where she would go to preschool. It was a very difficult decision whether we would send her to Messiah or to a preschool that a close friend of ours owned. We knew if we chose Messiah, we would stay with Messiah through elementary, whereas if we sent her to our friend’s preschool, we would probably send her to public school since we lived directly across the street from a great one.
As always, God knew where we belonged, and He made the decision clear- so off to Messiah Preschool little 3-year-old Lucy went, with joy and excitement to make friends and learn about Jesus from sweet Mrs. Thimijan and staff. In March, at the end of Lucy’s preschool year, baby Clara (now going into 1st grade) joined our family, making our family feel “completed” as a family of four: Paul, Cheryl, Lucy, and Clara. Unfortunately, this bliss was short-lived; just after Lucy began her year in Pre-K, Paul was diagnosed with stomach cancer, followed by a whirlwind of eight months of treatments and hospital stays, and ultimately being put on hospice, and taking his walk home with Jesus just days before Clara’s first birthday in March 2017. Through his entire illness, we were prayed for and cared for by staff and families at Messiah. Upon his death, the prayers and assistance continued, and to this day he is still remembered. I thank God that Messiah was, and continues to be, a part of our journey.
Years later, we are blessed to now count our family as a family of five: mommy, “daddy-in-heaven”, Lucy, Clara, and “daddy-Calvin”. While our family situation is different than most, I appreciate that at Messiah, the girls are free to talk about our journey and our family plainly and honestly. The fact that their dad is in Heaven with Jesus is never something that is off-limits to talk about, and grace is shown during times when grief may hit harder (especially around anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays).
I thank God that he made our decision for preschool at Messiah clear all those years ago. I fear Lucy and Clara would have gotten lost in the crowd at a public school, or their voices and needs not taken as seriously. At Messiah, I am confident every day they are going to be cared for and loved as the unique children that they are. To us, Messiah is more than a Lutheran School – they are an extension of our family.