The other day, a friend was texting me about the craziness of life. Jokingly, she said how great it would be if she had a five-year plan written in front of her so she would know exactly where the craziness would lead her.
Have you ever felt that way? Like, “Ok, God, I know you’re in complete control, but can You fill me in a little bit? What exactly are You doing here?”
I have SO been there.
Moments where I feel like I’m walking blindly. Clinging to the truths that Christ proclaims when nothing really makes sense. Knowing my steps are ordered, but doubting the direction I’m currently headed.
Ironically, I am as Type A as they come. Planning, scheduling, color-coding? These are a few of my favorite things! I would literally die without my planner!! Like, literally, die.
When my friend that day said she needed to sit down and write a five-year plan, I just laughed. Because I was the girl who had a five year plan!
Now that the cat is out of the bag, I actually had a one year, a five year, AND a ten year plan!! #nerdstatus My husband and I knew exactly where we were going in life, and how we were going to get there.
But! One very normal spring day, God parked Himself in my living room, picked up my perfectly color-coded five year plan, and ripped it to shreds. I thought I knew exactly where He wanted us to go. But boy, was I wrong!
My life in a nutshell: From the time I was 9, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. In college, I earned my Master’s degree to be better equipped in the classroom. My husband and I had two perfect girls, bought a house, had a plan to be debt-free and better steward the blessings the Lord had entrusted to us. Slowly but surely, our dreams were coming true right before our very eyes!
Imagine my surprise when God made it abundantly clear that He was closing that door to my life. I tried to fight it. I tried to ignore it. But at the end of the day, I knew He was speaking loud and clear. He was calling my family to…gulp….homeschool. I would need to quit the job I loved, and slow down on my financial goals.
Me. The teacher. Who teaches in a school culture that mostly mocks homeschooling families. The teacher who LOVED her job! And loved her students! Like, really, really, REALLY loved it. I may or may not have cried all over the office manager when I turned in my unsigned contract. #truestory #sorryDonna
We filed the paperwork, pored over curriculum reviews, and committed to pull our girls from public school so I can teach them at home.
It may not be forever, but I know for right now, it is 100% the right decision for my family.
There are so many reasons why we made this choice. But the biggest reason? Simplifying our life. We are coming out of a year that was jam-packed. I mean, literally. Sardines ain’t got nothin’ on us!
This was a typical monthly schedule for us. And if you can believe it, this was AFTER we had purged everything we could from our normal schedule and routines! Gone were the weekly Bible studies that we hosted. Extracurricular events were put on the back burner. We took a major step back in almost every area of ministry we were involved in with our church.
We were in a time of life that made it seem like God was demanding more of us than we could give! My husband and I became the legal guardians for a little girl who needed intense counseling and support. At the same time, my father-in-law was battling his last few months of cancer. So juggling her counseling sessions and his doctor’s appointments and hospital visits became a challenge. We also had our two birth daughters’ schedules to deal with – pediatrician check-ups, dentist appointments, school events.
In one word, it was “cray-cray.”
One of my daughters also started having severe issues with school-related anxiety. Her creative, artistic mind just doesn’t always learn the same way most students do. Even with intense support at home, her grades (and confidence!) started slipping. I was given the “It might be time to talk to your pediatrician…” talk and was told she had a hard time focusing and keeping her attention on her assignments. Teacher-speak for “your kid needs meds.”
I watched my little girl go from dreaming she would one day write children’s books, to refusing to write anymore because she “can’t spell.” She started giving up too early in math because she’s “bad at it” instead of just learning it a different way. When it came to school work, she sometimes quit before she even started. And it broke this mama’s heart.
We were at a WONDERFUL school who had AMAZING teachers! The administration was the best I’ve ever worked under. (Hence, the emotional break-down when I turned in my resignation!) It was in no way, shape, or form any of her teachers’ faults.
She just needed way more one-on-one support than she could get in a classroom full of others who also needed the teacher’s attention.
