It is a brand new school year, Friends! For the Kelley family, it is our daughter, Charlotte’s, first year at WDS as well as mine as the new Faith and Family Coordinator. We are ecstatic and, to be honest, a little nervous. Thinking about this next step in our lives, I am reminded of my own happy childhood memories of school: fresh boxes of crayons, picking out a new lunch box, making best friends, yellow school buses and shiny red apples. In a few weeks, I am eagerly anticipating seeing friends share their 1st day “back to school” photos, and watching our children grow and learn throughout this new school year. So many possibilities – the slate is clean and there is much positivity about this fresh start!
Of course, I am also reminded that sometimes a new school year also can bring along some hesitation. My freshman year in college, I was filled with nervousness and an absolute dread when I received notice that I was assigned to Miss Hermes English 101 class. Sitting at my assigned desk (in the front row no less!) that first day, I was a nervous wreck. Her reputation as a fierce teacher preceded her on campus and everyone knew to avoid her rigorous class and that dreaded term paper! She was a middle aged lady, a former Catholic Nun who had a 100% no nonsense air about her. She was not known to hand out “A’s” easily, and I was on a strict academic scholarship that I needed to maintain. I considered myself extremely unfortunate that God had assigned me to her classroom.
Boy, was I wrong about that! She walked in that first day, immediately opened her Bible and read Psalms 37:5, “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and he shall bring it to pass.” She went on to acknowledge her feared reputation on campus, and our fear of writing a term paper and actually passing (let alone earning an “A” in) her class. Then, she explained this verse out of Psalms and began to challenge us that if we would allow ourselves to believe what God was saying – that He is trustworthy, that all we have to do is commit our way to following Him and trust Him, then He would see us through every challenge of life – and that if we would choose to dedicate that semester to God, then we would experience His active help in our lives, and even in something as little and seemingly unimportant as a freshman English class. She also agreed to commit her way of teaching to the Lord and to trust Him to rise to the challenge she was presenting to us. She desperately wanted to prove to us that we would grow in our understanding of God’s work in our lives if we accepted this challenge.
Then and there, I accepted the challenge and prayed silently in my seat that I was going to take God at his word, commit my way completely to Him and trust Him, and leave the results in His hands. As the semester went on, I started looking forward to Miss Hermes’s 10 min devotionals before class, and I soon learned not only how to write a term paper, but that I actually enjoyed doing it! I will never forget the absolute joy when I opened my report card and saw that “A+.” I knew that it was God who had proven Himself trustworthy and all-sufficient to me … and that was a much needed faith-building moment in my life.
Since then, I am often reminded of that verse whenever I encounter a new journey or trial. “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring IT to pass.” There have been many more ITs in my life, with many more to come as I parent my daughter, but I have learned that you can take any worry or situation and insert it into that verse!
As parents, our biggest goal is to train up our children in the “Way” they should go. (Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”) The problem is that it can very hard to know if you are on the right way! Did our method of potty-training work , will my child be happy learning in their class, will they remember to use their manners, are they learning to love Jesus and know that He loves them … etc.! We are tempted to question ourselves constantly. In this modern age, Mothers are confronted with an overwhelming amount of choices, parenting philosophies, and “must do” activities, all at the touch of our smart phones. It sometimes causes us to question every decision we make. We can research any topic and try to form an opinion on what is the best for our families. While we may be more informed, I do not think that it makes us any more confident than our predecessors that our children are on the right path. The good news is that our Mother-heart’s cry, “Am I on the right WAY?” has not gone unheard from our Heavenly Father! He desires for us to be at PEACE and to trust Him to work on behalf of our precious children! I believe He shows us how and gave us that challenge nearly 3,500 years ago in Ps. 37:5, to commit our ways unto the LORD; to trust Him; and He shall bring whatever “it” is that we are striving for and worried about to pass. Dear friends, will you join me in committing the biggest IT of our lives, our precious children, to the Lord this year? I believe that if we will, God will prove Himself trustworthy and faithful and will see us through whatever challenges and opportunities lay before us. Best of all, our children will see Him, too.