Through the exorbitant grace of God, I was offered an opportunity to get the full cost of the week, registration, etc. covered; namely an essay contest. After much procrastination, I used the wisdom of my grandparents liberally, and sent my essay in on the second to last day.
It took some time, but when I found out that I won, I literally burst into tears. I had not expected to win, because they took longer than expected to get back to me. I was able to work for a neighbor and get some traveling money, and then our other neighbors gave me money in congratulations.
God is so good! The cost to the family (besides me being gone for a week or so) is almost nothing, and even though it was definitely not a 'need', it was one of the 'desires of my heart' that God has given to me. I have really been learning this week as I find out continually how selfish and self-centered I am and how I SO need to stop worrying and fretting within myself. I believe that God did not inform me immediately because I needed to wait and be content with NOT going before I was allowed to go. In fact, I registered to vote absentee for the TeenPact national candidates before I found out that I was going. I have been particularly touched by the words of this old Don Moen song that I 'found' again after some time:
For all You're going to do
We give You thanks
And lift our praise to You
Chorus: We give thanks, we give praise
For we know that all things work together for our good
We give thanks, we give praise
For by faith we know Your grace will see us through
For all those things that we don't understand
We come by faith and place them in Your hands
Even if we stumble, even if we fall
You will not forsake us
You are King and Lord of all
Lord of all