Dear Sister, who knew what this year would bring?
Well, let me rephrase that. God knew exactly what this year would bring!
Right now, like many other mamas out there I’ve felt the knotted tension in deciding what to do with my children this fall. They all have different needs, which consequently contradict each other on cue. My oldest is autistic and has loved the long break from school so he can focus on things he is interested in. He makes sure I know how much he doesn’t want to go back. My middle boy is sad he won’t be seeing his friends and teachers in class. He has been watching his older brother leave for school for years, looking forward to the day when he can finally ride the big boy bus. And then my youngest babe wavers between both extremes, depending on the day. Mostly, he just wants to snuggle and know he is seen. All different humans. All different desires.
I don’t know how I am going to do this.
We are blessed that I am able to stay home and help teach our kids, but this is something I never thought I would do. I remember when I first became a parent, I told my husband I could never homeschool. I’m not an elementary school teacher. I don’t have the kind of steadfast patience and creativity it takes to keep the attention of 20-30 littles at once. It’s a true gifting, and I am more than willing to accept it is something I lack. But God knows my weaknesses are not in opposition to His plan. Instead, they are an opportunity for His power and provision to shine through.
As my husband and I have prayed about our family’s future, one verse keeps reverberating in my mind. “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) In my mind I see us walking in the sand and I look back at our wandering set of footprints. Every few seconds the waves wash over them and they disappear from sight. Then I look in front of us and I see the feet of Jesus in the same shifting sand. He is only a few steps ahead, but He is guiding us, always leading the way. Except with Jesus something is different… Every time His foot hits the sand, His footprint becomes sealed in concrete. Set in stone. Unchanging. Determined.
We choose to follow His path and place our feet where He has been.
The truth is nothing takes our King by surprise, not even a global pandemic. I may not know if our household can survive another round of e-learning with our oldest, but He does. I may not have faith in my ability to homeschool my Kindergartener, but He can. I may not know how to meet my preschooler’s needs in a socially distanced world, but He will.
My plans for this year have be derailed, but God’s purpose cannot be changed. Our children belong first and foremost to our Father, and He will be faithful to care for them in the ways that are best. We were never meant to handle everything on our parenthood plate alone. It does take a village. But when the village isn’t available, God promises to call all of heaven’s armies to our side. You are not abandoned on your journey, sweet friend. You may think you are unable and you may be right! But for all our “I am not’s,” God responds with I AM.
I AM your strength.
I AM your wisdom.
I AM your peace.
I AM your provision.
I AM your comfort.
I AM your God.
You may think you are unable and you may be right! But for all our “I am not’s,” God responds with I AM.Tweet
God is more than capable of carrying our kids and our cares. He is for us, never forsakes us, always loves us. Every detail of our lives matters to Him. Every struggle we face can be brought before His throne. We are His brave girls – His courageous women walking forward in faith because of who He is. The future of our families (and the world!) has never been dependent on us. We were made to rely solely on Him. And this pandemic has been sure to highlight this truth.
I can’t believe I will actually be homeschooling my children this year. I don’t feel ready. I know it will get hard and just plain messy. But I also know the character of my God who has shown up time and time again. He will hold my shaking hands. He will be my rock when my feet falter. My God will guide me in His steadfast love.
One determined step at a time.
*** This post was originally shared on Pamela Henkelman’s newsletter Be[Loved] Notes! Go on over to https://www.pamelahenkelman.com and sign up to receive her encouraging newsletters every month. They speak into the heart of every Daughter of God and remind them of who they really are… Beloved.
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