Four seasons. We can count on there being four every year without human intervention. Sometimes Winter is a little longer than we wished and sometimes Summer is hotter than we would like, but we can always count on changing seasons. The same can be said for our spiritual seasons. We can be loving life, feel closer than ever to God, be full of abundant joy and then, “WHAMMO”, a snowstorm or a hurricane. God has another plan for our next step in the adventure.
This was me after moving to Atlanta. Sure, going to a one income family was going to be tough and homeschooling 2 out of 3 children who declared how much they hated being homeschooled every morning would be difficult and having a spouse who walked out of his home office every couple hours to remind me how “concerned” he was about the kids social life was annoying…. but I was up to the task. We were starting a unit based curriculum on Ancient History that encompassed History, Literature, Bible, Geography, and the arts. (this is important later…God is so good)
Morning ONE I was met with scowls, groans and smart-aleck comments from both girls. I wasn’t going to fall victim to this….I saw it for what it was, an attack, as I was bringing Jesus back center and the devil wasn’t going down without a fight.
Yep, that lasted until day 3….after 18 hours of complete and utter disrespect, eye rolls at every turn and no buy-in, I flipped out. Crying, screaming, hurling accusations….my two girls looked at me and said, “see, told you homeschooling was gonna suck…”. God what have I done? You gave me a vision of victory and success and here I am walking through doggie poo….After prayers, phone calls to my sister (who homeschools her children) and other Christian friends who prayed with me, I was back in the game for day FOUR. Put me in coach!!
Now I am not going to say that it was easy after that day. I am not going to say that there were no more eye rolls and disrespectful comments. I am not going to say that I never again yelled and hurled accusations either. BUT, after that day, hearts began to change. Mine and the girls.
We began studying Ancient History, both secular and biblical, with a Godly perspective. We started at creation and went through every empire and major civilization..Babylonian, Egyptian, Indus River Valley, China, Assyrian, Persian, Greek, Roman. OHHHH!! I can’t hardly contain it…I didn’t know what I was doing but GOD did!!
We learned about Abram and his travels and how/where that was with Babylonian times, we lined up Joseph with our Egyptian studies and what was happening, Moses, Jonah (Yes, Ninevah is a famous Assyrian city…no wonder he ran!!). But most importantly, we learned about the beginning of every major religion…I was able to talk to my girls historically and Biblically why these other religions fall short and why the Bible and God’s way is the right way. They can tell you why, not just “because we believe this way”. It makes sense to them.
During this time, God led us (a whole ‘nother rabbit hole of God’s intervention) to a home church after much searching and prayer. The church was going through staffing changes, bringing in a new children’s, worship, and youth pastor when we found them. The youth pastor was a breath of fresh air to me. My kids clicked with him immediately and started ASKING to go to youth! They wouldn’t think of missing now. God was changing their hearts, they were becoming receptive to his Word. They were convicted in areas and there was repentance and restoration! PRAISE THE LORD!!
So everything is perfect, right? HA! Having only 11 weeks of school left, we were hit with a severe financial hardship that required me to immediately find a job. No joke….we were in ridiculous dire straits. So in a crumpled ball on my bed, after coming to the realization and guilt that I had done this to my family I cried out to God. Had I truly heard God’s voice that day? Did God truly say to me, “homeschool your children or it may have ETERNAL consequences”? Why God? Why!?!? When everything was going to great!
Now the kids were crying and hiding in their rooms because they LOVED homeschooling and didn’t want to go back to school. OHMYGOODNESS!!! What is happening?!?! I was crying and moving between guilt, for not working, and anger at my husband for not making enough (I am not sure how much harder he could be working but I was MAD). Proverbs 31 Wife over here let me tell ya!
So in an unusual ride alone with my sixteen year old, she brought up the whole subject of me going back to work and her eventually going back to school after two weeks of crazy emotional roller coaster rides in our home. As my eyes began to well up again, my sweet girl put her hand on my hand and said,
“Mom, I was really upset about you having to go back to work and me going back to public school. Sis and I were in a really bad place in Chicago, Mom. Really bad, you don’t even know. I was losing my faith. I started in Chicago witnessing to people. But after so long of not going to church and having Christian friends I was acting like them instead of me. Mom, you did hear from God, you saved us from that. We believe in God again, we understand why we believe and Mom, God told me when I prayed last night that it is time for me to get back into the field. I need to go back and witness to people in school and I am ready again.”
Thank you so much God for being by my side. Thank you God for using my little grown up girl to witness to me and give me a word that encouraged my faith and reaffirmed that I do hear from you and you do have our best interest at heart. Seasons change and I want to be right in the season you need me in.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NLT)
A Time for Everything
3 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.