“And as Heidi stood gazing around her at all this splendor the tears ran down her cheeks for very delight and happiness, and impulsively she thanked God aloud for having brought her home, thanked Him that everything was as beautiful as ever, more beautiful even than she had thought, and that it was all hers again once more. And she was so overflowing with joy and thankfulness that she could not find words to thank Him enough.”Heidi by Johanna Spyri
This past October marked two years since my Mami went home to be with Jesus. A lot has happened in my life since then. I wish I would have been more consistent in writing on this blog so that I could have shared regularly with you how gracious the Lord has been to me and my family.
We have seen some big changes in our lives over these past two years. Soon after losing my Mami, my family started attending a new church. This wasn’t an easy decision for us as we were a part of our previous church body for over 20 years. It was a difficult decision to make, one steeped in prayer. However, when the Lord clearly directed us to move, we obeyed.
Let me tell you, it was hard. Really hard.
I think some would argue that it was a crazy time to make such a transition. The grief over the loss of my Mami already hung like a dark cloud over our heads. With the accompanying loss of our home fellowship, the cloud felt thick and oftentimes, too heavy to bear.
But God. It was His timing.
As I’m able to look back and reflect on the past two years, I can clearly see that it was Him who directed our path to a place of solace; a new church body that was able to pour out Jesus into our lives through our grief and sorrow.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
In these two years, the Lord has shown my family what true unity within the body of Christ looks like. We have been very happy to be a part of this beautiful community of Christ-focused people with genuine love and zeal for His Word and each other (Romans 12:9-21).
Change is never easy but when led by God, it is good.
This change wasn’t easy. No, in fact, it took over a year to feel at home in our new church. Even with the outpouring of love, gathering for meals, intimate studies with women and small groups, it was hard pressing forward having left a piece of our life behind, especially when there were good people we had to say good-bye to.
However, through that change, God opened more doors for our family.
Our new church has embraced our homeschool co-op with open arms. They’ve allowed our group to use their building and even changed their schedules around to accommodate ours.
You see, at my church, home education is seen as important missional work. From the teaching elders to the body, a large percentage of our church families have committed their lives to homeschool. It’s unlike anything I have ever seen before. We have multi-generational homeschool families – mothers and fathers that carry out the duty to lay up His words in the hearts of their children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
Here’s where it gets even more beautiful and brings tears to my eyes. This year our homeschool co-op has been blessed to have two seasoned homeschool mothers from our church (you know, before the internet and Facebook groups) to serve as mentoring moms. They’ve come alongside each of our co-op families to encourage and equip us on our homeschool journeys. Its been a beautiful testimony to Titus 2.
How good is our God?!
Also this year, another sweet sister in Christ from our church volunteered to lead and plan all of our co-op events. Again and again, God has been so gracious. I am planning on sharing a post specifically on our Charlotte Mason based homeschool cooperative soon.
Besides a new church home, exciting growth and changes in our homeschool co-op, we also moved. I told ya, lots of change!
It wasn’t a move we were planning but once again, one led by the Lord. We moved two houses away from my sister and Papi in a town I wasn’t exactly stoked about living in. However, I knew once my Mami passed, I needed to be by them. Grieving for a lost parent is hard; however, seeing my father grieve his lost flesh has been even harder (that’s another post all on its own). In the depth of my soul, I wanted to be near my Papi to be able to walk alongside him as he struggled in grief and sorrow, never in despair.
Again, through this new change, the Lord was gracious to me. The first week that we moved into our new home, I met my next-door neighbor who was tending her large in-ground garden. It was early morning, I was with my younger sister making plans for my own garden beds. We met at our fence that divides our lawns and introduced ourselves. She asked me if I homeschool my children since my kids were playing outdoors as well. I told her yes, that we did. As soon as I mentioned that we use the Charlotte Mason method of education, she started to cry. She also homeschools using the Charlotte Mason method and was praying for Godly new neighbors. She told me that God answered her prayers and gave her more than she had even asked for.
When I think back to this conversation, It brings me to my knees in gratitude and praise. He heard our cries and gave us both so much more than we even asked for. Our next-door neighbors have since become dear friends.
Through every change, as difficult as they have been, God has been good.
Losing my Mami was difficult and continues to be so. After all, as a wise woman shared with me, we were created to be eternal. I still battle PTSD and waves of grief that come and go but over these past two years, I’ve drawn nearer to the Lord than I ever have before. In doing so, there is joy and as Heidi shared so eloquently above, overflowing thankfulness.
I haven’t heard from many of you in a long time. I encourage you to take a few minutes to catch me up on what has been happening in your life. How have you been? Any new changes you would like to share with this community? Please do so in the comments below.
I’ll be back soon with a new muffin recipe.