Monday, August 31, 2009

DSA results!

I'm absolutely delighted to announce that Lesley-Anne has been successful in her DSA application. For privacy reasons, I will not disclose the names of the two schools she applied to, they shall only be known as School X and School Y. This post is for me to share how this little journey of just one-and-a-half months had been a test of faith of sorts.

As a family, we had obviously been praying very hard for Lesley-Anne to be successful in her DSA application. She'd applied for two schools, and Kenneth and Lesley-Anne had both prayed for God to give them a clear signal, ie give her only one acceptance so she would know which was the school for her. But unbeknownst to them, I’d been praying for God to give her BOTH schools. Why? In my own twisted way, I felt that asking God to close all options except the right one was a cop-out. Faith to me is about making a conscious decision to follow God's will and I felt that this DSA decision, which would impact on Lesley-Anne's next four to six years, was a milestone - it should testify to God's love somehow. Following God because you don't have a choice is hardly an act of faith. I know, I know, geh kiang right! Must make an easy thing difficult.

So anyway, we went through the whole process of DSA from application to tests to interviews. Initially, all three of us had School X as the school of choice, School Y was the back-up. But within that short timeframe, things slowly changed. It was a combination of things - the admissions process, the school environment, the vibes we got talking to the students of both schools, the fit with Lesley-Anne's personality, the teachers, anecdotal stories we had heard about both schools, even the types of students who wanted to go to each school. Strangely enough, everything seemed to be in favour of School Y.

Kenneth and Lesley-Anne became more and more drawn to School Y and started discussing the possibility of choosing it over School X. But I stubbornly clung on to the idea of School X because in the world's eyes, it was the sensible choice. Even though certain aspects of School X were making me feel apprehensive and uneasy. (Note to those who know or think they know which is School X, I'm not saying it's a bad school, I'm saying that God was trying to point us to the right school for Lesley-Anne, just as we'd prayed).

Finally, epiphany struck when I was sitting on a bench at School Y as Lesley-Anne's DSA interview was underway. I was saying a prayer for her interview to go well and suddenly felt like a big fat hypocrite because while I kept spouting that we'd leave it to God, I still kept worrying about it, trying to second guess God's decision. I then came to this realisation: it’s not that I didn’t trust God, it’s that I was resisting Him. The honest truth was that I’d come to know that God intends for Lesley-Anne to go to School Y but I didn’t want it to be, so I closed my ears. All the time that I was praying for a school where Lesley-Anne could be happy, in my heart I really wanted her to be happy at School X.

The message I received loud and clear sitting on that bench that day was to let go. Really let go. And it was only at that point that I was finally ready to accept God's lead and say, yes, if Lesley-Anne eventually gets accepted into both schools, I am able to let her reject School X without any regret. I actually sent an sms to Lilian right there and then, sharing my thoughts. She was most encouraging as always and told me how great it was to have such a clear idea of God's plan. She's right of course. I thought, how stupid I was to even think of resisting the good gift that God has planned for my child!

So when Lesley-Anne was accepted into School Y, we were jubilant, but not entirely surprised. As a final piece of confirmation, one of the disadvantages of School Y versus School X is distance. Then a couple of weeks ago, Kenneth went jogging in our estate and lo and behold, he caught sight of a student from School Y. We've lived in this estate for over 12 years and never seen that uniform here. He stopped her and asked how she got home. Turns out, there's a public transport route that we didn't know about from School Y, that would take significantly less time than we thought. When God blesses, He doesn't sprinkle, He showers :)

As it turned out, God did answer my prayer - He gave Lesley-Anne both schools. I'm guessing it's because He knows He can now trust me to make the right choice. The nay sayers out there will probably think we made a foolish decision. It really doesn't matter. What matters is that I know deep inside that Lesley-Anne will be happy at School Y and it will play a big role in shaping her very important teenage years. I can't ask for more than that.

Note: Please understand that I wish to keep both schools anonymous so I request that you refrain from speculating openly in the comments. Thanks!


breve1970 said...

Heartiest congratulations yet again not only to Lesley-Anne but Monica, Kenneth and Andre as well! Indeed when God blesses, he showers!

So so so happy and excited for you! I know one thing for sure, when our time comes, you will be there for us!

Anonymous said...

Hi Monica

Congrats to L-A! Like you, my daughter went through DSA and was offered places at both School X and Y. The decision for us was clear because my dd had her eyes set on School X from the start and we do feel that her personality gels in well with the school's culture. Having said that, I would say that School Y definitely grows on you. The teachers and school culture strike me as being particularly nurturing and caring. I'm sure L-A will thrive there.

