Bloom Where You Are Planted

However, bit by bit, line upon line, precept upon precept, God slowly began to change my heart. As I began to grow, God began to reveal a joy that is found only in a heart that truly seeks Him, and as I began to surrender to God’s plan, I began to see Justin’s handicaps and his very presence as a blessing. The resentment I had once felt as a result of the interruptions that I thought robbed my other children of attention and made teaching difficult began to disappear. I began to express a deep gratitude for the child whose special needs enhanced our home school experience and enriched the lives of my other children. True, his needs daily interrupted their school days and limited the outside activities in which we could participate, but as I continually expressed gratitude for their brother and pointed out the blessings he brought to our family, I saw their young hearts mirror that gratitude.

Like a flower that begins to emerge after a long season of winter, my heart began to blossom with peace and deep, abiding joy. The questions of “why me and why us?!” that I once had shouted to the heavens in hurt and anger were now whispered in reverent and thankful awe: “Why me, and why us?”

I became all the more thankful for those lessons in gratitude and surrender when my husband died in 2001. In that season of grief, we found peace in trusting that the One who was faithful to give grace and peace before was faithful still. Single parenting is difficult, and homeschooling can be an additional challenge, but like all home school parents, I found that the rewards of obediently following the calling on my heart were bountiful. As the years passed, my children and I lived together, laughed together, worked together, cried together, and learned together. Through it all we sought to praise God for all things, both the good and the difficult.

Our family and our school may not have given my children the same opportunities as their peers—even their home schooled peers, but we rejoiced in those differences and praise God for the unique experiences and challenges He provided. Justin left this world on March 3, 2004. Jacob, Jerrod, and Jennifer each completed their formal education and graduated from our home school. Today jobs and other responsibilities now demand much of our time and attention, but we still enjoy time spent together laughing, learning, and praising God. Though the lessons may still be difficult at times, we have learned to bloom where we are planted and to praise God for the time and season in which we live—it is ever changing, but God is never changing and always faithful and worthy of praise.

 

Sheila Campbell began homeschooling in 1991, and after the death of her husband in 2001, she home schooled as a single parent. She also was the parent of a special needs child whom she cared for at home until his death in 2004. These difficulties have strengthened her walk with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and it is her prayer that her words will encourage and inspire others. Sheila invites you to visit her blog at pausingtopraise.wordpress.com.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free atwww.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps atwww.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

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