So how did Hannah find the path to Southern? Hannah knew in her heart that she wanted to attend college right after high school. I was not so sure, but neither was I going to limit her. So as we selected her high school subjects and activities throughout her homeschooling program, we always kept in mind her goal. At the end of her junior year we did serious research into college choices. This probably should have been started sooner, but the Lord led us in his timing. Don't let others tell you how to follow someone else's plan, it never works - and God is never too early or too late.
During her senior year we kept our eyes open for opportunities to see God's leading. Early in the search we were ready to settle on a local community college to save money and still have Hannah at home a few years longer. It made sense in many ways. As soon as we made that our final decision, a number of hidden things came to light regarding that school and the door we thought was wide open - slammed shut - and locked! It also made clear that the only option for us to consider was a Christian college. We knew that no school would be perfect - it does after all have people there! But we also knew that a Christain school would try to follow God's teachings, not mock them.
So we first began an internet search to match our basic critieria - Christian and a good program for a flute major. Many Christian colleges have good programs for voice or piano - flute was a bit harder to find. It was narrowed down to three choices at that point. Southern was number three on our list and the only SDA one. We arranged visits to all three. However due to promises made and quickly forgotten, one of those three options was also gone before we wasted our time and money visiting it. So we only made trips to two schools after all - that was quite doable. During this process, a few other potential schools surfaced as we talked with others, but further research found them deficient for our purposes for one reason or another. Now we were down to two choices.
The visits were extremely important - as was a lot of family discussion - and much prayer. During this year long process the folks at Southern were amazing. At no other place did I encounter so many positive and helpful people. Across the board, in every office and every department, we were treated like Christians should treat each other. Most importantly - Hannah felt very much at home at Southern and the program for flute is excellent. It did help that her older brother is also here at Southern (in the nursing program) - but that was the bonus, not the primary reason for the choice. Our family is confident that this is where God wants Hannah to be for this season.