I've written here about my depression and anxiety and how in the aftermath of loosing Ava, I finally realized I needed to do more than survive.
He allowed me to see how the need for approval and acceptance was in equal parts fueling and choking my life. I was driven to seek out and make all the "right" choices in parenting, in relationships, as a homemaker, as a friend and at the root of it all, as a follower of Jesus. But the need to do it "right" was a reaction to my paralyzing fear that if there was a right choice that could be known, and I didn't make it, then somehow the outcome would be my fault. The failure would be on me. And I would lose my life-source...the approval of everyone around me and worst of all, my Father in heaven.
I lived in constant fear of disappointing the one who I wanted to please more than anyone else. It was eating away at me. But I was clueless as to how to break free.
God, doesn't force his wisdom on us. Instead, in his tender mercy, our patient Father will let us use our broken tools until our hands are tired and bleeding and we finally let them drop to the floor.
Enter medication. Enter a wise counselor. Then...
Enter, Christa Black.
Because she too is a speaker and sharer of truth, my precious mama sent me the link to three sermons which would be the key to unlocking my heart to GRACE.
Real grace. Can't earn it, don't deserve it, lavishly extravagant, wonderful grace.
Friends, I heard these talks, and they were like water in the desert. For the first time in 36 years I actually believed that God, approved of me. ...That there was no SHOULD....That I was not responsible for being or doing anything more than being His beloved!...That I couldn't disappoint him....That He saw my selfish, broken, manipulative heart and was delighted to let his son's sacrifice be ENOUGH to cover and completely absorb my mess. And that never again, as long as I live and beyond -- all the way into eternity -- is there any SHAME. No should. No striving. Over Anything. Ever.
It's really true. And that truth finally penetrated my broken heart and every day since then has been a miraculous adventure in exploring this new playground of grace.
If he is either working all things together for good, or redeeming all things, then I have permission. To succeed, to fail, to TRY!
If I can't disappoint him, because Christ in me is His absolute favorite, then I have no fear of failure!
What would I do if I wasn't afraid? First up? Educate my own children, in my own home.
My lifelong desire to home-school had previously choked me with fear. On my best days I struggle with organization and administration. I'm an implementer, not a visionary. Home educating three girls with unique needs felt overwhelming and even impossible! Was it fair to place my children's educational future in my hands? I wanted to but I was terrified.
And then suddenly, I wasn't! If I couldn't disappoint God, maybe I could learn how to juggle the many hats of mom, homemaker, teacher. What if knew He could redeem my best efforts? What if I humbly offered my loaves and fish and trusted that he would multiply it to feed my own little multitude?
So in May of 2014, we stepped out into the unknown and began our homeschooling journey. Day by day God has been faithful. He has provided us with community, supplied me with direction and wisdom I needed and grace for the messy and long and hard days. He has strengthened my character as I grow into the teacher I want my daughters to have. It is hard. It is precious. And one day, week, month, year at a time, he's gently leading us forward.
There is so much I want to share here. The stories are piling up, but I had to go back because so much of our New York Adventure has only been possible because of the new freedom we've found to hope and risk to pursue our dreams. Meeting Christa here in New York was in many ways, coming full circle. It was such a privilege to hear her teach and then to have the opportunity to tell her how influential she has been in my own life--and because I'm a truth-sharer like my mama--in the lives of my family and friends.
I can't share our journey without our new reality front and center. We've been invited to try and fail and risk and fall and dance and enjoy the ride without fear....