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It was 2008 and I had decided to take on the adventure of homeschooling my twin kindergarteners. I was already feeling insecure about this new job when a lady at the grocery store asked me why my girls were not in school. I replied in a bubbly tone, “We homeschool.” That didn’t make her very happy and she told me so. I remember her comments hitting me like a slap in the face. It just so happens that I did stop homeschooling the girls after a few months of trying. I’m pretty sure the devil used that lady’s comment to make me wonder if I was doing the right thing. Looking back, I now see a number of reasons for me suddenly deciding to give up homeschooling my girls, but my lack of confidence in what God had called me to do was definitely at the top of the list.

Answering an email question about homeschooling last night brought all those memories back again. This lady wants to start homeschooling and is feeling apprehensive about what others will think. It’s understandable.

When I first started, I vividly remember being so scared of what others, especially moms, were going to think of me for making the decision to homeschool. I didn’t know who I was in Christ back then, or even what that phrase meant, and this left me certain that I needed everyone else’s approval for it to be alright.

Fast forward seven years to today and everything is oh so different. Our girls did go to a wonderful Christian school from K-2nd grade, at which time I felt God spoke to my heart something I never expected to hear again. He wanted me to homeschool the girls again? What? “But God, I did that before and failed.”

God didn’t decide to change His mind after hearing my complaint. Imagine that!

I sat on it for quite a while before even saying anything to my husband, but when we talked we both knew it was right because we had this incredible peace. Peace in the midst of knowing that we did not know one thing about what we were doing. I hadn’t homeschooled long enough in kindergarten to learn much.

The first quarter of our first year (my girls were in 3rd grade) was a little rough due to lots of unexpected outside responsibilities that required our time, but the other three quarters of the year were awesome because at this time, God began to give me a revelation of His love and grace for me.

One of the first things God did as part of this new grace journey was to show me all the false props I had in my life that I was propping my confidence up on. One of the biggest false props for me was needing other people’s good opinions. God began to teach me that all the worth and value I would ever need was wrapped up in my relationship with Him. Over time, He showed me through my everyday life experiences and reactions; just how deeply embedded my confidence was in almost all the wrong things. As I say in my book, God had to unspool my wrong thinkingand spool it back up correctly – according to His Word! My heavenly Father taught me to put my confidence in His unconditional love and great grace toward me instead of in my false props.

I believe this is the main reason why, in these past four years of homeschooling, I have not worried at all about what others think about my decision to homeschool or my individual decisions within homeschooling. In fact, a lady emailed me recently and asked “why I homeschool if I’m not qualified.” I simply did not respond to her email, and was able to quickly forgive her and pray for her by God’s grace. I believe I was able to respond like this because I now have confidence that I am doing what God has called me to do in homeschooling my girls.

Now, just to clarify, I’m not and never will be the type of homeschooling mom that believes that just because I homeschool, everyone else needs to homeschool, too.

Each parent needs to be led by the Holy Spirit to do what is right for their own kids, and we know that for now homeschooling is what we are called to do.

I hope, after reading some of my story, you will also decide to let God remove the false props from your life and replace them with true confidence. It will make a huge difference in your homeschooling experience. If you do, I encourage you to pray this prayer: “Dear God, please remove the false props in my life – the things I am falsely propping my confidence on. Help me to find my confidence in you alone, in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Now, get ready for a little shaking in your life. You have to remember that if your confidence is currently in any number of false props – money, possessions, family, beauty, physical fitness, career, titles, awards, diplomas, intelligence, humor, self-righteousness, past victories, accomplishments, traditions, trends, having a perfectly clean house all the time, having your to-do list completely checked off, having the good opinion of others – then allowing God to remove these props will initially make you feel shaky. But please believe me when I say that this transition is so worth any discomfort you’ll have to go through. You will be happier than you have ever been before when your confidence is in Christ alone! I promise!

 

Sandra McCollom is the author of I Tried Until I Almost Died: From Anxiety and Frustration to Rest and Relaxation (WaterBrook Press, March 2015). You can find her online at sandramccollom.com.

 

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