It’s the question every parent with school-aged children is asking right now: What do I do, God?
This pandemic continues to strip away choices about our kids’ education, causing us to look at the options we do have with disbelief and anxiety. Some of us have more freedom and options than others, but we are all facing a fall semester unlike anything we’ve seen. We want the best for our kids, and face a lurking fear of emotional, physical or mental harm.
Yesterday, after months of not knowing anything about what fall would look like, our county announced a decision to go completely virtual for the first semester. Part of me felt relieved that the decision was taken out of my hands, while another part immediately began asking more questions.
Is this really what’s best?
Can I expect my kids to receive the same quality education sitting at a computer that they would in a classroom?
And then this one, which was more directed toward God than at the school system:
Why do my kids have to suffer the consequences of something that they didn’t cause and has little to do with them?
Like most other parents right now, I have more questions than answers. And when my three-year-old daughter woke me at 3:00 am, I lied awake for hours, going through different scenarios in my head. My brain was on overload as I thought about the possibility of private school, traditional homeschooling, and numerous elements that go with these decisions.
More than anything, I don’t want to mess up my kids. The desire of my heart is for each one of them to have a bright future filled with opportunities. While I know they have little to no choices about their schooling, I do have a few. And those decisions will impact them for better or worse.
Can you feel the weight? I think each parent does in one way or another. But what I want to talk to you about more than the weight and the unknowns is a few truths we can cling to through all of this. And I believe by remembering these truths, the weight will lessen a bit.
Here’s what I know:
No one knows your kids better you and God.
This pandemic does not come as any surprise to Him. And before you knew all the many ways this virus was going to impact your kids, God saw. He picked you to be your kids’ parent through this. You and no one else, because you are the exact parent your child needs to get through this season.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Other parents’ decisions may look different, because their kids and their lives are different. Other parents may question you or offer their opinion, even if you didn’t ask for it. Can I give you a little piece of encouragement? Listen to the voice inside that speaks truth and life. Trust what you know of your kids and of God.
This school season may be filled with uncertainty, but you can be certain there is no better parent for the job than you.
God gives us wisdom, without finding fault. (James 1:5)
Do you feel like you have no clue what to do this school year? Come before God with your heart and your concerns. He is waiting for you to ask him for guidance. But when you do so, silence the other voices. This means the social media scroll, the TV, and the endless other voices that vie for our attention.
Get still and quiet before him, and he will speak in his still small way.
How does God speak? The ways are limitless, but here are a few: His Word, other believers, prompting in your heart, worship and praise.
God is not seeking to punish you for deciding one way or another.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve had this thought once or twice. It goes something like this: There is one right decision, and if I don’t choose it, all is lost. God will not bless my choice and my kids will pay for it.
Can I tell you something? God doesn’t work this way. He is gracious, loving and merciful, and he knows the heart behind each decision you make. So instead, ask yourself: Was this decision made with love? Do I have my kids’ best interests at heart?
If your answer to these questions is yes, God is pleased with you, dear Mama or Dad. He guides you with his loving eye upon you, not his ruler stick of disdain.
As we enter into this crazy, seemingly endless land of more decisions and unknown futures, let’s extend love and grace to each other. Lord knows, 2020 has been filled with more than enough shaming, pride and opinions. Let’s commit to praying for each other and loving each other through his. We need a community of support right now more than ever.
If you need further encouragement that God is for you, even in the midst of the struggle, uncertainty, and unknown future, I encourage you to pick of a copy of my book, Shift: Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God. Many people have sent me messages saying it is a timely book for this season, which encourages my heart so much. I pray he continues to use it to touch lives.
You can purchase a copy of Shift by clicking the image below.