When I decided to Homeschool, I had dreams and visions of wonderful times together with my children. And over the past 16 years we’ve had lots of wonderful experiences together. I’ve cherished the time we’ve spent together and I wouldn’t change being with my children for any amount of money, fame or accomplishments. I can say that today, but there was a time when I thought about giving it all up. It was difficult season of my life. Actually, it was difficult for the entire family. I was ill and the doctors had no answers. My oldest son was in the throws of puberty and rebelling against Ed and I. Finances were tighter than a pair of skinny jeans. And to top it all off, my husband was working two jobs just to make ends meet. The kids and I hardly saw him at all.
At the time, my youngest was a toddler, about 2 years old. I had spent the last year getting myself back healthy again. I began eating healthier foods, drinking water and exercising consistently several days a week. I was starting to feel like my “old” self again. But in spite of all of my efforts, I started having these nagging health problems, and I felt like my energy had been sucked from me. Eventually, I just felt miserable all of the time. I could barely get out of bed some days. I tried to continue working out, but my low energy just wouldn’t allow for it. I had to reserve all of my energy just to care for my family. It took tremendous effort just to complete the smallest tasks.
I remember my husband coming home one night to me curled up in the fetal position on the couch crying. I felt so alone. I was scared–not knowing what was wrong with me. Though my children were only being children, I felt personally attacked by my children. I become resentful of them, and questioned whether or not they loved me. I felt trapped. It was a dark place for me.
My oldest son was in the throws in puberty, and along with puberty came his constant push-back against my authority. We constantly argued. He pretended to do his work, when he was actually wasting time doodling. In fact, every morning he would spend an hour in the bathroom, supposedly taking care of bathroom needs when he was actually stalling. He didn’t want to do any work. I felt helpless and unable to hold him accountable because of my lack of energy and the other needs that I was trying to meet.
Honestly, I didn’t know how bad life had gotten, until one day my oldest daughter and I were driving somewhere without my son. She mentioned how unusual it was to be driving in the car with so much peace. She said that Brian and I were always arguing. I asked her if it was really that bad. She said, “Yes”.
What a moment of clarity.
I needed help!
So I began letting people know that I was struggling. I received lots of compassion, but people were busy living their own lives and didn’t have time to provide the kind of help I needed. I don’t say this to complain or condemn, it’s just the facts.
Because I couldn’t get the help I needed from people, I looked up to The Helper.
I cried out and prayed. I listened for His voice. I was desperate!
That’s when the miracles began to occur.
I began to hear his voice speaking as I read His words in the Bible. No longer were the words from the Bible simply print on a page, they seemed to come alive. The spoke to my inner most parts. The words that I read were personal and full of hope. There was a plan in all of this. A good plan.
That’s also when the help came.
It came in the form of ladies who cleaned our house once and paid for our family to go to the movies. It came in the form of a group of families deciding to adopt our family for christmas and providing gifts for everyone. It came in the form of a secret santa who appeared at our door every night for 12 days, delighting our family with gifts from the 12 days of Christmas. Each night our children eagerly anticipating catching our secret santa. (I think they caught a glimpse of him once.)
It also came in the form of a total stranger offering to give my son a guitar. In fact, we encountered this stranger during one of my doctor’s appointments. The kids were sitting in the lobby waiting for me, and while they waited, my son looked through his guitar notebook. The stranger noticed his notebook and asked him what kind of guitar he had. My son told her he no longer had a guitar. The one he had was broken. She told him that she had a guitar that he could have. In fact, she had one for my older daughter as well.
When I walked out of the examination room, my children rushed towards me sharing their good fortune with me. They were so excited! This stranger approached me and confirmed their words. She informed me that after her appointment, we could follow her to her home and she would give them the guitars. As we followed her, we were praising God for the marvelous gifts he was providing for my children. Because my son wanted a guitar so badly, I was thankful for the way God provided.
It was God’s confirmation to him, saying, “Yes, I see you. I hear your prayers. I care about you, and I care about your desires too.”
Interestingly, my son had told me only a week earlier that perhaps God was going to give us a guitar for free. I was skeptical at best. Guess I learned a lesson!
After receiving the guitars, I offered my thanks and shared how much this meant to our family. I told her how I had been ill, and we were spending every dollar we could scrape up for doctor’s appointments. That’s why we weren’t able to buy my son his guitar. What happened next blew me away. She said, “Would $500 help?” I was shocked. I replied that it would. She told me to follow her into the house so that she could write the check. She actually gave me a check for $1000. I was speechless. And full of gratitude. It was a miracle!
Earlier that morning I had prayed that God would give us eyes to see His provision, for I was spending the last bit of money I had for the visit that day. I needed Him to come through for us. And He not only allowed us to see His provision, but He blessed my children in a very personal and memorable way. That guitar has become a symbol of God’s personal care, and provision for us.
Eventually, I discovered that my illness was due to dental problems. I had a chronic low level infection due to an infected tooth which gave no other symptoms. Once all of my dental problems were taken care of, I finally felt better. It was like I had finally emerged from the wilderness of suffering. Let me add, I had a lot of dental work to be done which resulted in the loss of several teeth, several fillings–all of which cost several thousands of dollars.
We received a flood of support from parents and staff at my husband’s school that allowed me to get the treatment I needed.
The problems with Brian continued for another 2 years. But I was well. We put Brian in the school where my husband taught, and now my husband was involved along with wonderful who teachers who cared about him. Many of them were friends and had known Brian since he was young.
All these things lead us to our knees. These problems were beyond our capabilities. They were beyond our resources, our understanding, and our control. We had exhausted all we knew to do, so we looked up.
And as we humbled ourselves before the Creator of the Universe–our loving Father, we found help.
We walked out of the wilderness of suffering with a new perspective. We realized the power of prayer, and we learned that we worship a God who is willing and ready to help us. He truly cares and wants to intervene in our lives. I’ve learned that He is a God who still speaks to those who listen to His voice, and because of that my life has never been the same.
I don’t know what you’re facing today, but I want you to know that there is a God who cares, and He’s waiting on you to look to Him. Approach Him as a helpless little child approaches a loving Father, with the expectation that he loves you and has every intention of giving you all that you need. Approach Him in humility recognizing that you don’t have all of the answers, but He does.
Just call out to Him and see what He will do.