I am curious to know what you heard about School X that made you apprehensive and uneasy. If you're okay with sharing, could you pls email me? Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Congrats to L-A that she has choices! In life, I always feel that it is better to have choices than not to have choices. And God has indeed blessed with choices. At least she is given an opportunity to decide what she wants and live with no regrets. Similarly when she chooses her boyfriends in future, it will be better to have choices too! Oops! LOL


Lilian said...

We've written each other many emails about this and I really have to say I've learnt so much from you and your walk with Him.

I saw for myself how you truly placed all your trust in Him and was really at peace even before any results came in. Now I know why you say He is so real in your life.

It really is about how you live your life that uplifts fellow Christians, not what you say or preach, isn't it?

And of course, once again, Congratulations Lesley-Anne, I still think you would have thrived in either school but I'm glad you and your parents agreed on a school you ALL love.

LadyB said...

What can I say?...what matters most is tt Lesley-Ann loves n feels comfy with the sch. Congr to her dream comes true and really shs the happiness of ur family too. A *Toast* to the great news & all the best for the coming PLSE :)

Karmeleon said...

Congratulations! Ah, for Lesley-Anne, must be really good schools, so I guess the choice can't be too hard?

It has been a 4mths process for my boy from application, auditions, tests, camps, interviews. Have received replies from School Q & School R(1 offer, 1 reject). Now waiting for finally School S. *haha*!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Congrats! I can imagine your happiness with regards to your daughter's success in her DSA applications. While you are glowing in your joy, I am drowning in my sorrow. I have just received notification that my daughter's DSA application to school Y has been rejected in the final round. She was rejected by school x at the onset, after her GAT. What a double blow! It is really not easy being a mainstreamer who is not at the top of her cohort. Like you, I have a child from GEP & one not. I am finally feeling the tilt of favour towards the GEPers as claimed by mainstreamers' parents. Very sad.

monlim said...

Wow, I was amazed to find this stream of comments waiting for me. I'm so moved by your very generous spirits.

Sue: I will email you separately.

QX: boyfriends??? don't freak me out :P

Anon: I feel for you, really I do. Even though there's no guarantees that GEP kids will get DSA (one girl in L-A's class didn't even get called for interview), I know it's even harder for mainstream kids. I hope you won't let this encounter demoralise you and your daughter - many mainstreamers in the end do very well for the PSLE, so chin up and all the best to you!

Lilian: My dear friend, so glad we could share this walk together - made the whole process so much more real and meaningful, no? I think God also eventually sent a clear sign on your end so that you can be at peace with your decision. It's so great to be able to celebrate with you!

Jo said...

Hi Monica

This is wonderful wonderful news ! Praise the Lord ! What a great testimony of faith ... God does have great plans for our children. I think sometimes we as parents think we know better based on logic ... but He knows best !


Anonymous said...

Hi Monica,

My daughter who is P6 will be applying for DSA soon. If shortlist, she will have to go through an interview. Can you share with us what are the questions asked during the DSA interview ? thanks.

Best regards,
Ms Lim.

monlim said...

Ms Lim: DSA interviews are really for the school to know more about your child, so they'll have the usual questions eg "why you want to come to this school", etc. It's difficult to say what sorts of questions are asked cos they're so varied, depending on the school and the type of DSA.

Anonymous said...

Hi Monica,

Not sure how to drop you an email in private but wanted to write just to thank you for this. It's been a great encouragement to me to read about lesley-anne's journey in education and I can really identify with her. I'm also a Christian from a Chinese family, danced ballet for 12 years, was from the gep myself. I too had many similar milestones in our gep life, right down to the not-a-top-scoring-geper, f9 for math in sec school and studying ell bit of her school life (was in the pioneer batch of ell students myself).

I still recall my own psle year, when I was trying for dsa (also the pioneer batch for this initiative). I remember not knowing which school to apply for, and after attending the open houses, had my heart very set on one school (after reading your blog, I strongly suspect that lesley-anne is my junior!) although my parents encouraged me to apply for both. So imagine I was crushed to not receive an offer from the school I really wanted, and at my interview with the other school, felt that my chances were close to none when the interviewer seemed less than impressed with my dismal prelim results. To cut the long story short, God made a way and I eventually got dsa offers from both schools, but God also blessed me with results that allowed me to enter without needing a dsa eventually.

Indeed God's plans for us are good and to proper us. Looking back on the ups and downs on my school life and now working life, I know God has always given me what's best for me even when we think we know better.

Thank you for your lovely blog and may you and lesley-anne soar to greater heights by God's grace. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and may God bless you and your family!

monlim said...

Anon: Thanks for sharing your own story. It's always comforting to know that you're not alone in your journey, isn't it? Yup, looking back, we can see how God has planned for us all along, even when we're confused and unsure and trying to manipulate His hand in deciding our path. He truly sees the very long term :)

Merry Christmas to you and your family too!

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