When 'No' Is Beautiful... And When God Changes It
- Friday, March 26, 2010
In spite of all of this, my heart yearned to know the treasured and pure word that God alone had for me. Qualified? Maybe. Capable? Uncertain. Fearful? Totally!
Regardless of my fear, I still asked God what He wanted for me. With this overwhelming uncertainty, I asked my husband: "Hun, what do you think about homeschooling? Is it the right fit for our family?" With no hesitation in the slightest, my husband's response came to me, "No." And peace came, because I didn't think I was ready for that endeavor. My heart truly wasn't in it, and I was petrified that my house would burn down in light of my son's amazing curiosity—God-authored curiosity. Beautiful curiosity. And so the word no brought me a solid answer—God's answer for our home. My husband's choice for our children that year was private Christian school.
An entire year passed, and I never ignored the quietness and the gentleness that the Lord kept bringing to me on the topic of educating my own children at home. I kept asking the Lord for His peace, His direction, His wisdom, and His timing. When the 2008 school year arrived, I asked my husband again, "Do you think that homeschooling would be a good fit for our home?" My husband's response? "No." I delicately went into the conversation politely. It was not my passion to undermine his God-given authority, but it was my passion to promote openness on the topic. I'm sure I asked a few questions in this specific conversation. I may have talked about some of the delightful benefits I had noticed over time as I explored the idea of schooling our children at home. And at the end of the conversation I was still satisfied with "no." God's provision yet again was private Christian school.
In the vastness of 2007-2009, my mother had reached a turning point in her health. She needed to start dialysis as her stage-four kidney failure had now reached stage five. This transition for my parents was huge. I was a support, a comfort, and a friend to my mother as she underwent some serious changes in her health and her lifestyle. Additionally, we found out that we were expecting our fourth child. Financial changes in our businesses caused my husband to pray, adjust, regroup, and redesign some departments and funding. When our fourth child came along in July of 2008, we encountered a five-month period of time when he screamed a minimum of four hours each day; our fourth blessing had colic. Survival was my goal each day. "Lord, let the screaming stop," was my daily, regular prayer. Each of these situations required a lot of me. So, the "no" that my husband provided for our home freed me to serve my mom and my son in this season with undivided attention. God's high calling for me was humble, obedient submission to my husband's leading for our home. My unswerving passion to seek the Lord in this season was steadfast, gentle, and quiet. I waited. I prayed. I listened.
In June of 2009 my husband and I went away to Monterey, California, for our eleventh wedding anniversary. While sitting at a local coffee shop on a delicately overcast day, I said: "I want to love our children more, and I want them to deepen their love for each other. I really think I'd like to homeschool them this year." For the next several hours we brainstormed the reasons why we wanted our children to be schooled at home. We talked about the adjustments they would encounter. We talked about the adjustments we would encounter. We talked about the budget that we could establish for this endeavor. We talked about God's design for us as parents. We talked about some of the challenges we would face. We talked about my own personal fears of telling my parents that this was going to be our plan for the year. We talked. We prayed. We talked some more. We examined Scripture. We connected.
And this time, his answer was "Yes."
For me the first two no's that I heard had brought me peace as they affirmed that God's design for my home was just as my husband had said. I trusted his authority for our home. I trusted God's peace that came with "no." Was I uncertain about this being the final say on the matter? Yes. Did I usurp or undermine my husband's authority? No. Did I publicly question his authority? No. I was content with "no," and I waited and prayed.
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