My arms ached as my kids grabbed their bags and tumbled out of the car.
I didn’t give them one last hug, my mind alerted me in bold letters.
I resorted to hollering “I love you“, through the crack in the car door before it had a chance to fully close.
The sweet, smiling lady I’ve seen every morning now grabbed their little hands and walked them to the cone just ahead of me. From there, she passed them to another lady who assured their safe arrival to the other side of the parking lot. But before they could walk across, the second lady grabbed both of my kids, gave them a big hug and kissed the top of their head.
Hot tears surfaced again, this time too quickly for me to blink back. They spilled down my cheeks as I tried to take deep breaths and keep driving away.
Thank you Father, for sending other people to love on my children. That lady has been an angel, along with that one, that one, that man, that girl. You have answered every prayer of mine beyond what I could ask or think.
Words from the Lauren Daigle song I posted during my 31 day challenge rang in my ears…
Letting go of every single dream,
I lay each one down at your feet,
Every moment of my wandering,
Never changes what you see.
I tried to win this was, I confess.
My hands are weary, I need your rest.
Mighty warrior, King of the fight,
No matter what I face, you’re by my side.
When you don’t move the mountains I’m needing you to move,
When you don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through,
When you don’t give the answers as I cry out to you –
I will trust,
I will trust,
I will trust in You.
Oh, how I’ve tried to win this war of homeschooling and balancing everything. I’ve tried every method, every scheduling. I’ve tried to do better, work harder, work smarter, have a good attitude, wake up earlier, but all to no avail. Finally, I let it go and laid it all down.
Before the first day of school, I prayed God would prepare a perfect place for my kids in their class and fit in smoothly with a group of friends. But then I stopped. A perfect place? Fit in smoothly? When is there ever a perfect place with perfect friends where you instantly feel like you belong?
This life is not instant Community Coffee!
I realized I wish I could shadow my children through the halls and help them feel at home, give them a hug when they’re sad, clarify the answer when they’re confused. I wish I could stand in front of them when words are thrown like a knife, aimed straight for their heart.
I want to say, Here, hit me!
Hurt me, not her. Leave me out, not him.
But I can’t.
If they never feel the confusion of not understanding the concept, the weight of homework and what happens when they don’t manage their time well, they’ll never know the value of studying, and the sense of accomplishment when the task is mastered. If they never fail a test, they’ll never have a realistic look at where they are, where they’re strengths and weakness are.
If they never feel the hurt of words, they’ll be more apt to throw them around carelessly and not care who they hurt.
If they never experience the isolation of not being with the in-crowd, they’ll not develop proper compassion for the hundreds of others who never felt like they fit in.
Struggles are not bad. I so easily want to pray for everything to go well and smoothly, but we have to experience the tough things in life so we’ll grow and mature. Instead of walking the halls with my kids and taking every hit, now I get to be the one they share their struggles with. I get to help them handle the wrongs and overcome the difficulties. When they don’t believe they can do any more, I will believe for them until they do.
For isn’t that what Jesus did? He took my punishment. What I deserved was laid on Him.
He took the careless, piercing words,
The lashings for my disobedience.
He felt the wet kiss of betrayal.
He wore the purple robe as people of power mocked His authority.
He bore it for me and for my children.
And now, He stands beside me, ready, willing to talk when life is unfair. Because He has gone through it all, He can help me in my weakness.
Just like, now, I can help my kids.
Through life’s changes, I’m having to grow up too. Life isn’t fair. We don’t perfectly fit into a group of friends at church. We don’t always smoothly transition when life rocks our boat, even when we’re right where we’re supposed to be. It’s in the struggle we learn. That’s what I’m learning anyway!
Thanks for joining me on the journey! If you’ve just joined me here, you might catch up with what’s going on in our family since 2016 began.
Build Yourself Stong is about my words for this year, Cozy, Beautiful, Minimal. I also realized that before I can build a a strong family, I have to build a strong me. I hope you catch up with me over at Beyond the Nook.
When the Marble Tower Toppled describes the decision to go from homeschooling to public school when life changed my plans. Even if that’s not your decision, I think you’ll find something in my story to relate to.