Something unexpected happened this week. I know that many of you will want to know what happened and why our choices have changed. This will probably be a long post, but I need to tell you all the details so that you’ll really understand. If you are a close friend of mine and this is the first you’ve heard of this, I am sorry. There are several of you that need nothing less than the whole story and I hope you’ll understand, as I am sure this is going to be somewhat sad for you.
Our children will not be attending the Classical School of Wichita next year. I love the Classical School. I love the teachers, the kids, my friends. I love the beliefs and the strong Christian principles on which the school is founded. So, in all honesty, my heart is broken. When things changed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this last week, I cried more tears than I have cried in years. I sobbed the kinds of sobs that knock you off your feet and your only choice is to sit, folded over crying into hands that can do nothing to resolve the situation. I prayed, simple one or two word prayers that sounded mostly like, “why,” “help,” and “please answer.”
I guess the best place to start is at the beginning.
We’ve always gotten tuition assistance to send our kids to private school. It’s a long story and one I’m not going to share with the world, but like many one income families private school just wasn’t a choice for us with out some kind of aide. Even with that financial aid we had to cut corners and neglect other things like home maintenance for the girls to go there. Well, Luke has a really great job now and on paper, it looks like we should be able to afford tuition. We got a very small amount of aide, but it wasn’t enough. When we looked at the numbers together, what we need in addition was just too much to ask for. Scriptures reference money more than any other topic (Check out Proverbs 22:7 for example) and we felt like instead of this being some kind of spiritual attack that it was very much God saying “no.” Which, by the way is the worst. When we pray fervently, expectantly, faithfully and the answer is “no” it is one of the most difficult issues a Christian can face. We feel like this was a clear message that it is time we right the ship so to speak. I especially didn’t want to hear that.
I felt great loss. Loss of community, loss of a Christ centered education. We just attended the most beautiful graduation ceremony ever and I realize my middles won’t get that. What was I supposed to do? Where should they be going to school? Why was this happening? So much sadness.
If you don’t know our family well, then you should know that my life has been dedicated to their education since they were all very small. I’ve been homeschooling them since Madelyn was 4, so 14 years now. At first, that seemed like what should happen. “I guess we’ll just homeschool.” There were many concerns there and the kids were totally, totally against it. Which hurt actually. Our options to homeschool are good. There is a great co-op about a mile from our home. But, issues existed there as well. Sports options were an issue. Tears, tears, tears. I cried, I prayed. Should they go to public school. Our district school is not an option. Not, not, not an option. What choices do I even have? I cried. I prayed. Tears, tears, tears.
Every time I prayed the Lord laid a name on my heart. I don’t over spiritualize things and there have been only a few times in my life when I felt like God “spoke” to me. I’m not saying He audibly spoke but I prayed and I’d think of this name. A dear friend of mine kept coming to mind. She’s the mother of 4 adult children with an age range similar to that of my own children except their youngest is about 10 years older than my youngest. She homeschooled and her kids all went to private school in the 9th grade. Same as us. I prayed, I thought her name. So Thursday morning I sent her an SOS text of sorts for an emergency coffee date. She met me that afternoon.
She said exactly what I needed to hear. But, not in the just telling me what I wanted to hear kind of way. I felt like the Lord was using her to tell me what he wanted me to know. I know that is super weird, and probably unbelievable to someone that isn’t a believer but let me tell you, I don’t know what people do who don’t know Christ. It is so lovely to have that kind of counsel. Proverbs is full of verses about wisdom. Read Proverbs 12:15. This and many other verses tell us to seek wise counsel. So, that’s what I was doing.
She knows homeschoolers. There is this belief in the homeschool world that the worst thing you could ever do is send your kids to public school. I know that is a secret, homeschool friends, and I just broke the mom code by telling it. You deny it, it’s ok. But, in your heart you believe it, as did I.
My friend vocalized that and it was as if someone were speaking the unspoken secrets of a hidden subculture. She said it was a lie. She told me that no matter what I decided to do with my kids, I wasn’t abandoning them. (Seriously, this is what homeschoolers think) She told me my choices were good, meaning the things I was choosing between were both good things and that God loves my girls and he has a plan for them. She told me there were bad kids every where and that I can’t protect my girls from every bad person. She told me I was a good mom. (Don’t we all need to hear that?) She promised to help put me in touch with people she knows from both the homeschool co-op and those that have had kids attend Circle High School. We talked about the wonderful teachers at the co-op and how that would work in conjunction with classes at home. She wanted me to do some research to feel better about the choices I was making.
What you don’t know is that Thursday morning Luke called Circle High School in attempt to get our kids an out of district exception. Apparently, at some point I had filled out an application online and he, the principal, had already approved it. He had approved it before the call. Do you hear what I’m saying? We were already in. Not only that but he had done a background check on my sweet 9th grader by calling our current virtual school. They “only had good things to say” about our family, so with that information he verbally accepted our 11th grader as well. With no further red tape.
We were going to wait to make the decision. Turns out it didn’t work that way. I started to get information about conflicting extra curriculars and choices had to be made. When I say they had to be made, I mean forms were due that very night and two very good options have important camps the same week. One would be if we homeschooled, one would be if they go to Circle. Decisions HAD to be made.
Based on a gut feeling and the kids desires. We choose Circle High School in Towanda, Kansas. I never imagined we’d be doing this.
Since then I’ve talked to the basketball coach and he’s excited to have Gloria, I Facebook stalked him…he’s a Christian. I’ve spoken with the band director whom I was getting the hunch was a believer. At some point in the conversation he asked me if I knew a certain person who has kids at CSW. We happen to be friends with that family and our kids are very good friends. Turns out, that’s his pastor. He told me he was surprised that we were accepted into the district, he said it was “very unusual.” I heard “God is at work.” He is concerned about getting my little drummer girl plugged into the band and finding just the right place. He doesn’t even know us and he cares about my kid. He said these exact words “My wife and I were surprised when we moved here that we found a very tight knit community of believers at Circle.”
Next school year is going to look VERY different than what I expected. Honestly, I barely even know what to expect now. In a recent post I said the only thing I’ve come to depend on is change, but this is a change none of us were ready for.
God has a plan. God is in the details. He loves my kids more than I do.