I've been giving a lot of thought recently to my children's future education. In 21 months, my oldest will be starting kindergarten, somewhere. (Yes, I've given that much thought to it that I'm counting down in months.) My middle child will also have the option of starting kindergarten then as well. Where and how they are educated is of major concern for me.
I'm afraid of this decision, because I'm afraid of messing up my kids. I was home schooled, and I do not want my children's lives to turn out the way mine did. I have heard awful things about the public school system and fear my children will turn into another bad statistic. Any private school in our area will be brand new, so no one knows what kind of result those will have.
Even though I know at any point I can change my mind and do something different if what I choose isn't working out, I still fear this decision. What if that one year or less totally messes them up? What if they end up behind, or scarred academically, or emotionally, or spiritually?
And this morning, I realized exactly what I was doing.
I was making myself equal to God.
Actually, worse: I was making myself more powerful than God.
I believe in the sovereignty of God. He says He knew all of our days before we were even born. He has a plan. He has written a story.
By saying that I'm afraid of messing up my kids, I'm saying I'm afraid I'm going to mess up His plan. As a character in His story... how could I possibly do that?
My children are known and created individually by God. He has a plan for each of them. Every moment of every day has been ordered by God.
Am I capable of surprising the God who ordered every moment? Am I able to mess up His plan for my children? Am I so powerful that my mistakes hinder the God of the universe?!
By extension... my idea that my life is messed up is completely wrong. I didn't blow it. My parents didn't blow it. Not in the grand scheme of things. Because God is in control, and He both knew and planned the seemingly messed up parts of my life. Sin plays a part, but sin is not more powerful than God.
That battle I have with the quote, "you are exactly the mom your kids need," because I felt I did not have the mom I needed, is pointless. She was the mom I needed, because even in the hurt, God used that to draw me to Him. If my emotional needs had been met by her, if we had a beautiful relationship, would I be as reliant on my Heavenly Father? I don't know... but I know His plan is good.
If you don't believe in God's sovereignty, in the doctrine of predestination, I'm not out to convince you. But with those beliefs as my foundation, messing up my kids is impossible. Because God's got this. He's ordered, planned, and crafted a story for His glory.
Now, this doesn't mean I get to lay on the couch eating Doritos and letting my kids fend for themselves because that's God's plan for them. But I don't have to be paralyzed by fear of messing up. Because I love my kids, I research, plan, learn, and do my best for them. I pray, and I trust God to lead me, knowing that what appears to be a mistake to me is part of God's plan to glorify Himself through me and my children.
God doesn't make mistakes. So I can spend less time worrying, and more time allowing the God of the universe to guide me. Knowing that He will guide me, and that He loves my kids even more than I do, takes a heavy weight from my chest.