This week I have heard too many families to count trying to navigate what they are planning to do this coming school year. We have parents wanting to send kids to school at any cost, those who want to keep them home and safe at any cost, those who want a hybrid model, and those who just don’t know what to do and are paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong choice. This doesn’t even include teachers and their families. All of it is probably too much for all of us to know what to do. Add to that the fear of protests, elections, and layoffs, and it might seem like too much for us to handle. You might have that burning feeling in the pit of your stomach.
I will admit the title of this article is meant to get you to click the link. I really want all of us to think about our kids. Here is the thing. Our kids are listening. Our kids are hearing our stress and fears. Our kids are hearing our anger. So stop and let's reset. Here are three things to remember this fall.
First, you will not ever make the perfect decision. In fact none of us will. For your kids' sake, please try to show them kindness and joy. Try to be as positive as you can for them as you navigate this impossible situation.
Second, pray and listen. This isn’t something you should take lightly. Probably more than any other year of sending kids to school, we have some real fears about what it will be like. Will it be safe and will it be good for them? I for one am trusting in Jesus, that He will be with our kids through all the ups and downs of the year.
Lastly, as I was reading the Scriptures I came across one of my favorite stories. This is one where they had a burning feeling as well. Let's get that burning feeling not in our stomach but in our heart. When those disciples were talking along the road to Emmaus, they were in a moment of fear.
They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”…. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:14-18, 30-32 NIV)
Our job as parents is to remind ourselves, our family and especially our kids, that Jesus is setting our hearts on fire for him. Jesus is in control. This year will be hard. We will have ups and downs, victories and defeats. Yet through all of it, Jesus has the victory. He walks with us on these roads of fear and brings us a heart of peace. My prayer for us this year is we have hearts that are on fire, knowing He is with us, and we can proclaim that to a world living in fear.