by Diane Schachterle

Moms and Dads,

overcoming life's hurdlesAre any of you facing a major decision or hurdle regarding homeschooling? Maybe it’s the leap from primary grades to 4th grade with those thicker, hardbound textbooks. Or maybe junior high lies directly ahead with subjects like algebra. Perhaps high school beckons, and you’re wondering how you can possibly cope with all the requirements, thinking that God’s will must be to send your teen to the campus down the street where “all his needs will be met” (NOT). Or maybe you teeter on the edge of that biggest decision of all–whether to homeschool in the first place. Whatever your quandary, I want to remind you that God is in the decision; He wants the best for you and your children, and He will faithfully provide for your needs out of the riches of His grace in Christ Jesus.

Letting my youngest go off to college felt almost as overwhelming as releasing the oldest because they were off to separate places halfway across the country. Moreover, our finances would not allow us to accompany them. I wouldn’t get to see them “settled in.” So well before dawn on two different mornings in late August, we headed to the airport and could only wave as a lonely figure worked through security lines and proceeded toward the gates (with her own cheery wave but hesitant smile). Right then, all those other past decisions seemed like a piece of cake.

Do you realize that you have a Lord who can love you by loving your children, can bless you by blessing your children? I want to tell you how God reminded me of His great love for me by loving my children when I couldn’t be there to do it.

I felt most concern for Denise, the one of my daughters not at a Christian college, unlike her two sisters. She is attending the University of Tulsa, a small private college affiliated with a denomination, but it is no longer “Christian.” I tried to remain hopeful, knowing that the Lord had something up His sleeve: We learned that Laura, my daughter at Wheaton, had a roommate from a Tulsa suburb.

Denise called on the Labor Day weekend. I asked how her long weekend was going. “Well, Mom, Haley’s (Laura’s roommate at Wheaton) parents called to invite me to dinner last night. They picked me up and took me to their house. After dinner, we called Haley and Laura at Wheaton so that everyone could talk.”

As my daughter related these events, I was tearing up and blessing God for these dear people. Then I asked if she had gotten to church that morning. She had been going to a church in walking distance to campus, which wasn’t a very filling experience, but she hadn’t had time to call a list of recommended churches to see if they had shuttles or provided rides for students.

She said, “Oh, yes, Mom. I got to go to Grace.”
“Wow, Honey, how did you work that out? Did you find another student who goes there?”
“No, the pastor picked me up.”
“The pastor picked you up?”
“Yes, and I met some people who can give me a ride from now on. They already pick up another student, so we can go together.”

By this time, I was in tears, my heart overflowing with praise to our great God who controls all things. Moms like to be in control where their children are concerned, but even if I had been able to go with her and help her get settled in, I could never have orchestrated events like this.
But the story doesn’t end there. Haley’s family has continued to reach out to Denise, taking her to their church, shopping, on a day trip, etc. It turns out that they’re a homeschooling family who have just released their oldest to college in another state and were more than happy to semi-adopt the twin sister of that daughter’s roommate.

And there’s more. Haley has an aunt in another suburb of Chicago (not Wheaton). Wheaton only has a four day break for Thanksgiving, so the family in Tulsa decided that instead of bringing Haley home, they would drive to the aunt’s to celebrate Thanksgiving all together. And guess whom they invited to go with them? Denise, whose university generously gives the entire week as its holiday break! They picked Denise up on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and she even attended a couple of homeschool functions with them before they left for Chicago. So the twins got to spend Thanksgiving with each other in a large family get-together as well as attend a Chicago Symphony concert, go caroling in Millenium Park, and shop on the Magnificent Mile.

Do we have a great God? I must tell you that I had been praying for some way to get those two girls together at Thanksgiving, knowing they were missing each other but that we couldn’t fly them home so close to Christmas / semester break. And a dear homeschooling friend of mine was also praying that God would grant my far-off daughters “divine appointments” with just the right people.

Can you imagine how loved I feel right now in re-telling these events? He is beyond incredible! I could never deserve such tender mercies, but He’s not concerned with my deserts, only that I am His child and He loves me. Homeschool parent, He doesn’t want me or you to worry, fret, or fear. Nothing you face in your homeschooling trials falls outside His knowledge or providential care. Can you trust Him to lead you?

This article won a CHEA Support Network Award for Most Inspirational in 2007.

Used by permission of the author. Reprinted from the CHEA Support Network.