I cried the day I made my rounds to elementary, middle, and high schools to enroll my four children.
I was the home school mom who taught her babies how to read at young ages by creating words with wooden alphabet blocks. Often at two years old, I’d be on the floor placing blocks before my toddler and teaching him what it said. It was fun for both of us!
My oldest child started first grade at age four because she was brilliant. The next child was brilliant but didn’t like school, and it was work to get him through it each day. I was thrown into the mess of it all—but I loved it.
Then, my world changed from top to bottom. Out of necessity, I went to work. I knew I couldn’t work and do a good job with home school. I needed to trust God and do what I needed to do–I would have to send my children to public school.
Each morning as I put my little boy on the bus at 6:35 am (in NC that’s what happens!), I wondered what under heaven had happened to my home school table.
Each time my girls told me of another crummy boy with gross language and attitudes, I wondered why there wasn’t a better option for Christian moms who were unable to home school.
But, I was in the thick of learning trust.
Mothers, when we’re in circumstances we can’t change, the best thing to do is put our chins up and trust that heaven is on our side as we wage war with hell. (Many of the pressures in public school are just that—pushes for teenagers to engage in things that could turn their world right over.)
Still, we have to trust. God is on our side as we faithfully choose Him no matter where our children go to school.
I was slowly learning to trust my Master more than any method. There, He showed Himself strong.
This year, Covid-19 is in all its glory as I watch with bated breath to see what public schools have to offer their students. It didn’t take long to get the email with plan B being the best for my children.
But plan B offers them only one day of face to face interaction, only one day in school, and the rest of the week at home doing online classes.
I was getting that pit-in-my-stomach feeling as I realized how difficult our year would be. My business is growing and I realized that many a morning would find four children alone navigating each other–and classes–while I was gone to work.
It didn’t seem like something I could ask of my children, but I had no better option. The drastic change of not being able to be there for my children 24/7 hit me even harder, but I tried to trust what God was continually teaching me over the past few years as a single mother. I had to trust that He would fill in the gaps and we’d all learn things during a difficult school year.
I had to trust my Master more than my method. Only in this way would I keep peace and be able to offer my children the best of mothering under the circumstances we were in.
Still, my heart was fearful and I sunk into weariness, rather waiting for a school year disaster.
Then, as I sat under a sermon at our new church (I’m so grateful for Joy Church), God spoke to me. “Sara, trust Me for good things for your children.”
Realizing my state of distrust and fear, I said yes to God. I would choose to trust Him before I saw how things would play out. I would trust Him to do what I could not do. I would trust Him to show Himself to my children.
A few nights later I had a dream so vivid that I woke up, jolted into a deep awareness that I had to do something. A few hours later I knew I needed to do my best to get my children into private school where they could be mentored and taught each day even when I was at work.
Sometimes you can’t move until God lets you know that you know that you know that you heard Him speak.
It felt crazy, but I began phone calls immediately. My heart was filled with peace and assurance that I was in line with God’s heart. True to His nature, God worked everything out from paper work to finances to uniforms (yes, they have to wear uniforms, haha), and my four beautiful children are now enrolled in a private academy five days a week.
What’s more, my Junior can take college classes to get a jump start on her associates degree. Not only that, transportation to and from college is free.
My eighth grader gets to do Cross Country and make new friends on the team. This same child also had an unexpected—and amazing—counselor suddenly come on the scene.
My ninth grader gets to do the same curriculum he had just told me he’d rather do and would do so much better at than online school.
My little boy gets to attend the same school his little fishing buddies attend.
And this mama is filled with faith in a good God Who always shows up in many ways when we’re facing things we didn’t expect.
I trust my Master more than any method. I trust Him when the method seems faulty but is the only way in sight. And when the method seems better, I still want to trust Him most.
I will probably never home school again, and next year may have them back in public school. But from home school, to public school, to private school, and who knows what next year, I’m learning to lean into Jesus more than I lean into anything else.
Where you send your child is not as important as the spirit you show your child in your daily life with him. If you insist on home school when circumstances are not right for it, you may do more damage than if you trust God and send him to public school.
May each of us mothers trust Him fully whether our circumstances are difficult or easy. And may all of us know Grace that is truly greater than the sins of the whole world.
He’s looking over the earth to see whose heart is with Him so He can show Himself strong.
May we posture ourselves in position for His blessing (whatever that looks like), and receive His word gratefully.
From my heart to yours,