As the mentor and coordinator for our home education efforts, there is much I am called on to teach. Some topics are easy, others deepen the furrow between my eyebrows, but school subjects can be taught with words and numbers and hard work. There are, however, lessons that life, and God Himself, must teach. Time, that ancient tool of healing in the hand of God, can only work its magic as the days, weeks and months go by. As a 47-year-old, I have seen my broken heart heal, misunderstandings become deeper understanding. I have seen the dark moments of my life in the context of what they are working in my character, working together for what is best for myself or others. There are still many things in life that make no sense, but time has helped me weave even those into my soul, lessening their power to confuse or distract me. All of this brings confidence when the next round of darkness sets in.
Over the last year I have seen that the knowledge of time's power and God's purposes, the deep down heart knowledge, cannot be handed over like a math worksheet or a literature assignment. It has to drip slowly, like pure water through perfectly ground French roast coffee beans, to make a rich result. When our friends moved away last December, and some of my children were aching with sadness, I could not convince them that it was going to be okay. I could listen, I could share my own experiences, I could pray, I could provide routines to bring comfort in the midst of change, but I could not convince anyone of what God alone, through time, was busy doing.
It's been a year now...a whole year. The lessons have made their way into the deep recesses of each of our hearts, and we know that all is well, all is for the best. It's not easy stretching our heart strings, but we've seen that they continue to stay strong as they stretch. The happy faces and strong friendships across the miles are a testimony to hearts that are learning.
I have outsourced subjects before (math and piano come to mind immediately) but this is outsourcing on a whole new level. The learning and grappling and embracing of God's ways must happen in the hearts of my children, and this I cannot teach them. I would not pretend to be able to teach advanced piano theory, or advanced mathematics, and so I must not pretend that I can teach the eternal lessons that God alone must work in their souls. I need to step aside, do the work that I am called to do, and let the Master of our souls do His work without my interference. He can be trusted, and I can rest.
(Written with The Autumn Rain in mind...especially this post.)