In the beginning of February I registered my youngest son for middle school. Up until that day I had been wrestling between keeping him at his K-8 school and sending him to another school district, where my highschooler attends. That would mean he would be going into a “real” middle school. I liked the idea of keeping him at the K-8 school because of how good it has been for our family. I absolutely love our neighborhood school. It is one of those rare gems in a failing school system.
My husband wanted him to go to the middle school. He felt there were more opportunities for him, including the chance to play football, something my son desires to do. My son also wanted to go to the middle school. The only one that was holding those plans back was me. At first I had what I would call my “logical” reasons for keeping him at the K-8 school and in my eyes, my reasons made sense. But God began to show me that my reasons were really just excuses. At the root of my disagreement about him going was fear. I was afraid. I was fearful of letting go. He is my baby. He would argue that but I know other mothers can relate…your youngest remains your baby no matter how old they are!
I knew that by keeping him at his K-8 school I would have a sense of “control” over him but God wanted me to go a step further and trust Him. I was putting my trust in his school, the teachers, and in the sense of nearness I would have with him just being a few blocks away. There is nothing wrong with those feelings—don’t misunderstand me. What made it wrong was that at the root of those feelings was fear. God doesn’t want us to fear, He wants us to entrust every single area of our lives to Him and that most certainly includes our children.
The few days leading up to February 1st, which is when you could first apply online for open enrollment, I would throw out crumbs to my son. These crumbs were reminders of how good his current school is and all the things he would be missing out on if he moved to a middle school. I don’t feel proud for doing that. I was still trying to twist things and make them happen the way I wanted them to happen. In a sense, I guess I was digging my heels in. Maybe you have done the very same thing with God. You know He is telling you one thing and in your mind you agree with what He is saying…but as you go along with it, it’s almost as if you need to be dragged along.
Anyway, the morning of February 1st arrived and I once again tried to get my son to see my side. I told him that this was it, once I applied to the middle school and if he got in there, there was no going back. What I was really trying to do was scare him. Again, wrong. I had prayed earlier that morning that God would give me peace about the decision, something I was obviously lacking. I went online and began to fill out the application and almost immediately I felt that sense of peace that had been missing. As I took that first step, granted with some apprehension, God flooded me with His peace.
A few minutes later I was checking my email and read a devotional I get from SpiritLed Woman. I read the first line and had to laugh. It spoke directly to me: Our life on earth is a life of seasons, a life of changes. I immediately sensed God talking to me. It went on to say how some seasons in life are eagerly awaited (I was thinking about the birth of my children) and how other seasons are less happily anticipated (like those moments when my children enter a new stage of growing up).
This devotional went on to say that what keeps us pressing on in the midst of changes, whether they are good or bad, is the belief that God is in full control. Do you see why I knew God was speaking directly to me? I had somehow lost sense of that. Sure, He had been in control up until this point…but for some reason this new season in my son’s life caused me to doubt and lack trust.
I’m so glad that God is patient with me. Some lessons are harder to learn, so they end up being repeated. I find myself leaning on Him to a greater degree as my children get older. Looking back now, it all seemed so much easier when they were little. Sure I remember feeling worn out, tired and wishing I had a manual of instructions on what to do at various times. But things are different now. I have one child who only has two more years of high school left. He has important decisions to make about his future. I have another child who has one more year of middle school left and then she steps into that blazing fast season of the high school years. And then, well you already know about my littlest one entering that season of middle school.
Yes a part of me desperately wants to hang on. I sometimes wish that life was like our TiVo. I could just stop and pause it. Take time to view what’s in front of me before it speeds by too fast. How thankful I am that I’m not the one in control of the buttons. God is. He has my children in His hand and I can entrust every season of their life to Him.