This new school year is bringing in some big changes for the “O” clan. A couple of months ago, we made the decision to homeschool! However … let me just start by saying, A) – this post is more about listening to the still small voice (even when you can’t see where it’s leading you) than it is about homeschooling and B) – we are SO. EXCITED. (like jumping up and down on the soapbox-excited) about this new adventure.
Several months ago, I began to feel the familiar nudge to spend some time with God and listen for His leading in my life. There were some things happening that pointed to a possible change of seasons. Change is never easy for me so I knew I needed to begin to lean in and hear my Father’s voice … His leading. And sometimes that still small voice leads us into the unknown…asking us to walk a winding path that we can’t see the end of. It’s in this place where we have to choose to trust Him with the journey and take a step forward … or simply stay where we are.
Within a few weeks, I knew that He was calling me to cut back on my work hours but I didn’t know why. It wasn’t just cutting back “work hours” though … it was stepping back from a ministry that I dearly loved … that had been an enormous part of my life for close to ten years. I had listened to several podcasts and read devotionals that all seemed to point toward spending more time at home and just being “present” in every moment.
One of the scriptures that stuck with me during that time was from Luke 19. It’s the story about the nobleman who had to go away, but asked some of his servants to invest his money while he was gone. Two of them invested the money, but the third just hid the money and did not invest it. To this, the king said – “…to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” (Luke 19:26). Immediately, I heard the Lord say to me – “Use well the gifts that I’ve given you.” And within that same week, I heard a Steven Furtick podcast that still rings in my ears. He said – “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.”
“Lord, you’ve blessed me with so much … I don’t know what this means!”. So I mentally made a list of the richest, most precious gifts He’s given me. At the top of the list is a restored and redeemed marriage, and a miracle child … that I didn’t know was a miracle until we tried to have more. Every. Single. Day. I am undone by the fact that I get to be a mom.
As I marinated in that verse … and the reminder to use well what God has given me … and the fact that the “opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity”, I realized that God was calling me to focus on being a Mom. It’s a well known fact that the life of a child goes by in the blink of an eye. This opportunity to spend time with him has an expiration date…and oh how I don’t want to miss one moment … I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that the opportunity is gone.
However … this was only one piece in the puzzle. I wrestled with God for weeks about what I should be doing next. Ok God … I did what you asked and stepped back from the ministry that I love … so what NOW?!
A couple more months went by … more listening and leaning … and the seed was planted to homeschool. The seed had always been there … somewhere. But it had been buried for years. As I was having lunch with a friend and she confided that she was definitely taking this leap into homeschooling, I knew that the Lord was speaking to my heart. As soon as the words left her mouth, I started to cry. I knew in my heart that God was calling me to this, but I was scared and unsure. And in my heart … I was wrestling with God.
After a couple of days of quiet conversations with God, I broached the subject with my husband. He was, almost immediately, ready to do it. And so after ONE week of talking about it and praying about it, we felt so much peace that it wasn’t even a question of whether to do it or not. We knew that this was what God was calling us to.
We agreed that the influence of friends in our son’s life had begun to outweigh our influence. We felt that our influence should be the biggest part the equation… after all … WE are the people God chose to raise this child … to teach and lead this child. We have seen the years fly by and know that every moment counts in these years while our son is under our roof. As the parents of an only child … every “first” has the stinging sensation of being the “last”. We don’t want to miss any ‘firsts’ and surely want to savor every ‘last’.
What a blessing … a preparation … it had been to follow God’s leading to step back from those hours of ministry to pour into the most important ministry I’ll ever have.
Although there were weeks and even months where I didn’t understand why God was asking me to do this, I am so very thankful that I followed His lead.
When my son was a baby and into his preschool years, I remember snuggling him extra close every year on the first day of school. As I would hear the bus coming down our street, I would whisper, “thank you Lord, that it’s not our turn yet”. And this year, as the bus comes down our street for the first day of school … I will snuggle my 10 (almost 11) year old and whisper, “thank you Lord for these extra moments with my miracle boy”.
I don’t know what steps God is asking you to walk right now … but I just want to encourage you to listen for His voice. Take the step in the direction He is leading … even if you can’t see what’s ahead on the path. He sees. He knows what’s ahead. And He’s promised it’s good. ♥