From the time I was a child, I’ve struggled with a condition that my dad has affectionately dubbed “analysis paralysis”. When faced with a decision of momentous proportion or extreme importance, I weigh every possibility, think through every long-term implication, and basically drive everyone close to me a little crazy as I analyze every angle of the decision. I am guilty as charged.
My “analysis paralysis” was really stirred when our oldest son, Eric, began school in a historically strong, reputable, local public school system. We were doing exactly what was “expected”, and following the same educational pattern that my husband and I did, having graduated with honors from this same public system. Day after day, month after month, we had a sense of unrest and undeniable conviction. Despite some remarkable teachers and wonderful administrators, we longed for something more for our children. Having learned about the existence of some local Christian schools, we began to talk and pray about the possibilities. The very idea of the freedom to integrate faith and Biblical truths into the educational experience was almost too much to fathom, and we wanted to learn more.
There are so many wonderful educational opportunities to choose from! We knew homeschooling families that were experiencing the freedoms, joys, and benefits of that choice. We knew other Christian families who were passionate about being a presence in the public school systems, and we couldn’t deny that God was using them in impactful ways. We were also introduced to several local Christian schools, including Grace Christian Academy, through some long-time friends whose daughter was enrolled. As we began the lengthy process of considering all of these viable options, I was struck…again…with indecision.
Months of prayer, researching options, and talking to friends finally brought about one of the most powerful pieces of advice that we received in regard to our decision. After asking repeatedly for advice in determining the “best” and most “perfect” educational option for Christian families, a wise pastor friend finally made a comment to me that I still remember. He said, “Teri, God calls Christian families to all of those places because He needs his people at work in all of them!” From that moment on, it became clear. God was calling our family to a Christian school environment.
It was a new sense of freedom and we had direction. My husband, Clint, and I began researching schools, making lists, visiting campuses, and talking to friends. We decided to attend an admissions event at Grace Christian Academy on a chilly Sunday during the winter of 2005. We were awestruck by the strong, Biblical emphasis of the school, the opportunity to celebrate faith and prayer with students, and the passion that the faculty and staff demonstrated for families. We met the Head of School, staff members, and shared a memorable conversation with Mrs. LeaAnn Wright, a first grade teacher (who is still on staff today!). She, too, shared words of encouragement for us that are still embedded in my memory. After sharing our story and our convictions that God was leading us to move our boys to a Christian school, she said, “When God calls you, you can trust Him to provide!” As we left, we didn’t even make it to our car before we stopped and looked at each other and said, “We don’t know exactly how God will work out the details, but this is it. This is where He wants us.”
Mrs. Wright was right (pun intended), and the rest, as they say, is history. We transferred our school-age boys at the time: Eric entered 4th grade, and our middle son, Jared, transferred the same year in 1st grade. Our preschooler at the time, Bradley, soon joined his brothers when he later began kindergarten at GCA. Over the years, in addition to an outstanding educational program, we have seen the incredible relational investment given to our boys by faculty and staff members. We have been prayed for and supported as a family, and we have met some of our dearest friends through the GCA community.
If you’re suffering from “analysis paralysis” and looking for something more, I strongly encourage you to schedule a tour or attend an admissions event. A visit to campus will allow you to experience the GCA difference firsthand – there’s nothing like it. As you consider where God is calling your family, come see why GCA is such a special place to be.
Teri Rash is a wife to Clint and mother to three young adult sons, Eric, Jared, and Bradley. After enrolling their boys at GCA in 2005, Teri was hired in the area of admissions in 2008. In 2017 Teri transitioned from GCA Admissions into the area of Marketing & Communications and is enjoying the opportunity to continue sharing the story of the school she holds dear.