When Life Just Doesn’t Turn Out Like We Planned
The night my kids went back to school I cried. Before you say “that’s normal” you need to know a little bit about the circumstances. My children are ages 15, 13, 11, 10, and 8. This isn’t our first year of “back to school”, but this is the first year I’m sending most of them (our special needs daughter will still be homeschooling with me) to a Christian school! The night before they went I cried. It might have been the pain meds from my tooth extraction the day before, but I really think I was mourning a season that had come to an end.
Being a homeschooling momma was a part of my identity for many years. It was a huge part of who I was and it defined a lot of my day. I loved being a homeschooling mom! My days were spent at the kitchen table helping a child with school. Whether that was learning math facts, teaching them to read, or talking about the things that interested them, I loved every single part of being a homeschooling mom. Suddenly, that was ending. I was no longer going to get to talk to them during the day and I no longer had the opportunity to teach them. Part of me was changing and I wasn’t prepared for the emotions!
This past year has been the hardest, most difficult year of our family’s life. We had some extreme ministry hurt happen to us last summer and it has taken many months of healing to get to a space where we are starting to look again to the future with hope. One of the things my husband and I have been discussing since moving back to the states is the children’s schooling. We discuss it every year and talk about what we want it to look like.
Making the decision to put them into school was a long process that included a lot of prayer. Even though I was homeschool from kindergarten through high school I never assumed I would always homeschool. There were a couple of years our two older boys went to a Christian school back when we were raising support to be missionaries.
As we looked at this coming year we realized that putting them into Christian school just made sense. We have high-schooler, a middle-schooler, and elementary aged kids. Having them all on the same campus, with pick-ups and drop-offs at the same time is a huge time saver. This is one of the best Christian schools in our area, and we know several of the teachers. Not to mention that it was only 5 minutes from where we live.
It just made sense.
Just because something makes sense and is the right decision, doesn’t mean that everything feels right. Part of me cried the night before they started school because I knew I would miss them. The first week was very quiet and I did miss them. I also cried because it was another reminder that life wasn’t going as I had envisioned.
If you had asked me 16 months ago, I would neer have dreamed of them attending school. I mourned what was and never will be. The future I had pictured in my mind is no longer possible. It doesn’t mean I’m not excited about this future (I am!) but I am grieving what I’ve lost. And I’m giving myself grace.
Grief and sadness doesn’t mean we made the wrong decision. Peace and joy can still be present with grief and sadness. More than anything this past year has taught me that. If you had a dream, and that dream died, I really do know how that feels. When our big dream dies, smaller ideas and dreams also die and that’s what I was mourning this past week.
As we navigate our ever-changing lives, we whisper to ourselves, I didn’t sign up for this… If you have said this, thought this, or felt this, I want you to know: I see you.
Throughout my life I’ve seen what happens when my plans are interrupted. Faced with disappointment and disillusionment, I want to encourage you with this truth: God has never left you and still has good things planned for you.
Check out my new book and pre-order it now. In this book you can join me as we walk with Moses and find out how to see God’s goodness when our story shifts.