Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A New Creation

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new!" ~2 Corinthians 5:17

As we embark on our homeschooling journey, which began a little sooner than I had planned, I am reminded of the awesome transforming power of God. I had planned on beginning in the end of February, but God took a terrible event and made it His and perfect and within His plan for our lives. I love when He does that!

As I look back over my life, I can see where God has transformed me and I stand in awe of His greatness. When I get anxious about the decision to homeschool or start to doubt whether I can truly take on something so huge, I need to stop and praise the One whom it is all for; who knew long before I was knitted in my mother's womb, exactly what He wanted for me and my family; reminding myself to be anxious for no thing. Because without Him, I will fail. And it is a huge undertaking, but I have been God to do this for my children. Awesome.

Twelve years ago, I tearily sent Austin off to preschool, completely oblivious to what would happen in his life and, frankly, wouldn't have even cared at that time what he would be taught. I knew that everyone sends their children to school and had never even heard of "homeschooling." He went off to preschool, I cried, but I considered it a right of passage. Kindergarten came and it was a little harder to send him, but I still didn't even begin to question anything about what he would be taught or that it may conflict with our beliefs. At the time, I was a Christian, firmly rooted in my faith. I believed that a part of my responsibilities were gone. I was no longer the one with the greatest influence over him - his teachers and his peers were. I was no longer the one who spent the most time with him - they had seven and a half hours a day, 5 days a week with him. Even when difficulties started to surface, I never questioned taking him out and certainly never thought of homeschooling.

God had begun to nudge me about homeschooling by the time Austin was in sixth grade. Austin was begging to be, I knew all the reasons we should and could argue in favor of homeschool with the best of them, but I was still buying into the lie that I couldn't do it. By eighth grade, I knew I needed to be homeschooling not just Austin, but all of our children, but Steve was still not convinced. My prayer began that God would soften Steve's heart towards being a homeschooling family ourselves - he already agreed with all the reasons we should do it. I needed God to show me through Steve that this is what we, as a family, are called to do.

God transformed Steve's heart far quicker than He did mine. By December, Steve agreed that we needed to homeschool Austin and began looking into curriculum. We met with the school and AEA to discuss whether dual-enrolling Austin was an option or if we would have no involvement. Steve went into that meeting waivering still whether it was a good idea to revoke our consent to Austin's IEP that we had fought long and hard for. I prayed over the meeting and throughout the meeting, and halfway through, Steve told me to hand over the papers to completely revoke our consent to special education services. I watched my husband fight for his children - all of them - in that meeting in amazing ways. God can truly move people and it brings tears to my eyes to watch the power He gives each of us and the words only He can give us, at exactly the time when we need them.

I stand in awe of watching God's perfect timing in homeschooling for our family and the ways he has continued to work through and in our lives - in all areas of our life. I am amazed at what can happen when we step aside and relinquish all control of our lives over to God and stand in complete submission to His will. God will work in mighty ways if you let him. He will direct your path, if you allow it. And He will make His every plan for your life totally and completely clear - in His timing.

If you had asked me twelve years ago if I thought I would ever be homeschooling, have six children, live in a small town, I would have thought you were insane. Today, I am so excited to look over the last twelve years and the amazing ways in which God has transformed me for His purpose, and how he has prepared me for the journey ahead.

How has God worked in your life? Are you willing to give it all to him?

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." ~Philipians 1:6

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