Back in September of 2011, the Lord poured out a message that He wanted me to share with some precious women at Camp Lurecrest in NC. He wanted the ladies to know that His many promises were true for the here and now, and that if they truly laid hold of them, then their lives would be full to overflowing with the goodness of God. The scripture passages that came to mind were found in the gospel of John, chapter 21. Jesus told His disciples to cast their nets back into the water, despite the fact that these fishermen had not caught any fish all night. When they obeyed the Lord, there was such a colossal catch of fish that their nets could not contain them all. I was compelled to write scriptural promises on little foam fish, knowing that each fish would be for one of the women. I did not have a head count to go by, so I just kept writing scriptures as the Lord would reveal them. Sometimes I would question a scripture, but the Lord would remind me that only He knew what the women needed, and not I. By the time the retreat rolled around, I had a bucket full of foam fish with promises from the sacred word of God. Would there be enough? Would each woman get the scripture that she needed to hear at that time in her life? I trusted that He was in control and had it all taken care of. And so the night the scriptures were handed out, it was such a blessing to watch the ladies respond to their ‘catch.’ There were many tears of joy, as the promises of God are totally life changing. As I began to end our session for the night, the ladies called out to me to take a fish too. I had not thought of one for me. I had not even considered that God had a word for me as well. I can still recall the tingling in my heart as I looked down into that play bucket, to find one sole fish left to be caught….mine.
Fast forward to 2013. I readily admit that one of my biggest struggles in the flesh is to trust the Lord wholeheartedly in regards to my two sons. I say I have rock solid faith in this area, but then I worry over their future, their schooling, their delays and deficits…and on and on. Both boys are on the autism spectrum and have spent all of their lives getting extra ‘help’ and services to assist with their special needs. My oldest, Nathan, is more affected, and I have spent many tearful nights trying to plan the next thirty years of his life! I am getting better, but surrendering my parental fears at the foot of the cross is a daily battle. Praise the Lord for His mercy and long suffering! So you can imagine my total disbelief and shock when I felt the Lord telling me to homeschool both of my boys about six months ago. Let me first explain that I am that mom that would NEVER even consider homeschooling. There was NO WAY that would be for me, or them. And so I brushed off this ‘calling’ quickly and figured the devil was messing with me! But as the days and weeks passed, I was hard pressed to get quiet with the Lord and not hear this same message. He was whispering it to my heart, and I was busy telling Him why it was impossible. The boys had always had an arsenal of educators and therapists who knew what they needed, from early on. And we eventually moved to NC from AZ so they could attend a private school with trained staff that educated children on the autism spectrum. As our situation changed, the boys started attending public school, but with continued therapies and resources. Nope, I must have been hearing the Lord all wrong. No way could they go from so much assistance, to ME.
Delayed obedience is the equivalent of disobedience…..
So as I was putting off what the Lord had directed me to walk forward in, I found myself in a precarious position at work. I had expired on one of my mandatory certifications and could not practice as an RN in the ED until I had it renewed. It was humbling, as such a thing had not happened to me in twenty-two years of nursing. I was baffled at how I let it slip. I signed up for the next available class, which would take place in Winston-Salem, about one and a half hours from my home. Of course, I had to grumble about such a circumstance, as I knew I would be going back and forth for the two day course. I refused to see any good thing come from such a turn of events. I plugged my ears to the voice of God with all of my grumbling.
The class turned out to be excellent and I met some truly amazing people. I was taken to lunch on the first day and one special woman had decided to pay for my meal. I tried to decline, but she insisted. As we sat and ate, our conversation quickly turned to the subject of homeschooling. Yep, that was the subject! I cannot recall how it even came up, but I would come to learn that Trisha, that is her name, had spent many years homeschooling her autistic brother. As she spoke of her experiences with him, it was like a lightning bolt was piercing my heart. I could not hold back my tears. I knew that I knew that Trisha and I had an appointment that day, and if I had to go to Winston Salem to be guided back into obedience, then that is what was needed. Trisha would return the next day of class with many resources to show me on how to get started. Until then, I had been totally overwhelmed at even the thought of where to begin. There is so much information out there now…curriculum, co-ops and parent groups, online courses, unschooling, etc., etc., etc. I felt totally lost to even take a single step forward. But here was Trisha walking those steps with me, and it felt so very good. I would come to learn that Trisha loved the Lord, and that she felt the Lord speak to her heart on my behalf. She would tell me that He told her to bless me with lunch, and to be by my side that first day. Here is what she shared, “God told me to invest in you Deanne, because you were fertile soil that He had plans for.” Imagine being told such a thing. I could feel God’s love enveloping me, and it has not let go. He never gives up and He never lets go.
In the days and weeks to follow, more and more people and situations came to our lives, to further convince both Grant and me to proceed with homeschooling. It felt like a whirlwind, but fear would never take over in this area again. God knows what our boys need, and He has spoken. We are listening and obeying.
The boys’ last day of public school was Friday April 18th. They enjoyed a week of Spring Break, making today, April 21st, our first official day at The Nelson Academy! On the agenda to start was Bible, because our boys are going to know God’s Word, and how to look up scripture. They indeed will hide God’s Word in their hearts. It was a trial and error kind of day, but we made it through, and the boys LOVED it. Their final words tonight before falling off to sleep were, “We love homeschool mom.” And I love it too.
Don’t put off what the Lord is tugging at you to start. You do not need to have all the answers. You do not need to have a map laid out. You simply need to take the first step, and He will lead the way. So get ready, set, and GO.
And remember that foam fish I pulled out of the play bucket back in 2011??…God’s promise for me was Isaiah 54:13…All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.
I have it hanging on my rear-view mirror. It is a promise given by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He NEVER breaks a promise. He indeed is the true teacher, and source of all wisdom. He is the principal and superintendent of our school!!!