This year, two of my kids are in school. This is not newsworthy, except for the fact that I swore we’d homeschool most of elementary school, and yet here I am, happily (albeit a little reluctantly) sending them to one of those school places instead of learning at home.
In my early parenting days, and for most of my teenage years, I’d have never in a million years guessed I’d want to homeschool. I’m a product of public school, K through twelfth, and never imagined doing anything else.
But when we decided to move overseas, one of the price tags was homeschooling—our Middle Eastern city didn’t have any English-speaking schools, and our local neighborhood’s school was a bit on the scary side. So I made my peace with the idea of homeschooling, and eventually became sold on all its benefits. There are many.
The point of my post today isn’t to weigh the pros and cons of different schooling methods. It’s about letting go.
See, I’ve been utterly in His hands, year after year, with the path God asks me to take; so much so that I’m now more surprised than shocked with life’s changes. I could write a book about all the unexpected loops and stomach-dropping dips on the roller coaster ride I’m on with my family, and school has been just one of them. But each one, going through dark tunnels and speeding around the bend with the breeze in my hair, has reminded me that I am not God, and that He Who Is is much more infinitely good, wise, and trustworthy than myself.
Homeschooling—and the lack thereof this year—is more symbolic to me right now than anything. Symbolic of how I like to place on pedestals my ideals, my way of doing things, my preferences, above that which is ultimately best. Of how it’s so much easier to focus on the appearance of what’s best instead of what’s truly the best thing for me and my family. Of how I think I know what I’m doing, but no matter which path He calls me to walk, God will take care of every little significant detail.
When I lean into the wild and wonderful gust of trusting God, I’m held steady by His goodness. When I turn my face to His pleasure instead of the approval of people, I can follow the curves and turns of my path, no matter how steep or sharp or unexpected.
I typically say that we are year-at-a-time, kid-at-a-time people when it comes to schooling because I can make all the plans I want in my heart, but God ultimately determines my steps. For me, to do anything but reevaluate every year is to say I can clearly see our path eighteen years away. I can’t. And I’ve known from experience that He delights in our family following Him like flint into the unknown.
The schooling bit of this post doesn’t matter. It’s just an example. Being willing to let go is just as faith-full in deciding where to live, how to earn money, what books to read or TV shows to watch, how to relate to people, or whom to marry.
As for me, I want to be ready for anything. To go anywhere, do anything, and join my family into the wild goodness of following our Father. Leaning into change, instead of resisting it, makes the ride that much sweeter.
I can let go of the safety bar as we careen down the hill, or I can hold on for dear life—either way, I’m on a crazy ride. But in one circumstance, I’m reluctant and reticent, and I’m missing out on some of the fun. The other, I’m feeling the sway of every delightful bend.
What crazy ride is God taking you on right now? Are your hands raised in the air, or are you clenching the safety bar?
By Tsh, Simple Mom