When we got home from vacation, there were two boxes in my entryway filled with curriculum for our year of homeschooling my younger daughter. I love books, and I especially love new books, but as I opened these boxes and looked inside, I felt a bit overwhelmed.
Last night, I looked at my husband and said, "What were we thinking?" Deep down I know that a year at home is what God had in mind for my daughter, but faced with the reality of rearranging my schedule, being responsible for my child's education, and simply having her home all the time has me feeling a bit scared, a bit crazy, and a bit like I've fallen down Alice's rabbit hole.
As I stare at the box in my living room, full of everything my daughter is supposed to know by the end of the year, I'm reminded of my calling as a parent. I'm reminded that God gave me this child to raise. I'm reminded that He chose me to be her mom. I'm reminded that my primary purpose is to spend my days being intentional in leading her to Him.
This is a decision that we've prayed over. This is a decision that we didn't come to overnight. This is a decision that is going to be instrumental in fulfilling our primary purpose as parents to this child. But it's also a decision that's intimidating and overwhelming.
Yet, I remember the moment they placed this particular child in my arms. That was an intimidating and overwhelming moment. What was I going to do with two kids under the age of 2? I remember the week we spent in the NICU with her, never quite sure what the doctors were going to tell us next. That was intimidating and overwhelming. How were we going to make the right decisions about her health? I remember the day she announced she wanted to play hockey. That was intimidating and overwhelming. How was I going to be encouraging and supportive when all I wanted to do was yank my baby girl off the ice before someone could hit her or knock her over?
Parenting is filled with intimidating and overwhelming moments. Lucky for us, nothing can intimidate or overwhelm God. When we're intimidated and overwhelmed by circumstances or by the parenting path He's asked us to follow, God is not. He can see the end of the road while we can see just far enough in front of us not to fall flat on our faces.
Following God on our parenting journey is an exercise in faith. It's taking the next step when we can't see where it's going. It's trusting that whatever is around the next bend is going to be a part of God's plan -- even when we think we might not make it around the curve. It's a constant exercise in trusting God and knowing that even though we aren't perfect, He can use us to make a difference in the lives of our kids.
All we have to do is surrender the need to be the leader of this journey. We have to rely on His wisdom to direct our steps. Our daily attitude needs to be the one found in Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
So, if you're stepping out in faith on this parenting journey. If the path ahead seems more like a rocky mountain than a well-paved path, remember this. God has prepared you for this journey. He has plans for both you and your child. He will never leave you or forsake you. He has it all under control. All we have to do is follow in His footsteps, rely on His wisdom and let Him direct our steps.