One day as I was sharing some struggles in our homeschool with a fellow homeschooling friend, she responded with, “If God brought you to it, He will bring you through it.” Although I had heard that phrase many times, I had never really taken time to think about it. As I rehashed those words in my mind, I decided to find out what Bible verse this saying was paraphrasing.
Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Now, this may be a paraphrasing of many verses, but this is the one that God led me to. I cannot tell you how much encouragement that verse has brought to me since.
I have to give you some background information about me before I can tell you how this encouraged me in our family’s homeschooling journey. Before I was school age, my mom would “play school” with me a lot. That was my favorite thing to play with her, and by the time I was 4 years old, I had already decided that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. When I did start school, I had a great respect and love for the teachers that I came into contact with, keeping my dream of being a teacher alive, and being fed from year-to-year with the great teachers that I had. Years pass and I finish high school.
With my dream of being a teacher still going strong, I went off to college to begin my 4-years of study. I enjoyed the field of education study and enjoyed being in the classroom. Again, years pass, and I finish my collegiate studies. I remember the day that I walked across the stage to get my elementary education degree. I was so happy. A dream that I had carried with me since I was 4 years old was finally realized. Several family members and friends came to watch me graduate that day. They will all tell you that I was smiling from ear to ear! I couldn’t stop smiling, actually. I sat there thinking about how long I had wanted this, and it was finally before me! Many people told me that they had never known anyone to grow up to be what they wanted to be from such a young age. Most people change their mind, or just do not pursue what they thought that they would want as a child, but I did.
My desire at that time was to get a job working for the elementary school that I attended as a child. It was not my first interview, but it was my last! The day I went in for the interview was the day I got the job! I was the “new” Kindergarten teacher at the exact place that I wanted to teach. I loved my job! Coming out of college, my top two grades that I wanted to teach was Kindergarten or 3rd grade, so I couldn’t have asked for things to go much better. I was able to work with some of the teachers that had taught me in grade school, and also met some teachers that I hadn’t met before. We were all great friends, and I enjoyed working with them. The children were great. You know how 5 year olds are—they just LOVE you and want to show you that love! There are no words to describe how much I loved teaching those little guys and gals. They were a blessing to me!
As I grew closer in my relationship with the Lord, I met a Christian lady who lived in a nearby town. She had connected me to her pastor through an online group for sharing prayer requests and what the Lord was doing in our lives. The pastor recommended that I meet his children, who were all around my age. I did “meet” his children through online contact (emails), but kept in closer contact with his son, Mark. As our relationship developed, he expressed to me how he wanted for his wife to stay at home with the children and eventually homeschool them. That pretty much shut me down for our relationship developing any further. I loved my job! This was my “dream” since I was a little child! I told him that, and his response was always the same, “Just pray about it.”
I hope that my words have conveyed to you how much I loved to teach! It was my “niche.” It was where I felt like I was “in my element.” Even on the bad days, I still wouldn’t have changed my career for ANYTHING, except a word from God! I have told many people that it had to be God that changed my heart because I was very anti-homeschooling as a public school teacher. I wouldn’t have left my job for anything less. As I prayed about this situation, as Mark had asked me to do (which I balked against at first), God started showing me a lot of things. I started to realize all of the pros of homeschooling and all of the cons of public school. I started to think about what I wanted my future children to learn, and what I wanted them to be passionate about. Those things were not part of the public school and were not even accepted into the public school systems. God showed me new things, and before long, as Mark and I continued talking, I told him that I could see myself being a stay at home mom and homeschooling. I told him that I had been praying about it, and God had just given me a peace and an understanding beyond what I could have found or anyone else could have shown me.
Back to present day and Philippians 1:6. I love homeschooling my children much more than I loved teaching in the public school because it is so much more rewarding. However, there are difficult days. Although I never truly consider putting them into public school, I do wonder if they are going to “get” everything that I’m trying to teach them. There are days when I get down because they are not responding to a lesson that I am teaching them. We have some rough days. But I TRULY know that God brought me to homeschooling. Nothing else could have pulled me from the public school classroom except Him. I also know that homeschooling is a good thing. Philippians 1:6 says that if He starts a good thing, He will see it through until the end. I lean on that on those difficult days.
Do you have a “go-to” verse that gets you through your difficult days?