So excited to be part of an important series–Homeschool Myths: Busted–Exposing the Truth Behind Homeschool Myths! Myself and other members of the Homeschool Blogging Connection Team are tackling a wide range of homeschool myths in this series, with the hope of offering encouragement and support. And while–yes, there are many misconceptions about homeschooling out there, after years of educating my kids at home–most of them don’t phase me much. But there is one myth that still haunts me…I think I entered this adventure with a subconscious expectation: Homeschooling will save my child …
Homeschooling Will Save My Child
I thought homeschooling would save my kids from:
Mean kids…Feeling left-out…Choosing bad friends.
Seeing things they can’t unsee…
unbelief…lack of faith…
Though it’s hard to discuss fully while respecting and protecting my kids…I want to be transparent enough for you to know–things can really go off the rails EVEN if you homeschool. EVEN if you’re a good mom. EVEN if you have a great marriage. And EVEN if you love and follow Jesus…
But more than that…The enemy will start in–He will whisper such hurtful lies to your mama’s heart…
“You are failing.”
“This is your fault.”
“Why bother homeschooling…He would have been better off…”
“You must be a bad Christian…Everyone else’s kids are walking with God…Wow…Yours is running from Him.”
“You should have done ‘X’. You didn’t do enough, ‘Z.'”
The lies will cut to your core, Sweet Friend. They will find the cracks in your broken heart and worm deep inside. And every myth or insecurity you ever entertained about homeschooling and your parenting skills will surface.
The enemy wants you to focus on the problems–and blame yourself. Guilt is his specialty. He wants you to give up.
But God wants you to focus on Him–on His promises, on Truth. Grace is His gift–Unfailing Love. And if we are so bogged down in the sad, in the muck, in the lies–we lose that focus.
We stop trusting that God is working ALL things for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)
The truth–Homeschooling will not save your child. It is a an amazing gift to homeschool, and if you feel like God is calling you to homeschool your kids–I wholeheartedly encourage you to do it! I have zero regrets about homeschooling (and here’s why I still love it after 14 years). But please know, if things don’t turn out quite as you imagined…it doesn’t mean you failed. You aren’t failing. It’s just that no one is immune to sin–and mental illness doesn’t discriminate.
The truth–You are not the Holy Spirit. You cannot change your child’s heart or spirit–but God can. Over the years, I have clung to Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
The truth–God wants you trust him with everything. Especially your most precious gifts–your children. During a particular difficult season, I was in tears pleading with God for my child, and I was reminded of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22). God wanted to see if Abraham truly trusted God with everything…even his most beloved son. For me, it was the perfect illustration of trusting God with my own son–and it helped me release him to God.
The truth–Sweet Friends, God knows the heartache of parenthood. He is the perfect parent–and oh, how we all stray.
The truth–God finishes the good works he begins and NOTHING will stand against his plans.
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)
The truth–Jesus is not letting go and will not lose one of His own…
“And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believe in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.” (John 6:39-40)
You Are Not Alone
Please know that if you are in a season of struggle and doubt with one of your children–you are not alone.
I think there can be a lot of secrecy and shame when our kids struggle–especially if they struggle with their faith. It may seem like none of your homeschool or Christian friends could possibly understand or relate–and so you keep the pain inside and isolate. (And I image the enemy just loves that–keeping you from getting the support you need from your family and friends who will shine light into the darkness.)
And parenting a child with mental illness is one of the loneliest, darkest places I’ve ever been…We still live in a society where mental illnesses are misunderstood and stigmatized. And I will tell you–leaving a child at the mental hospital was just as hard (if not harder) than leaving my premature twins in the NICU…and no one is bringing you a casserole (because quite frankly I was too numb and overwhelmed to even tell anyone we were there.)
Eyes Fixed on Jesus
When you hit bumps in the road with your kids–instead of listening to the lies and caving into guilt and worry…look to the one who is your Refuge, Strength, and who loves you with an Unfailing Love!
Let’s not get tired of doing good–but trust that God has a plan:
” ‘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 a hope and a future.’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do to give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
So, Sweet Mama–you can do this! Let’s focus our hearts on all the good things God is doing in our families and in our homeschool, and trust Him in the hard spaces!
P.S. If you need help learning to pray or growing your prayer life–here is one idea that may help!
And to dig into God’s Word, I currently I use the Proverbs 31 First 5 App & She Works His Way App–they both have great daily devotionals! I also regularly use the book, Jesus Calling–it is filled with a year’s worth of short but beautiful messages…perfect for mom life.