Imagine seeing a student grow from a rebellious middle schooler to a young man who takes his studies seriously, begins connecting personally with his teachers, begins to excel in his classes, and before you know it, is a college-bound teenager who appears to be making all the right decisions. Wheaton, University of Maryland, William & Mary -- where will he end up? Your relationship with him deepens, as he is a frequent visitor to your home and a friend to your own children. This, you think, is the "Cornerstone story!"
Then, over the course of a few weeks, you see him begin to take a turn -- not so much in school, but at home and in his friendships -- making choices that you know are leading him down the wrong path. As you counsel and pray and nurture, you are expectant that God will draw this young man back to Him and all will be well.
Then, like a punch to the gut, the young man makes a devastating choice that appears to obliterate his future. A choice that makes it impossible to remain at Cornerstone. A choice you wish you could ignore, but you know that in so doing you would teach the wrong lesson -- not only to this student but to the student body as a whole. As you explain your decision, through tears, you plead with him to get back on track and to utilize the amazing gifts God has given him. As you give him a parting hug, that you wish would not end, you beg him to invite you to his graduation when, you hope, this day will feel like a distant memory.
As he walks out, you are left shattered, crying, unsure of what else you should have done -- unsure of so much.
God, heal this pain. Watch over this student as he leaves our community and, if it be your will, let him return next year, renewed and ready to finish his schooling amongst his "Cornerstone family." And if not, guide his every step, his every friendship, his every teacher, Lord, be with him.
Please pray with us and for us.