For the past two weeks, I’ve struggled with this post. My heart desperately wants to share the experience that God has given to our family, yet it breaks my heart to know that some (many perhaps) will not read this with open eyes. The journey I’m about to share is not meant IN ANY WAY to offend. It is simply to share what God revealed in our heart and to our family.
In a few short days our son will return to school…public school. I know for many this is a controversial decision. However, this is not a decision that my husband and I have come to lightly or without much prayer.
For the past two years, our son has asked to be homeschooled. He first proposed the idea while in 3rd grade, a year that was challenging to say the least. (You can read more about that year and our son's struggles in school here, here and here.) To be honest, I didn’t even entertain his request at first. But as the year went on and I could see the outgoing, happy kid who loved to learn and thrived in school retreat into himself and become a shell of who he once was, my heart became open to the idea. So I began to research it. I asked friends and posed questions online for information. I looked into various curriculums and spent many nights awake in prayer. As 3rd grade came to a close, I continued to gather information and then sat down, presenting everything to my husband, who was already well aware of the situation. To my surprise, he was very hesitant. His concerns were valid and I listened to them.
One of the rules in our family is that if both my husband and I are not 100% in agreement, we don’t move forward. We stop, continue to pray about it and seek God’s will for the situation. We've learned that sometimes God chooses to only speak to one of us; so the other always needs to be open and prayerful for God's will.That’s exactly what I did. I continued to pray, seek Godly wisdom and trust God's perfect will and timing.
As 4th grade began, I had determined to give it a month. If things weren’t better, I was going to pull our son out and begin homeschooling him (provided I could convenience my husband. Noticed I said “I” would be doing the convincing. I'm so glad this moment of weakness didn't win out). It didn’t happen overnight, but things did get better. As the year went on, I saw a happiness and excitement return to our son. Yet, he still continued to ask about homeschooling. Although I was willing to do whatever necessary to help our son I had reservations of my own and my husband still maintained his.
There is a song I love that says, “Lord move, or move me.” And that’s exactly what He did! He didn’t change my husband’s heart…he changed mine!Throughout the spring and over these summer months, God has made it incredibly obvious that He has our son right where HE wants him.
How do we know?
~When we asked our son why he wanted to be homeschooled, it became clear that is was his way of escape. Instead of facing a challenging year with a difficult teacher and classmates, he knew it was easier to stay home. He knew is was safe at home. God didn't call us to run. He called us to put on our armor! We can not run from our problems and God never promised our road would be easy. He promised he would walk it with us. The life of a believer is rarely safe, confortable or easy. As parents, we needed to help our son in the growing pains of his faith, not help him run from them. (As a mother, this was especially hard. Not mother wants to see their child hurt. However, it's through the pain that God stretches us, grows us and draws us closer to him...YES, even children).
~We saw God open door after door, using our son to be Jesus to his teacher and classmates. When a boy didn't have lunch, our son willingly shared his. When another child was being picked on, our son stood up for him, befriending him. He spoke words of encouragement over classmates who were struggling. He began to seek out ways to be Jesus at school. It became our conversation on the ride home, “How did you shine His light today?”
~Most importantly, we know because my husband and I have a perfect peace about it…and so does our son. He is excited to return to school for the first time in two years. He is becoming more firm in His faith and in shining God’s light to a dark classroom, playground, lunch period. He is learning that he may be the only Jesus someone ever sees and he is learning to make the most of those opportunities.
My husband and I firmly believe that God has a divine purpose for each of our children. We know that for now, that purpose is in our public school. If and when that ever changes, we are open and willing to move where ever He leads us.
And that, I believe is one of the greatest lessons we as parents who follow the Word of God can teach our children, to follow God’s lead, where ever it takes us, no matter how scary or uncomfortable it may be.Regardless of where the little ones (and not so little ones) in your life attend school, it is my prayer that they have a wonderful year and that God’s light will shine brightly through them.
Be A Blessing,