I am sitting here in the quiet of my house, doing the typical stay-at-home mom thing, thinking about my children after dropping them off on their first day of school. It’s amazing when a new milestone hits, how quick my mind is to recall the 12 years I have been a mother. The feeling of my sweet babies safe in my belly, the first cry when born, the first tooth, first heartache, and first day of school.
I also battle within myself the question if sending them to a “public school” really is the right thing to do. Will they be safe? Who will influence them? Will they get shot? What if the cafeteria food is slowly poisoning them, or making them severely constipated!? What if they get bullied? Will they worry? Will they fall into temptation? Will they eat the chewing gum under the benches?! Most of these thoughts are from a seriously overactive imagination, but I worry nonetheless. I thought about this worry this morning as I remembered the struggles my oldest had last year in school. They were all typical, the cussing in the hallway, kids poking fun at her for being short, teachers that challenged her ability to get along with them, stuff like that. She asked why school couldn’t be more like going to church; she liked being surrounded with more “friendly” people. She said on most days, its hard to see God in school. I admit, I loved her theory, and wish the same thing for my kids, easy sailing, no adversity, but I know we are called for more than that.
It reminded me of my middle child’s experience in Kindergarten. She had made a sweet little friend that she just adored. They had the same food, color, and book preferences, which is a big deal to a 5 year old. One day, after school, I asked her how her day went, and she said, “It was good, but I’m so sad.” “Really? Why are you sad?” I asked. She began to talk with a small crack in her voice, because she has the sweetest, most tender heart I have ever seen. “My fweind (she couldn’t say her “R’s”) does not know who Jesus is. It makes me sad.” “What do you mean, she does not know Jesus? Like she doesn’t go to church very much?” I asked. “No, Momma, she does not know about him at all! Never even heard of him!” My heart hurt a little. As she went on to explain, she had told her friend about the fun she had in Bible class the day before, and her sweet friend just listened to the foreign concept of Jesus, and God. When she finished I told her that maybe, just maybe, she could tell her friend more about Jesus if she thought she should know more. My daughter said, “For sure! I want everyone to know about Jesus! How could people not know? I mean, He died for us all! She needs to know this!” Amen sister!
Kadence listened even more in Bible class that year. She made sure she brought with her to school any coloring sheets she got from class, and she and her friend would look at them as Kadence retold the lessons. In the still, small voice of my sweet 5 year old was the story of the gospel, being told to another sweet 5 year old who had no idea of the Savior that loved her so much. The girl was a great kid, with great parents, in America! I know this sounds cliche, but I was just stunned that America is so saturated with Christianity, and here sat a little girl who had no idea there was a God!
This was a wake up call to me that there is still lots of work to do right here, at home, to make sure people know about their Creator and the Savior of us all.
I told this story to my oldest because I wanted her to know that she can bring God to school. She wanted to be homeschooled just because she didn’t want to deal with adversity. I told her that we cannot shut the world out. If you cannot see God in school, what are you doing to make His presence known? God is everywhere! We cannot hide from the “bad” stuff. It will always be here on this earth. What we can do, however, is make sure that everyone knows who Jesus is, and why we follow him. I asked her to be His light, to shine where it is needed the most. If Kadence hadn’t had been in that school, in that class, sitting next to that girl, who would have introduced her to Jesus? There are many kids in our school district that come from some pretty scary situations. Children crying out for attention. Whenever my kids complain about what they saw the bullies do to other kids, or sometimes, to them, I tell them, the kids who act the most unloving, need love the most. They do not know how to love, because most of them, are not shown love. I have seen some amazing spiritual growth happening in all of my kids, my oldest especially, because they see the diversity, and they struggle with it. They question it. They come to me and my husband about it. My older two go to God with it. They overcome it! When they overcome it, they have a HUGE sense of pride in themselves, and in the God who got them through it. Amen! I gave the scripture found in Romans 5:3-5 to Rylee, my oldest, which states, “We rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
No matter what happens to you in this life, no matter what obstacle, no matter what situation we may find ourselves in, there is always hope because our Savior is alive and well. There is no need to fear adversity. No need to fear influences, or danger, or tragedy. He lives!
School is another opportunity for my children to learn and grown in the faith. To share this faith with others. I know my children can make a big difference in the lives of others, because I see it on a daily basis. Every little head bowed in the cafeteria, every invite to a church related activity, every smile, nice word, and act of love, is Jesus in my children’s hearts. God is in school. I will not fear the world, nor try to hide my children from it, because our Savior is alive and well. Don’t fall for the misconception that God is being taken out of our public schools. Are you kidding me? He is roaming the halls, sharing His love and grace to those who need it most through the willingness of those who have agreed to be His children. Be His grace. My most favorite verse in the Bible says, “Behold! I am the LORD, God of all flesh, is there anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27. It is time we put our faith in this powerful statement. It’s ok Mommas. Our God has got this school thing under control. Your little lights are going to do just fine, just keep leading their hearts to Jesus.
*Please note this post does not in any way discourage homeschooling, I believe homeschooling is an excellent choice for many people and that needs differ based on each family. This post is written in the perspective of our own personal experiences with school.