by Jan Burt
When we find ourselves in a difficult season of life, whether it is a heavy moment that feels as if our world has come crashing down around us or a circumstance we have been enduring for an extended period, we need the tenacity and wherewithal to hang on and keep hanging on. But there is only one source I’ve found that provides me with what I truly need during life’s darkest, longest days.
Deuteronomy 32:12 (KJV) says this: “So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.”
Time and again, during every single trying season in my life, this verse was true for me. The single source of my hope and my help was the Lord alone. The only guide I had, and the only guide I needed, was our good and loving God.
Over the course of twenty-five years as a homeschooler, I’ve found myself up against a myriad of difficult circumstances. For example, my husband was deployed to the Middle East immediately after a very long two years of being away from home, which had been tremendously taxing for our family. During the last few days of his year-long tour overseas, he sustained a non-combat injury which required him to be sent first to Germany, then to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC, and then to an army hospital in Georgia. The injury and a subsequent septic infection very nearly claimed his life, and the travel to and from Kansas to Georgia multiple times combined with the overwhelming stress of the situation was far beyond my ability to endure. I could not bear it in my own strength! My husband did recover, but he has undergone nearly twenty-five surgeries and thirteen years of pain and hardship in the process. It truly was the Lord alone who guided our family throughout this long journey and enabled me to continue to homeschool all five of our children rather than throw in the towel.
A second example would be our middle child’s need for very invasive surgery to realign her tibia (basically, her leg bones were sawn in half, rotated, and put back together with metal hardware). She was 8 years old at the time, and did not fully understand what it would be like to spend nearly a year recovering. In addition, her surgeon was located several hours from our hometown. It was very tricky to maintain our other four children’s education while caring for our daughter and traveling for her medical care. However, as I chose daily to depend on the Lord who had called me to homeschool and who would provide everything I needed even during this long season, I found my strength renewed and my heart encouraged to keep trusting that the Lord knew what He was doing.
Now let me share a situation that I am sure will hit home for many—seasons of extended unemployment. During a massive downsize at a company which employed my husband after his military retirement, we found ourselves without medical insurance or regular income for ten long months. At that point we had one son in college and four children still being homeschooled. We knew that I needed to continue my role as their primary educator and that enrolling them in public school so that I could find employment was not God’s will for our family. And while it was a blessing to know God’s will, it was difficult to accept, when His forms of provision were food drives by our church and receiving money anonymously with no one to tell “Thank you.” It was a very long season that we prayed about every single day, anxious for God to guide us into the next season. It was one of the hardest things our family has ever gone through, simply because we lived those months in a waiting period with no clear expiration date.
Do you find yourself in similar circumstances today? Do you have financial woes, health struggles, or have extended periods of time far away from your spouse? Maybe you have completely different struggles taking place in your life. Whatever they are I encourage you to do more than just endure this difficult season, but fully embrace it. Lean in to the Lord during this time, and trust that the One who called you to homeschool will both sustain and bless your entire family, even on the hardest of days.
My prayer is that the reality of Deuteronomy 32:12 will be not only my truth, but yours as well.
Jan L. Burt is a homeschooling veteran, mother to five, and has been happily married to Tony for twenty-nine years. She served in youth ministry alongside her husband for twelve years and has led several Bible studies for women. Jan is the host of the podcast “The Burt (Not Ernie) Show” and author of the new ebook “So Long, Guilt & Shame” both found at JanLBurt.com. She is also the author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study (available on Amazon) and The Once-A-Year Homeschool Planner (part of the All Things Homeschool Ultimate Bundle). Find Jan on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/AllThingsHomeschool or Instagram: @JanLBurt.
Copyright 2020, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine,the trade publication for homeschool moms. Read The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com, or download the free reader apps at www.TOSApps.com for mobile devices. Read the STORY of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and how it came to be.