I started my doctoral studies in Curriculum and Instruction because I wanted to understand why our educational system consistently purged out students with disabilities from participating in post-secondary education. Their personal dreams of succeeding in college were being censored by a society that would prefer that they remain in the background. My students inspired me to chart a path for them through my doctoral studies, a path tailored for their advocacy.

I wanted to simplify their transition toward higher education and make sure that curriculum and instruction adapted to their needs to level out the playing field for them. 

Working with my students enriched my life exponentially by their dynamic, honest, gritty determination. They taught me the nurturing beauty of dependence. They often didn’t have a choice when it came to expressing their needs. They had to depend on others.

It was in their open dependence that I began to experientially comprehend what my relationship with God should be, an adventure in trust. Trust means that I am dependent on you and you are dependent on me. It goes both ways. In my helpless neediness, I reach out to God. In his giving nature, he responds to my need. We operate out of a partnership based on vulnerability and trust. This works for all God’s people in whose image we are created, not just the able-bodied or the master of academics. Individuals with disabilities act out of this relationship between vulnerability and trust. They epitomize what it means to trust. They trust, because, for them, it is a matter of survival.   

Is our trust in God a matter of survival?

Commit your future to the Lord! Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf.

Psalms 37:5