It was a beautiful day when he sprung the news on me. Suddenly the clouds seemed to swallow up the sun and darkness closed in around me.
It wasn't an affair, it wasn't illness or injury. It was death and yet when I try to make sense of my emotions it seems futile because it wasn't the loss of a soul to heaven but the death of a dream.
I never gave homeschooling a passing thought for my life. All I knew of homeschoolers was the pale, pasty neighbor kids growing up beside my grandparent's home. They weren't allowed to play with the neighborhood children, they really couldn't hold a conversation with anyone and they carried laundry baskets full of books from the library every week. (Not that is anything wrong with books, but my twelve year old self thought it was weird.)
When my best friend told me she was going to homeschool many years ago I think I actually told her she was crazy to her face. Yes, we're still friends today.
As years pasted, the Lord gently guilded my heart and changed my mindset like a gentle shepard leading his sheep. Before I even became pregnant I felt led to homeschool. I began reading about it and gathering information about it. And when I found out I was pregnant, homeschooling was like breastfeed – there was no doubt in my mind it was what I should do. To teach, train and disciple him my child was clearly what the Lord had planned for me.
And then, like lightning, the news struck hard and my heart took a severe blow.
Brad said he thought we needed to put Wyatt into school, “Just to try it out, see how it goes,” he said. I lost sleep and countless tears over the next few days.
How could it be that God would ask me to give up something that He seemed to put in my lap. No one could have orchestrated the events leading up to me being home. My heart for homeschooling didn't change on a whim. Why would God lead me to something I so deeply desired and then make me turn away?
It was almost an out of body experience, calling our local Christian school……getting prices….hours…..filling out paperwork….. I remember that same feeling when we got the call about the fire. I went through the motions knowing I had to but yet not really knowing what to think or how to feel.
The dream, the heart desire to homeschool my son and train him up was slipping through my hands like grains of sand. And before me was my husband. A man of few words who “lets me go” for the most part, trusting me to do what I feel is best. But he spoke and, though it hurt, I knew I had to listen. I had to honor his suggestion because he spoke.
When God asks us to lay down a heart desire it isn't because He's mean or enjoys watching us suffer anguish and a broken heart. Sometimes God asks us to lay down our dreams so He can rebuild them. Our plans are not our own but we go so caught up in the screenplay running through our heads that we forget we're the actors in His play. He has the final cut, not us.
We want the Lord to bless us, to reach down from Heaven and touch our lives, our bodies, and our souls. Yet when He does, we question Him. We want what feels good, we want to see the end from the beginning. We want a shortcut to the Promise Land. But we cannot shortcut through lessons God has for us. We can't push “quickest route” on our spiritual GPS and go around the “detours” in life. Those detours are the very thing God wants us to experience to lead home or to show us what we thought we wanted was not His best.
I don't know what the future holds for our family. Maybe Wyatt will be in school long-term or maybe this is a season of preparation for me or for Wyatt. I must trust Him and watch the road signs that show me where God is leading me. I can't see miles down the road. I can only see the signs He places in front of me leading the way.
If you're struggling with the death of a dream don't give up. The death of a dream may be temporary or it may be permanent. Only God knows. Whatever He's telling you to do you can be sure He isn't out to harm you. That doesn't mean the discipline won't hurt or that stretching won't happen. Press into Him during this time.
Sometimes we need to regroup. I remember once a testimony in our church from a women who received a prophetic word that God was “putting her on a shelf.” Not exactly an exciting thought is it, God putting you on a shelf. How can you work for Him, enlarge the Kingdom and be a benefit to society if you're on a shelf? Yet, much like my kombucha that needs to sit on a shelf seven days, the end result after the waiting is a wonderful, beneficial drink. What starts as sugary tea ends up a nutritious drink after it's time on the shelf.
God may put us, our or dreams on a shelf. The challenge before us is to praise Him and trust the He knows best. It all boils down to that trust. We must choose to trust God. Only he knows what will become of us or our dreams after we wait.
Give your anger, your fear, your pride, your questions and your tears to the One who understands and sees the beginning from the end. Rest in that my friend!