The Great Orchestrator

3 comments Written on May 11th, 2011 by
Categories: Alumni, General

I sat on the return ferry as chilly evening breezes failed to dry away my hot tears.  I'd just attended the 2008 Seattle Alumni event where I heard about the new MU teacher-preparation program.  Through sobs, I surrendered in prayer.  "LORD," I cried, "I have a sick feeling that You want me to complete that program, and that's the last thing I want to do!  However, if this is Your will, I must go.  But You have to show me it is Your idea and not mine, and give me the grace to do it, because I just don't have anything left in me to give."

Closed Door and Opened Window

Three years earlier, I had lost my position at school due to a huge enrollment drop.  Within a month, my father's health began to slowly deteriorate and I became his primary care-giver.  In June 2007, he fell to the floor in cardiac arrest.  I was supposed to be dog-sitting in another town, but because they cancelled, I was at home and performed successful CPR.  After six months of exhausting 24/7 care, my father was admitted to a nearby nursing home.  After giving me seven months of mental and emotional rest, the LORD guided me to that Alumni event.  He clearly confirmed His direction and I was accepted into the MAT program.

During the application process, God began to speak to me through verses like Psalm 71:18, to "show His strength to the next generation."  Not knowing what that would look like, I entered the MAT program in January 2009.  Two months later, as I read about Autism in our Special Education textbook, I discovered I have High-Functioning Asperger's Syndrome (HFAS).  I finally had answers to a mountain of questions about my past.  I later exclaimed, "I have Asperger's.  YES!!!  That means I am weak.  And when I am weak, then I am strong because the power of Christ rests upon me.  What better way to show His strength to the next generation!"  I was thrilled in my spirit.  Not only was God using Asperger's to glorify Him, but He had made it a gift to build my faith and the faith of others.

Powerful Healing

When my father passed away in April 2009, I began going to counseling.  It was freeing, life-changing, and healing, as my therapists and I worked together to develop successful compensation tools for AS and to build God's truth in my heart about my identity in Christ.

Little did I know that God had planned to heal a lifetime of frustration and hurt when He called me to MU.  What I would have missed had I not obeyed that call!  A garden full of flowers is blooming in my heart where once was a dry, lonely desert.  As if this weren't enough, a few days before Graduation in May 2010, God provided the entire sum of my student loan.  I stand in awe on the sidelines of my life and watch God at work on a daily basis.  I am speechless!

About the Author

My name is Carol I graduated from Multnomah School of the Bible (as it was called then) with a BA in Sacred Music in 1987.  After assisting 18 years in the elementary private Christian school setting, I returned to Multnomah University (as it is now known) in January 2009 and completed the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in May 2010, where I also received my teaching certificate for the state of Oregon.  During the 2010-2011 MU school year, I completed the one-year Reading Specialist Endorsement program.  I am returning to Port Orchard, Washington, where I will work on the hope-filled story of my journey through life with High-Functioning Asperger's Syndrome, and the tools I have learned to successfully compensate for it - while preparing for upcoming doctoral studies in Special Education.


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3 comments “The Great Orchestrator”

Carol was one of my piano students . . . oh so wonderful to read her story!!

I bet Ronnie Glazner is feeling pretty awkward right now. The write up looks great, though.
Carol Wengel

Carol, I clearly remember your face from MSB days in the 80’s. I can remember you singing while I studied Bible etc. After school I did ministry in Chicago, met a person who became my wife and had the opportunity to serve in inner city ministry from 90 to 95. After the closing of that ministry, a move to Colorado and a very difficult ministry pos. for a year I later went back to school and earned a degree in Spec. education but was unable to get licensure due to various circumstances. Our family moved to TN to be close to family. A few months ago I returned to Portland to visit my aging father and sister etc. In preparation for the trip I attended MU’s alumni banquet and later learned of the ministry web directory through Matt Forsythe’s help. In less than 3 weeks I will lose my job as a full time care giver with the state of TN. Carol, Thank you for sharing your story. I’m beginning to think and pray about what the Lord’s direction would be for me. I learned through the Finisher’s project that I can be certified through the Assoc. of Christian Schools International (ACSI). Your story of working in the school all those years, caring for your father and finishing school with your student loans taken care gives me hope for God to work in all of my families circumstances including our student loans. I trust and hope God will use your story to encourage and or direct others through God’s grace and soveriegnty! Thank you Carol for sharing your story and may God continue to work in your life and may you be used to strengthen and teach many others and advance his kingdom.

Dave Gemar from Johnson City, TN