I’ve been stilling the small voice. I haven’t trusted the unrest and grief within me about one of my children’s education choices, and I have assumed the ‘still small voice’ was actually just my own anxiety and thought the lesson for me was to step back, deal with the grief journey of allowing a child to grow up and make choices. Thought my feeling was about me, not him.
The voice didn’t go away. More of a feeling, but I’m calling it a voice because now I see: this is how the Lord speaks to me. Gone are the days I thought I never hear from Him. Wow. His voice has been all over things this week.
Our decision to home educate came out of this same unrest within me – that also didn’t go away – 10 years ago. So much confirmation over time after following that call to homeschool. I had done all the right things: prayed for God to take the feelings away if they were not from him… the situation forced our hand and the feelings came back and hit me hard.
Forward 10 years. Our 16 year old chose a career path at the end of last year – following a subject designed as part of the secondary education certificate – to help them do so. It guides them to discover careers and choose appropriate subjects. This was a course we had started to run alongside our home education program – which is becoming heavily classical – and extremely exciting.
Mr 16 chose to enrol in the online college offering this high school education certificate for years 11 and 12. He chose subjects that were expected in order to pursue this career path. The details are not necessary for the purpose of this post – but it feels quite dramatic to truthfully say: I felt like a part of me died inside when we realised we would be giving up the ‘good stuff’ in order to pursue this career path – which at the same time did not feel like the right fit.
Spot the pattern. That feeling inside me did NOT go away. I emotion coached myself through this grief journey. He’s my first born. We started his education with mistakes. Now we find ourselves in risk of more. Same mistakes, same child.
Who’d be a firstborn? haha see here: Eldests!
A conversation with a teacher threw me into turmoil over this latest raft of choices – which despite the hardest work and efforts I have seen in Mr 16 (through his own motivation) – have not translated into a good fit. It’s thrown into doubt all these things: Have we let him down? What do we do now? How is he going to feel if we suggest something different? CAN we suggest something different? Is it ok to ‘parent this’?
We have prayed. I’ve taken counsel from friends with relevant experience. We’ve had hard conversations with our son, and easier ones. FINALLY it becomes clear. The wisdom is here. We have a PLAN.
The STILL SMALL VOICE OF CALM. “Hello, Old Friend!”.
I’ve been hearing the still small voice – and been stilling it. Him. I believe it’s the Holy Spirit. I’ve drowned out his voice with negative thoughts about myself, my ability to allow my children to grow up and make choices. We did the ‘right thing’ and stepped back. It was right to allow that – but perhaps we weren’t discerning enough when it felt wrong. Feelings are complicated and reliance on them has to be discerned. IGNORING them is not right. God has to speak to us somehow? Of course – the Bible. Proverbs 3: 5-6 is Mr 16’s life scripture. But how do we know which is that straight path? It wasn’t an obvious situation about what ‘honoured God’ and what didn’t.
Until I realised: That Highschool Certificate? Has become our master. We are serving IT. It is not serving US. The Good Stuff he will soon be missing, to allow for workload? That’s the God-honouring amazingness that he, and we, were grieving leaving behind for this pathway.
Interesting everyone calls it a pathway. I think Proverbs 3:5-6 is our ‘pathway verse’. We took a detour. Now: we have a plan to get back on the straight path and we have a little more insight as to where it is headed.
Life lesson for me? I need to trust my God-given instincts. Weigh them against what I also know about my weakness – the thorn in my side that is anxiety. But He turns our weaknesses in to His opportunities.