What if God wants to use your “least favorite option” and change it into a “best case scenario”? When we partner with God and listen to Him, we can find peace and joy where we only expected pain and misery. When we let God take the lead, we learn that, with Him, nothing is impossible for us. But we have to learn to walk with, to follow, and to listen to Him so closely. We need to pursue the Father’s heart like Jesus did—who only did what He saw His Father doing. (John 5:19-20)
If you have time for the TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read) personal anecdotes, see below.
I haven’t had much time to write these days. With the summer and now with schools in our county only offering virtual learning, most of my time and energy is focused on my callings of being a mom, wife, and homeschool teacher. But God has continued the shift in my perspective that He began two and a half years ago.
These past two years, I have done things I would have never chosen of my own will. I started driving again. I wrote and self-published a book. I’ve given away items I planned to sell. I serve on a prophetic team at church. I’ve asked strangers if I could pray for them—in public, even! And now, I’m homeschooling my kids. I have been and still am wrapped up in fear related to all these things. Nothing would have made my past self go into hiding and escapism like realizing my future held these things. And I’m not yet ready to talk about some of the things God says my future still holds. Hello fear.
But one of the best things I’ve learned through the process is that fear is never from God. The Prince of Peace brings peace and life, not fear. And fear of these kinds of things are almost always from the enemy. Any time peace is absent and fear takes the driver’s seat, I’m not partnering with God. Why would the enemy bother to stir up my fear of these things unless God wanted to bless me and bless others with them. God wants to use me in powerful ways. The enemy wants me stuck at home in fear, trying to comfort myself into living a mediocre and fruitless life.
I’m currently homeschooling my two elementary-age children. It’s one of the few things that I said I would never do. Usually, I’m smart enough not to say “never” about anything. I knew there was this universal law that God likes to call you to do things you say “never” about. I used to fear that aspect of God, as if that part of Him wasn’t good. But every part of Him is so good. God didn’t orchestrate everything in my world to force me to homeschool, although past-me might have thought that He did. Instead, through circumstances of the world going the way it tends to go, and through people making decisions because God has given them freedom, we were brought to a circumstance where I initially thought I only had one option—virtual learning. (Virtual learning is wonderful for many people, but the spring showed us that it is not wonderful for our family.) But where I thought I only had one option, God showed me we had many options (buy a home in a neighboring district, rent in a neighboring district, private school, hybrid school, virtual learning, etc.—then last and definitely least, homeschool). In fact, the number of options was overwhelming. And in praying for wisdom, He showed me clearly that though homeschool was what I considered the worst case scenario, it was best for our family in this season. I could expand on all the reasons why, but instead I want to share my perspective shift.
God didn’t tell me to homeschool just because I didn’t want to. Also, He could have made any option a good one for us. But He is showing me, in a gentle and loving way, that when I follow His leading, even things I thought would be impossible or horrible can be made easy and amazing. He is teaching me that even the places and things that I would never choose can be good when He is involved. That doesn’t mean that what led to the situation was good or that God orchestrated it. A really important part is my perspective, though.
Each day I have the option of getting up and hating where God has me and being annoyed about my circumstances and expecting the worst. Or I can get up and believe that God told me to homeschool because He wants to bless us in amazing ways through it. I can choose to do my best and make it the best it can be for my kids. And one reason that it is going well for us is because I have been choosing God’s perspective lately.
I haven’t officially counted, but I’m pretty sure there has only been 2 days out of the 17 days of homeschool that someone hasn’t fallen on the floor crying during class time. (I’ll also say that only about 2 of those times were actually related to school work. The others were because my kids tend toward extreme emotions for little things, such as when I call on the other child or I didn’t phrase something exactly right—we said “red, white, and blue” instead of “blue, white, and red.” True story.) But those moments haven’t defined our homeschooling. I can even find them amusing and anecdotal instead of seeing everything as a failure and telling God, “See! This is why we shouldn’t homeschool!”
Often, I am not in control of my own circumstances or the world’s circumstances, but I can control my attitude and perspective. I can’t quickly change rules, laws, society, government, or the school board but I can change my heart and mind and response.
I’ve been amazed at how much easier homeschooling was than I expected, but that is because after listening to God about homeschooling, I also listened to Him about the curriculum and different strategies to put in place to make it work for us. Many ways of homeschooling would still be hard or wrong for us. I’m finding this season, in many ways, easier and more peaceful and more hopeful than the summer. I’m enjoying our routine and not just waiting for schools to reopen in person. Do I want my kids to return in person? Yes—when God says it is the right time for us. I still think that my kids learn better in person in school with a teacher other than me, but it is no longer something I’m focused on, because I have peace that passes understanding about this.
Do I always do the right thing? Certainly not. Do I always listen to God? I wish I did. I would save myself a lot of extra work and worry! Am I making progress? Enormous. Of course, it helps that I know now that God wants to talk to me. It makes a huge difference that I know and hear His voice. And it makes a big difference that I better understand His character.
So what was once my absolute last choice, is now our first choice, and I trust it won’t just be good for this season. I believe it is going to be our best school year yet. Not because of me or my kids or because homeschooling in itself is amazing. Rather, it will be because God is good and anything He inspires and is involved in can be nothing less than life-giving and good and right. A time I anticipated as miserable is turning into something much more peaceful than where we were before. Something I feared as being really hard, is not just doable, but relatively easy for us.
What about you? How has God been changing your perspective lately?