20 Aug 2015

When Back to School is Scary

I took both my boys to their new school’s orientation this afternoon. It the obligatory “drop off your school supplies and meet your teacher” chaos. And you guys, there I was standing in the brand new hallway with my son introducing him to his brand new teacher in his brand new school with all its brand new classrooms and gym and kids and expectations and as I looked over at his brave, nervous face behind his glasses I almost lost it.

Our kids are so brave, aren’t they?

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They’re so brave because they’re all kinds of nervous and insecure and they DO IT ANYWAY.

There is just so, so much we can learn from them.

I watched my sons and I knew how awkward they felt and how different everything seemed from their last school and I could read behind their eyes how badly the younger one wanted to cry. But instead he held out his hand and introduced himself and shared three things about himself he wanted his new teacher to know about him.

And I gulped back a huge sob of my own and I repeated his teacher’s name so we wouldn’t forget it and I laid my hand on his desk and read the names of the students who will sit beside him this year.

He told me that it’s all so different. He told me he wanted to go home. And I know he didn’t mean back to our old house in Virginia, but back to the school building and hallways and kids and teachers and routine that’s all he’s known the last three years.

And part of me wanted to take him.

But part of me is also going to be brave and so I looked him in the eye and told him that I was sure Jesus had picked out this classroom for him. And that Jesus knew the names of every kid who would be sitting at his circle of desks. And that because Jesus knows what he loves and how he learns best and who he will grow up to be one day, we can trust Jesus with the classroom he chose. We can trust Jesus with the kids and the routine and the math.

He said he still wasn’t sure.

And I told him that’s OK. We don’t have to be sure. That’s why they call it faith.

Then we came home and they played mine craft and we were all relieved to be able to relax back into the familiar.

But on Monday both my sons will pack up their backpacks and courage and take it all along with their nerves and worries into a new classroom because that’s how we keep growing up.

And it turns out you can be 41 and still there’s lots of growing still to do because it’s so hard every time we discover a new way that Jesus plans to stretch us. But we trust Him because we can look back where we came from and He’s been right every time.

We can tell ourselves it’s “just” a new school. Or “just” that new job you have. Or “just” a move or “just” another baby or “just” a fresh start.

But really, there is no “just” about our lives. They are unique to us and every change is something we need to process and we all process differently. There’s no need to rush. There’s no need to minimize.

There’s no “just” about you.

I remember that this afternoon as we climb out of the blue minivan with a summer’s worth of sports and vacation trampled into its carpets, and I make room for us all to feel sad and nervous. I say the words out loud to my kids. “We’re all a bit sad and nervous. That’s OK guys”

And it is you know.

It really is.

 

Our favorite Laugh out Loud Joke books for kids found here.
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