While my daughter was technically learning the content, and retaining it, she was not performing well at all in class and her grades were completely affecting her confidence and her self-image. (This was confirmed for me when we received her standardized state tests and my girl who worked her butt off for D’s passed every single test with flying colors!)
My youngest daughter also witnessed some very traumatic things firsthand, and was struggling with some intense emotional issues because of it. For months she would not sleep in her own bed. Every night, we put her to bed. Every morning, we found her sleeping in her sister’s bed. She wouldn’t go into a room alone. We are actually still dealing with some aftershocks, if y’all could keep her in your prayers.
After an utterly exhausting and devastating year, He COMPLETELY wrecked my heart. But through it all, He completely changed my priorities. He reminded me what truly matters in this life. Ultimately, He called me to forsake everything in my life that I thought was comfortable.
There are many other reasons we chose to homeschool, but those are the biggies.
Honestly, my head knew it was the right call, but I was scared out of my mind. I am the most Type-A person I know, and I hate change. But I knew I just needed to take this leap of faith. So. I jumped!
I had a necklace made with the words “LEAP” stamped on a key. Every day, I have worn that necklace as a reminder that this year, I’m taking a leap of faith and being obedient. Even when the finances don’t add up. Even when I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing and oh-my-goodness-what-if-I-mess-up-my-kids?!?! God called me into this and God will work out all of the details.
Gone are my one year, five year, and ten year plans! I’m done planning. I just want to walk each day to the fullest with Him as my Planner.
Maybe you are facing a huge decision in your life. Common sense is saying no, but Christ is saying yes. Maybe you are facing a crossroads and need to make a decision that scares you, challenges you, terrifies you.
Cling to His words of hope. He has you, right in the palm of His hand. And if he clothes the sparrows, won’t he make sure you have enough food to eat as well? If you are facing a seemingly insurmountable battle – be it a job loss, a cross country move, an illness – rest in the assurance that He is here. He is here, and He is strong. And when you feel weak and insecure and inadequate, His power is made perfect in your life and will uphold you on your scariest days.
Can I just tell you how glad I am that He turned my life upside down? I’m so glad we trusted Him enough to jump blindly into very unchartered waters. Mostly, I’m glad I learned to focus more on the journey, instead of focusing only on the destination.
Fast forward to today: We are two weeks into homeschooling. I’ve missed my career at times, but it pales in comparison to watching my daughters fall in love with learning every day.
My girls are thriving. We have found an amazing homeschool community to be plugged in with. And I feel so refreshed. It was exactly where Christ was leading us, and I’m reminded every morning that His ways are so much better than mine.
My youngest daughter says I’m her favorite teacher ever. Yaaaaaaassssss!!!! My oldest, who struggled with spelling and never thought she could pursue her dream of being a writer, is starting to gain her confidence back. Take a peek at what she wants to be when she grows up…
She is learning ever so slowly that even though we struggle, we should never give up on our dreams. No weakness of ours is too hard for Christ to overcome.
I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say there are moments when I’m overwhelmed. We have had a few hiccups as we try to find a new normal for us. And we’re still waiting for God to intervene with a few financial burdens. But I’m learning to rely on Christ’s strength to sustain me, and His peace to push away the doubts and feelings of “Ahhhhhh! I have no idea what I’m doing!”
It will be a year of new beginnings, a year of healing, a year of togetherness and confidence building and outside-of-the-box learning, both inside and outside of the classroom. I’m just so grateful God got me out of my comfort zone and pushed me into this!
This picture sums it up, taken after our first full week of homeschooling. “We made it!”
And you will too!
My prayers for you are that you will rest in His sovereignty, grow in His grace, and cling to the truth that He is with you every step of the way. He is in complete control, and He will guide you and equip you for the task He has called you to.
Please pray for my little family, and I promise to pray for yours!
Has God called you to experience a new season in your life? What are the changes He is bringing to your life? And how are you clinging to Him to get through it? Please share in the comments below and we can all join you in prayer for continued encouragement and direction.