Sometimes you search for something.
You search high and low.
You search everywhere but where you are, only to discover that what you are looking for is right in front of you.
At times, it has been there all along. It has simply been accompanied by the denial of true possibility. Other times, while it may or may not have been there, the search was necessary in order for growth to happen–growth that allows you to see what is right in front of you.
I’ve personally experienced both the ‘at times’ and the ‘other times.’
For my writing, it was a combination of both. My knack for writing was identified back when I was a child. As a third or fourth grader, my parents enrolled me in a summer program at Purdue University called Super Saturday. Each Saturday of the summer I rode a bus up to West Lafayette and spent the day learning and practicing the ins and outs of creative writing. Growing up, I would give personally written poems as gifts. I journaled my thoughts and prayers. I kept notebooks of stories I was writing.
But, when asked about what I was going to study in college, I struggled to know. What I landed on was secondary education, teaching high school Spanish, to be exact. That eventually changed to Children’s Ministry and Psychology. Right out of college I landed the only full-time church staff Children’s Ministry job I would ever hold. Eight months later my life direction did a 180 and it would never make it back around to 360. That was 13 years ago. That was 12 and a half years of marriage, two and a half adoption journeys, two kids, four moves, six jobs, four churches, some counseling sessions, six master level courses, one significant loss in the family, a handful of 5Ks, my first half-marathon, an incomplete half-marathon, a life-changing personality test, a major writing conference with 3 publisher appointments, and a countless number of prayers ago. I had seasons of blog writing and my journaling ebb and flowed. But, until last year, never would I pursue anything in writing. Writing? I couldn’t do anything with that. It didn’t seem like a true possibility.
Through a series of open and closed doors at the beginning of 2017, for the first time, doing something more with my writing seemed like a possibility. It was a step God was asking me to take. But, doing something about that discovery hasn’t been the easiest thing for me. At times I’ve faithfully taken steps of obedience. Other times I’ve not. It was evident that the “something” I had been looking for was right in front me, but it was something I never saw as a true possibility. Even as such, I truly believe that while it was there, I needed the growth that was provided in the search in order to be able to see it.
So, what does this have to do with a new adventure? Everything.
In the fall of 2015, Andy and I decided to home school for our son’s kindergarten year and our daughter’s pre-k year. We felt God had led us in this direction but we said we were just going to take it one year at a time. While it was a challenging year for varying reasons, I loved doing it. As the summer of 2016 rolled around, though, I had enrolled in graduate school and when the fall of 2016 was upon us, we made the decision to enroll the kids in public school as I began to work on my Masters. It was not a decision taken lightly, and to be honest, was pretty difficult. But, through two years of public school, the kids have had the blessing of really good teachers. They experienced tremendous amounts of growth…some from great experiences and some from experiences that made my Momma heart really ache. All-in-all, we have no regrets. Not only do we believe God released me of homeschooling for those two years, we believe that’s what He wanted.
Through this time, though, I continued to search. I searched for purpose and direction. At times I’ve searched well, seeking God’s face first. Other times I’ve been angry and questioned if He was working at all. But, through the searching and growth, God has been faithful. Several months ago Andy and I began praying in more specific ways for our little family. We processed challenges that our kids faced. We prayed through desires, fears, questions, dreams, and things we didn’t see eye to eye on. Little by little we began to see the direction God was leading me and us as a family. Each time we questioned if we really knew, He brought us back around to what was right in front of us–our family.
By now you might have figured it out. For the upcoming school year we will be heading back to homeschooling, but this time going all-in long term. I am excited! The kids are excited! They have only been out of school for two weeks, but nearly every day they are asking if we are starting school yet! Needless to say, our summer may end up being a bit shorter. 🙂 While there are still uncertainties in life right now, there is an incredible peace in knowing that this specific search has been fruitful. The amount of time it has taken has been SO much more than I anticipated. It has definitely been the scenic route. But, while it may be a calling, it isn’t an end-all. It is a journey, and I will walk knowing that every bit of the journey will be worth it.
So, the bottom line when asked why we’ve decided to homeschool…it is what God is calling me to. It is what He’s calling us to as a family. The bottom line for why I’ve chose to pursue writing…it is what God is calling me to. Imperfections and all, when God asks for a step of obedience, I want to say yes. I want my kids to witness how God’s faithfulness and grace cover us when we choose to say yes.
There is a lot more to share about our why (including some incredibly awesome wisdom I soaked up last week at the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention) and I plan on sharing more as we go, but I share my story up to this point with the desire that it encourages someone. If you find yourself in a season of searching, remember that He is faithful. Even when the season drags on for what seems like forever or the answers elude you, continue to seek the Lord, and when you do, He promises to be found.
“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 hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13