"Do you trust Me?"
"Yes", was my answer. And I did and I do. I trust the Lord with my 8 year old son, Brody, as he makes his way from my homeschooling side into a traditional classroom five days a week. But getting to that trusting place was a journey, one you may have sojourned with me here. I was happy to share the journey because I wanted to testify to the One who is so worthy of our trust. And as I shared, my heart filled with praise as I recounted the work God did in my heart. "Yes, I trusted Him with my Brody."
Then, in the middle of the very next night, I woke with a start. My heart was constrained within my breast. The room was dark and my mind was consumed with fear... fear over my first born son. Caleb had gone to bed that night with tears. He relaxed as I stroked his bare back, confiding as he calmed. He wept and said, "I can't get my writing done in class. I just can't focus in class to write. I just can't! I'm behind in my autobiography, and now we're starting our history research paper, and then I'll be writing my biography on Davy Crocket. In class! All of them in class."
And now I lay in bed, hours after he finally succumbed to sleep, thinking, "what can I do to help him? What should I have done? His writing was so good when we home schooled. He had a quiet room, with drapes we would close specifically for times when he would write. I didn't label it ADHD at the time, because I've never been able to read a paragraph or write a cohesive thought if there was any noise around me. Even classical music for heaven's sake! So I got it, and I gave him an environment where he could thrive.
But now, in a classroom with 24 bodies, complete with movement and noise enticing his focus away, he feels lost. And so I gave into tears and fears of my own, lost as to how I might help him.
Then, somewhere around 3:30 that morning the familiar voice came again. "Do you trust me?" "Of course!" I cried, "remember yesterday? I trusted you completely with Brody, even when it's hard..."
The dialogue trailed off. "with Brody, even when it's hard..."
You've got to be kidding me! Not him too!!! I've got to trust God with Caleb too? Even when it's hard? Oh no, especially when it's hard. It doesn't take faith to trust God when it's smooth sailing. Faith is for the fiercest gail. And in that storm, on the weak boat of your own understanding, at night's darkest hour, faith takes sight of a Savior, walking across the water.
Yes, absolutely, Caleb too.
The next morning I awoke Caleb the same way I had sent him to sleep, with the gentle stroke of a mother's hand on a child's back. When he stirred and wiped the sleep from his eyes, I spoke these words.
"Caleb, I've been talking to God about your school work. And I want you to know what sort of conversation the Lord and I had about you, okay?"
"Okay," he said with his raspy morning voice.
"Caleb, I trust that God made you absolutely perfect the way you are. There isn't a mistake in your whole body. God doesn't make mistakes. The bible tells us that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and I believe it! So that means God made you with this difficulty focusing in class. And so I am just going to choose to trust Him when things are tough. Can you do that with me?" He nodded. "You have got to give every school day your absolute best. And when you bomb, and you sometimes will, you are going to do the same project over at home in your room, on the weekend. This is not punishment. It is our way of partnering with your teacher to make sure you're picking up what she's putting down. Get what I'm saying?" He nodded again.
As I type this new testimony, I know I should expect some issue with my youngest in the days ahead. Therefore, right here, right now I'm going to choose to surrender him too. Choosing to Trust God with Asher's life as well.
These last days have been eye opening for me. I didn't know how weak my faith was, but I am thankful that God used these present trials to grow me.
The boys have been learning James 1:2-4 at school this week; three verses I committed to memory when I was their age.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds; because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Of all the verses I hid in my heart as a child, these are the ones I have admitted most freely to not understanding. Until this week. I see now why we are to be joyful in affliction. Without the difficulties of life we would never be forced to trust Him, never need to persevere in faith, and therefore we would never mature and be complete in Christ. Yes, I am joyful today. Puffy eyed after a sleepless night, but joyful.
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
I sign off today with another pictorial tribute: This one goes out to Caleb's new teacher, and his new school, where the maturing process is underway, in the classroom, on the lacrosse field, during lunch, in chapel...