“Nothing feels right,” she had said before her hot tears started soaking through my clothes. And I knew how she felt. It was not the reaction I expected, but I held her. I didn’t try to make it better. I knew I couldn’t. Only God could make it better, make me better. Only then, could I teach her. So we had to let go of homeschooling as we had known it since her kindergarten year. She would have the most wonderful teacher. She’s a longtime mother in the faith, grandmother to my children’s friends, former teacher and headmistress, and all-around delight. My daughter would get used to it, but right now we were doing the hard work of letting go, and that was enough.
To be honest, it was a total surprise that there would be any grief at all. I like myself, but I had never intended to homeschool. Once the Lord invited me into it, I never saw myself as very good at it. Sure we worked hard, sure I believed in what I was doing, but I never thought I made it fun enough. I never quite reached the lofty goals I had set. In spite of encouragement from my husband and thanks from my kids, I guess I just thought everyone was being… nice. Hot tears and big sobs were proof that even at eight, somehow she had recognized a treasure that I had missed. This girl has always had more wisdom than years.
This all started at the beginning of the school year, when what had been tightness behind my knees when I exercised became debilitating pain. Teaching (at home, at least) doesn’t require standing, so from August to December, I taught sitting or lying down. It wasn’t ideal taking kids to appointments that lasted forever several days a week after school. Trying to get better while I taught seemed like the only thing to do.
After extended family had gone home after Christmas, my husband and I were lying in bed while the kids banged around in the kitchen making breakfast. He told me he was concerned for me. It was all too much. I needed rest. The Lord had spoken to him a while ago. He had been waiting for the right time to talk about it. Would I consider laying it down?
This was no small thing. I was being asked to lay down the single clearest word the Lord had spoken to both my husband and I in our fourteen years. I knew God had wanted me teaching them. I had laid down other dreams to answer this call. Now what?
Had I failed? I just couldn’t do it. God had asked me to, and I had failed. No, that wasn’t it. I knew that, but I also knew how the Enemy would try to feed me that lie in coming days. He’s the Accuser, rightly named.
And what about all the stuff we’re in the middle of? Do we just send them to public school mid-year? My heart wasn’t in it. I spent eight years in public school and knew it was fine, but I didn’t feel it was the right fit for them. Not now, not when everything they know and love felt more unsteady than it’s ever been.
We have this friend. Would she do it? Could we? So phone calls, and a meeting and just the right fit. She could. She’d love to.
So we ended up with a match made in heaven. The best teacher and someone that I genuinely trust with my children’s hearts. First, though, we had to do the hard work of letting go.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24
There it was in red letters.
A while back, I told someone, “Everything I’ve ever had in my life that means anything to me, I’ve had to let go of. It’s the way of the cross, the way of this upside down Kingdom.”
My husband, I thought he was great the first time I met him, but it was five years before I dated him. I let him go so many times before God really started working in his heart. Maybe the hardest times I’ve let him go have been since we were married, though. He’s my husband, but He’s ultimately the Lord’s. He wouldn’t be nearly as awesome if it was the other way around. I see the fruit of that letting go when I look in his eyes, and he loves me in my brokenness. I knew that man before, he couldn’t have done this back then. He would have run. Yet, he stays as faithful and devoted as ever I’ve ever seen him. Only God could do that. I’m so glad I let Him. I don’t regret waiting for the right time, the right guy.
I believe I will be so glad I let the Lord take me down this long, sometimes lonely road. I’m going to see, feel and experience things only He could do in my children, in my marriage, in my body, and in the earth. And there will be partying from here to heaven, and back again.
There’s been a whole lot of kernels falling to the ground around here. I’ve never been so stripped, and I’ve been stripped before. All those kernels look dried up and pitiful, not good for anything, or anyone. Nothing like fresh corn on the cob or a juicy watermelon. They’re hard and dusty. Should we even put them in the ground?
We know different. Those seeds are more precious than gold to our Dear Father, and He’s preserved them all this time just for us. We let them go. We put them in the dirt. He’ll send the Wind and the rain. The Son will peak through these dark clouds. In while, it will be harvest time.