Thursday, August 14, 2008

Almost

For the first time, I faced the beginning of the school year yesterday with a calm and collectiveness that is foreign to my personality. The usual knots in my stomach were absent, the quivering lip remained still, and the customary cry face maintained its composure. The equanimity demonstrated by yours truly was so out of character that it took several hours after drop-off before recognition of my big girl performance settled in.

For the first time, after five years of driving home blindly through tears, I ushered my children into school with a surprising confidence that almost defies explanation.

Almost.

Last year, after a heart breaking relocation into a new community, we enrolled our children in a Christian school, praying that our choice would provide a safe haven during a time of difficult transition. Anxieties and fears and worries overwhelmed me as I unreasonably questioned all the pieces that had fallen into place in a manner that almost seemed too good to be true.

Almost.

I agonized over the unsolicited upheaval my sensitive children were forced to embrace, articulating my feelings of guilt to their teachers in a desperate attempt to relieve some of the angst I was experiencing. Each teacher reassured me that my children had been prayed for over the summer and were exactly where God intended for them to be, their individual responses echoing a similarity that seemed almost coincidental.

Almost.

Reflecting on the peace and contentment of yesterday, I could nearly convince myself that it was a result of my gradual evolvement into a seasoned, priority-driven parent with numerous experiences that have contributed to my maturity. I could almost believe that somehow the credit was mine.

Almost.

After much thought, I realize that our circumstances, our choices, our trials and our difficulties did not take God by surprise. While I was floundering around in complete chaos, He was using His school to demonstrate complete control. My children were prayed for not by just family and friends, but by complete strangers who daily petitioned the Almighty on their behalf.

These educators, these whole -hearted believers, are the influences that are with those I love most for thirty-five hours a week. While they are committed to an academic excellence that is pleasing to parents, they are most dedicated to instilling a Christ-like character that is pleasing to Him.

My children are wrapped in an environment with beliefs that are common to their own, with love and joy that is provided in abundance by the One who authored their story before they were even born.

And so, the unquestionable, undeniable explanation for the peace that transcended all understanding yesterday comes from a place of security ,trust and faith that our steps, and those of my children, were undoubtedly ordained by Him.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

8 comments:

man of constant sorrow said...

Joni-I have been reading your blog now for probably 6 months or more. Don't worry, I'm not some man stalking your blog I just don't comment very often and when I do, I comment from my husbands blogsite. I am the 'wife' of a man of constant sorrow! I haven't quite made the full leap into the blogging world by having my own blog! My children attend school with your children. They are in the same grade but have been in different classes so we have yet to meet. You will never know the 'joy' you have brought to me through your wonderful writings. You make me laugh(the mushroom cap is the best!!) and sometimes cry (when Chase got left!) But I had to comment today after reading this post. You just expressed in words what I could never express on paper or a computer about the way I feel about the school our kids attend as well as their teachers. This is our sixth year at the school and I have never once left the school grounds with concern over the wellbeing of my kids. The peace & love that we have experienced is worth every sacrifice that will ever be made to keep our kids in that atmosphere. It's truly a peace that passes all understanding. Thank you for putting in words what I have felt in my heart but have been unable to put in words. Keep the great blogs coming and I'll keep reading. Bless you and have a great school year.
-wifeofamanofconstantsorrow

Joni said...

MOCS-

I think you just expressed yourself perfectly. Time to get bloggin'!

Please introduce yourself to me the next time we cross paths. Typically I am the one unshowered and in a baseball cap, but I do obsessively brush my teeth.

Thanks for your kind comment.

Joni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
georgia mom said...

Go Lions! I felt the same feeling this year...peace. Great post!

elizabeth said...

This was a great post and that verse is one of my favorites!

I left you a blog award on my site. Check it out and if you want to participate..go for it!

Elizabeth

Tricia Massey said...

Joni,
Do your kids school buses pick up and drop off in Commerce? :)
What a beautiful testimony to the place you entrust your most precious gifts. Great blog!
Tricia

Joni said...

T-
I can arrange transportation for you. Just have your children ready at 5:00 am for carpool..... : )

Joni said...

E-
Thanks for the award. But, really, you inspire me WAY more than I could possibly ever inspire you....

Your writing is a joy.