As I was moving to Houston four years ago, I thought I just need a job so I can provide for my family. Pregnant with my third child, Josepha, and already mother of two other little girls, Manuella and Paule, I needed to find a job and support these little angels.

But something happened – the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. The still voice of the Lord, told me "that is not the plan I have for you. The plan I have for you is to go back to school."

I ignored the voice many times and kept searching for any job. I was done with school. I’d completed a medical assistant program. I needed a job. I needed to provide for my family. I didn’t think God knew what I needed then even though his voice kept ringing in my heart.

I guess the Lord was just laughing at me and said, "Until she goes back to school, she will never hold a job for six months!"

That’s exactly what happened. Every job I found ended within three months. Tired of that, I finally listened to God. I surrendered. I prayed for the courage to go back to school and open doors to help make that happen.

At TLC [a social program helping families], the manager empowered me to go back to school. That was a first sign. Then I got accepted to Buckner Family Pathways where I continued going to school, while they were paying for rent. What a blessing!

The Lord was ever present to strengthen me and provide for the girls. I didn't have to work. I could focus on my education, and whenever I needed a work study job, I did it until I no longer needed it.

I struggled some during my nursing program. I almost lost hope. But the Lord was there for me. He gave me the strength to forget and forgive all the hurts, and he gave me the strength to move forward and seek an associate’s degree.

Today, after hard work, studying late, waking up early, taking care of three little angels, I can finally say, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." I am graduating this morning with an associate’s degree in science. And this is just the beginning of more years in school. God’s will must be fulfilled in my life, fully.

At some point in your life, you will feel disappointed, discouraged, misled or even mistreated, but God will never leave you, nor forsake you, if you keep your eyes on him and listen to him. Be strong therefore and courageous, for the Lord is always there for those who seek him daily. For he knows what is good for us and he knows the plan he has for us.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart. –Jeremiah 29:11-13

Written by Viviane Djontu, a resident at Buckner Family Pathways in Houston, a residential program that empowers single parents to achieve their educational goals while caring for their children. The program provides housing, counseling, practical skills classes and help with child care.  

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