The Savior called me to run a marathon. He asked me to educate my own children. This isn’t his agenda for everyone; but it was his agenda for our family (see End of an Era). When he called, I was flummoxed. It was the 1980s. People went to jail for educating their own children.
“Who me?” I said to him. “I’m not one of those people.”
He was patiently persistent.
Rather than a mere twenty-six-mile race, my marathon spanned decades, gobbled up my youth, and took the middle years, too, a full two-thirds of my life. When I started, I had no idea how many years the Lord had in mind for this race. It’s a good thing he didn’t tell me. I would have fainted cold away before I even got started, if he had.
Today I wrap up twenty-eight years of homeschooling, and I am grateful, exultant, fulfilled, and blessed to have been able to do it. I’m also completely at the end of myself. Besides giving my children a good Christian education, my own brokenness and need for Christ seemed to be the personal point of the race.
The difficulty of the task and the length I was called to do it showed me my weakness and was part of the broken road that God used to bring me closer to himself. The Lord taught me to rely on him, rather than on my own puny self. It was a school of hard knocks, and it took me too long to learn the lesson. I wish I’d gotten the point sooner. I’m glad I finally listened. I want my life to glorify God, to show that I am nothing and he is much.
This part of the lesson is now complete. Tomorrow I move on to the next tutorial.
Here’s what I’m experiencing as I launch my last homeschooled child:
1) Bittersweet sadness at being forced into retirement from a beloved career spent with the most precious people on the planet, enjoying all of their most sacred moments. There is no better way I could have spent my days.
2) Joy in the fulfillment of this part of the lifelong spiritual vocation to which God called me: Motherhood.
3) Exaltation that Christ held me up and kept me on the course he’d set before me and that I actually did it. Wow! When I began, I was not the kind of girl who could do this sort of thing.
4) Looming empty-nest syndrome for a mother who has been at home taking care of my children for thirty-four-and-a-half years. Any other career pales in comparison, but I prepare myself to take all the lessons learned into the next phase: my fledgling start as a writer.
I am thoroughly depleted. But it has been worth it. By the grace of God and his grace alone, the impossible mission has been accomplished. To God alone be the glory.
I’m so thrilled that God put me in your life to cheer for you as you cross this finish line!
I can’t wait to see what you will accomplish next for His Glory! Thanks for allowing me to be with you these last 2 years!
“Blessed are those who have LEARNED to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your Presence, O Lord.” – Ps 89:15 Be blessed today my dear sister!
So glad I could share the final leg of the race with you! Your sweet, encouraging spirit have helped me finish strong. 🙂
I can’t comment now, I can’t see to type thru the tears.
I’ve cried several times today. It’s been a pretty emotional finale. We went to the art museum (her favorite place) for our final home school field trip.
Wow! Melinda, I am so blessed by your transparency, your insight, and your willingness to share what God has done, which always gives God the glory! Not often do we find this kind of Truth! God is so good to have done SO much in you and through you as you have obeyed Him in this calling! I know God will bless you and use you in this next phase, too, Melinda, as you once again obey Him!
Loving you and praying for you in this next important calling on your life,
I hope and pray that God would use me. Thank you for all your prayers and support, Aunt Jackie.
Yes, it is easy to be emotional for me too! What a glorious testimony to God’s grace! I’m so thankful that you launched into this journey with Drew and continued through every challenge right down to Katherine! You loved learning and this has been contagious in your children! They are the most well-read and the most prepared students I’ve ever seen! I’m so proud of you and those precious grandchildren you have given me! To God be the glory!! Amen!
They are very precious. Thank you, Mom.
Okay, now my eyes are clear:) What a journey! You are so gracious, precious, and humble to share your walk openly! And, what a beautiful young lady your Katherine is! Her heart is tender and her spirit strong! Without personally knowing any of your other children, I know there’s truth in that statement regarding each of them too. Certainly their parents have modeled it as they’ve let God grow them in life’s journey. I really can’t fathom the intensity of all of this for you; your whole adult life, up to this point, has been consumed with being a mom, and wife. Oh the additional blossoming that God is bringing to fruition now!! New shoes can take some time to feel comfortable. I hope yours become like cherished slippers quickly. Love and appreciate you sister! Cathy D
Thank you, Cathy, for the sweet blessing. Your words encourage me very much. My heart is full. There has been much crying these last weeks.