When the smooth activities of daily life come to a screeching halt because of a collision with the traumatic, how do you persevere with life, much less home schooling? Whether it is the shock of serious health issues for you or someone you love, the death of a friend or family member, the deep betrayal and abandonment of divorce, financial devastation, or any other unexpected hardship, regardless of current feelings, there is power to continue, and there is hope for the future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Last March our family collided with the concrete barrier of what I call, “The Trauma.” It was incredibly sudden, completely unexpected, and severely life altering. This trauma caused our environment to change drastically and it included a move to a new home, in a new city, with much uncertainty and fear regarding the future.
When hardship comes, there is a period of time when it is difficult to sleep, difficult to eat, and difficult to even think clearly or make wise decisions.
Following many tears and massive amounts of prayer, a clinging, questioning, battered faith in God ensued. It was a faith that would definitely not register among the Hebrews 11 Heroes of the Faith Hall of Fame but it was a deliberate choice to hold tight to God’s promises regardless of the present disappointments and heart-wrenching feelings that seemed to overwhelm from within.
The typical feelings associated with any grief process are: shock, anger, guilt, sadness, hopelessness.
In the middle of all of this trauma drama that would not end as suddenly as it began, there was a commitment to continue to educate my four boys still at home. It was a daunting mountain of a task when I was at a point where it seemed my brain could not even get a message to my lips correctly. I would say things like, “Look out for that potholder” when attempting to warn my fifteen-year-old permit driver of an upcoming pothole.
Confusion seems to be a large part of the grief journey. It is difficult to concentrate on anything other than the loss.
While confusion and exhaustion are a normal part of the grief process, the children and I began to take steps to eat healthier and sleep better and we purposed to do things that placed us in better physical shape. We also made the choice to avoid relationships and conversations that were unhealthy, which included unfriending some “friends” on Facebook who brought memories or caused emotional upheaval. Although unseen to the naked eye, the Trauma had left us with gaping wounds that threatened to fester and become infected if not protected. Our Great Surgeon, Jesus, began shining His light and healing our injuries as soon as we called out to Him, but we also had to recognize the activities or personal relationships that pulled at our Band-Aids and tugged at our stitches and, in turn, we had to make wise choices to protect ourselves in those areas and allow time for our hurts to heal.
Grief is a necessary process, the length of which depends on the individual; but it is also necessary to allow the grief process to run its course now or it will resurface later.
As we have begun this process of healing, we have had to reevaluate where we are in life and what are our goals. This process has progressed into a new normal that starts new traditions and new schedules. Our home school looks drastically different than before. With a single-parent home school come new challenges and new, creative ingenuity, but it still works. God has taken what seemed an impossibility and made it more than possible.
When pausing to reevaluate, it is beneficial to drop all previous expectations and seek God for His plan for your home school and for His creative solutions to your new needs.
One way God turned an unworkable situation into a workable situation was by sending His people—His church—to help us during this time of grief. We are not meant to “go it alone.” It seems an easy thing to join in and give to others when you know there are needs, but to receive gifts God sends through His people can be likened to a large dose of medicine: while it is curative, it may, at first, be unpleasant to the taste buds. God has used this method to bring us to a point of humility and to permeate our lives with deep gratitude, even in sorrow.
By refusing to allow others to help, we run the risk of stealing their blessing.
Our family is still ambulating the road of grief, but God has shown us that His promises are true. He has not left us nor forsaken us. He has hidden us in the shelter of His wings. He is the One who binds our wounds. He is faithful to deliver us, even on the path of loss and unfathomable sorrow. He is working for our good and for His glory.
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
We have continued His call to home school, even through this hardship. While it has been difficult, it has been a source of great blessing that God has used to draw each of us into a closer trust relationship with Him and to bring us closer together as a family as well. Sometimes our home schooling trek teaches life lessons that abound outside of standard academics. Grief is a part of life that cannot be avoided but it can be embraced as a means for God to teach and to bless us with an unimaginably abundant splendor that can only come from His hand.
Weeping may last for a night, but Joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5