Sunday, July 18, 2021

I Never Thought I Would Say This

"But, I homeschool."

Then I would clarify that I used to be the one in high school who thought homeschooling was weird.

I regret that now.

Yet, it just seemed natural to "clarify" as if I knew they already thought this rural-living-family-of-eight-with-a-big-van would, of course, homeschool because it came with the already weird territory.

But then, it became me.  It was one of the cornerstones on which I built the foundation of who I wanted my family to be.  I was the mom, and it was my duty to educate my children.  What better thing did I have to do with my time?  I only had one chance to raise them, and I wanted to do it "right."  I wanted them to play as long as they could and learn through that.  I wanted to provide them a classical education.  I wanted them home, together, and with us.  I wanted a simpler life.  I wanted them to see our faith as the most important part of their lives.  I wanted to protect their innocence as long as possible.  And then, I wanted them to be a light for others.

What I once thought was so weird soon became my "right" way.

Then last year hit, and homeschooling became something different.  It became the bare minimum in terms of curriculum coupled with a heavy dose of life lessons.  Together we learned how to grieve, how to hope and how to trust.  We learned what it means to have courage, and we are stronger than we once thought.  We learned challenges are lightened with prayer and community, and it is okay to be sad and ache for something more.  The year has taught us all so much, but maybe the most important lesson has been one in letting go.

When we arrived home from Houston, Jeremy said he thought it was time to put the kids in school.  I immediately felt defeated.  How could he ask me (or tell me) to give up the last thing I seemed to be clinging to after a year of what seemed to have taken most everything else?

All I wanted to do was convince him why he was so wrong in thinking that.  I wanted him to know that I would just re-prioritize - what had been an "off" year would change with the right schedule.  Even though I wasn't the homeschool mom I wanted to be, I tried to convince him that I could handle it.  With tears streaming down my face I begged him to just let me find a solution because this was the life plan we had based so much of our daily decisions on.

He said the only solution would be to hire someone full-time to be at the house with me.  In reality, we couldn't do that.

So I closed up.  I couldn't let my babies go.  What I had convinced myself was right for my family and a very critical part of my vocation was being asked of me, and as much as I had seen God's hand in the past year of detachment, surely this wasn't part of His plan.

In true Britt fashion, I called those closest to me, begging for answers of ways to make it work.  One by one the beautiful friends of mine brought things to light.

"Maybe it's time for you to allow your husband to lead your family in the way he thinks is best."

"Your marriage comes first.  Your kids next.  Let him love and protect you like he is trying to."

"Maybe your children could benefit from this for a time."

"It isn't a forever decision."

"It doesn't mean you have failed."

"Maybe you have to let go of this to grab hold of a better path God has planned."

Saying yes to this proposal did not mean that I was a bad mom.  It didn't mean I was selfish.  It didn't mean that I had abandoned all I had convinced myself was good for my children.  But it did mean letting go...again.  And, I didn't want to.

This time, it seemed too much.  Too much to ask of me.  Too much to let go of.

With days of crying at the thought of sending the kids to school and many prayers to soften my heart, I realized that what I am/was clinging to wasn't a situation of whether or not my children would be okay (although it was a huge part of what was plaguing me).  What I was clinging to was control.

And with control, a sense of security.

But, He wants it all...not just the piece of my life I'm willing to give up to Him.  Not just trust in caring for a special needs child.  Not just trust in fighting a chronic illness.  Not just trust in in a daily life so different from what it was just months ago.  He wants it all.  Trust in my marriage.  Trust in the raising of my children.  Trust in the times in which the "right" path may not have been the path I would have chosen.

We are sending the kids to school next year.

It still makes me cry thinking about it, but I know there is good to come.  I know this decision isn't forever (unless it becomes so).  I know Jeremy is trying so hard to allow me to heal and rest.  I know my children will be okay (they are excited!).  And, I know God has this just as He has had everything else.  

His plan is always greater than mine, and I just have to let go of mine long enough to see it.

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