Sometimes the ones we trust the most betray us, the community we depend on abandons us, our very minds rage against us —
There are days when no matter how much we try, things don’t turn out the way we planned. The kids don’t do their schoolwork or they forget what you’ve been teaching them for the past few weeks.
You get caught up on the laundry only to have to use all your rags to clean up mess after mess, and it’s only spilled milk, but it feels like your soul poured out — useless.Children are taught and encouraged to always include each other, because they’ve been excluded by others and it doesn’t feel good and it isn’t right, and you were always the new kid and you’ve been left out and you never want that for them … but they run from one another, not toward.
You put on music with lyrics to encourage your spirit and they fall flat, and your heart is hard and how did this happen?
Tears fall and words escape the recesses of your heart and you wonder how on earth you can continue.
We find ourselves in crisis mode and we have no where to turn.
I’ve been there — I am here.
I didn’t have an idealized perception of what homeschooling would be. I knew it would be hard. I knew that breaks would be few if any. Well aware was I that my children and I are so different and they aren’t self-motivated and being an achiever myself, I figured that would be difficult for us. There have been good days and bad days and then things were good.
Now things are not. It is hard and this is Los Angeles and we’ve tried the public school and it didn’t work … the teachers were great, I volunteered every week but that doesn’t change the playground or the little boy running into the bathroom as soon as he gets home, because at school that room is a scary one.
Now here I am in a crisis, and I just want to ask “why?” and I want to run. I have asked and I don’t get any answers except this:
“The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
And I hear it whispered to my heart and I know it is for me and that even when my world is whirling out of control, I am seen … not invisible. I am heard and understood … not ignored. I am known … not excluded.
The wounds are raw on the surface, but the salve of His Spirit is real and refreshing.
I feel crushed between stone and bruised and broken, but I recall herbs and spices ground in mortar with pestle release their fragrance and only when heat is applied do they reach their full potential.
And I must trust.
This place seems so foreign to me — so different from what I expected and yet there is a calling and a command: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce … and work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you …” (Jeremiah 29:5,7).
And I remember … Eucharisteo — giving thanks — comes before the miracle. It’s right there on my wall to remind me, and how often I forget, but He is gentle and sent His Comforter who speaks to my spirit and prays on my behalf when this fragile faith of mine fails.
But I will thank Him
for this house
and His church
and these children, fruit of my womb and His faithfulness, answered prayers
the times we’ve felt wanted, accepted, included
and the times when we haven’t and have grown closer to each other
this man that listens to my anxieties voiced and frustrations and loves, always — just the way He loves His bride.
for new days and new mercies
that as I write this, things calm … children play … oldest boy finally does his math and science … a baby sleeps, but even if chaos persisted He. Is. Here. and He. Is. Strong.
And this, this is true: “‘I know the plans I have for you’—this is the Lord’s declaration—’plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope'” (Jeremiah 29:11).
And I can always, always rest in the knowledge that He is for me and I can trust Him.