Weeding my garden

As I examine the last several years of my life, fear is a common thread weaved through my decisions and my feelings. The feeling of fear and anxiety, they go hand in hand, is immobilizing and I began to notice just how crippled I’d become since I was a younger version of myself. Birthdays have a way of making us reflect, don’t they?

At one time, as a young Christian woman I felt that I had nothing to lose and nothing to fear, as the Lord was my strength, but that disappeared when I became a wife and mother. A couple of months ago the Lord moved me and the group of believers I worship with into a season of reaching out, into the community, to serve their practical needs, with no strings attached. At first it was a little scary. It had been so long since I had served a stranger, it had been so long since I was one of those strangers. It took less than an hour to feel at home amongst the sick, the addicted, the mentally ill, and the destitute when I felt a strange sort of life begin to fill me up. A courageous spark that was not my own was lit inside of me. It has been slowly, but surely that I began to accept and abide in that strength, which is Christ.

The truth is, in this world the odds are stacked against us. There’s always someone who can do what I do a little bit better, and that is what kept me from writing a book, that is what kept me from becoming a sales rep, from doing anything I felt passionate about. I would dip my toe in the water with attempts to begin something as I looked for my purpose. I know that I am here to express Christ, but there is a practical physical realm, and I exist there as much as I do in the eternal heavenly realm. I know I am complete in the heavenlies, in Christ. What I am expressing here is the reason why I am here, the reason why I didn’t bypass this life and go straight to heaven, the reason that I am on earth expressing Christ rather than in heaven expressing Him.

Fear is the enemy who heaps mounds of guilt on my back as I homeschool, telling me I am not doing enough. All I heard in my head for years was that I don’t measure up, so why bother trying, and I didn’t. I kept busy cleaning my home obsessively, homeschooling and lesson planning, trying to do the best I could for my family as far as health and diet goes, but I never ventured outside of those walls to see what I could accomplish. I was not prepared to look foolish.

This new direction that the church headed in reminded me of who I am in Christ and I am prepared to look foolish, I am prepared to be who I am and not feel guilt and condemnation. It has not been conviction keeping me from venturing outside my walls, it’s been fear. I have a dream and goals and the Lord gave those to me. I have stopped rationalizing Him to fit my budget and my mind. I don’t have much, in the way of college or work experience, but I have a ton of what the Lord gave me and that is a passion and knowledge about homeschool. A while ago I read a passage that spoke to me a little, but I knew there was more to it. Today I know why it stood out. In Judges 7, in the first few verses, the Lord is telling Gideon to leave his warriors behind. If he went into battle with too many warriors the Israelites would have boasted that it was man’s strength that won the war. The Lord goes on to say that the timid and afraid need to go home, this fight is not for them.

There are 2 things that I love about this, my new found freedom from fear, my boldness is from the Lord and if I am to be afraid of the future and the goals set before me, I can just continue to stay at home living my safe life without fear of rejection. The more important revelation I received is that because I don’t have the business, sales, teaching degree, the glory will not be mine. I will succeed because the Lord is my strength through it all.

I just began a new career that coincides with our homeschool. My children are excited to be a part of this and we are going to build this business as a family. I will allow others to speak with my children so that my boys can attest to the quality of the books and the lifestyle that I will be speaking about. We are far from being the picture of a perfect family, but that will give even more glory unto the Lord, it will all be His. I am sure there are those “out there” who will say I am not qualified and I would have listened to and agreed with them at one point. But then, the Lord lit a spark in me and behold, I just got certified through a reputable company to be an education consultant! The Lord had to give me some boldness in that because there is no way I could have done that on my own. I don’t have the degree and that held me back for so long, but as John Gatto (an award winning teacher in New York several years in a row) and Charlotte Mason (a teacher who worked with children her whole life) will tell you, in their books, a degree works against you in this particular field, the field of Charlotte Mason education and homeschooling. And that just so happens to be the area that the Lord gave me a burning desire and passion for. 

Fear has nothing on me anymore as I have found the source of what’s gripped me and taken root, and I have ripped those suckers out. The Lord has given us all the gift of love, power, and a sound mind. I am a wife and a mother first and I will not let my children’s training up or education lack, but I am also a vessel in my own right and I am given the strength, the extreme desire, and the motivating force behind making the world a better place through introducing educational books I love and believe in. It would have sounded silly to me a year ago that the Lord could give me passion about books, and sharing them, and selling them to schools and libraries, but today I have no fear of how it may look. I have never felt more passionate and alive and fearless, thanks to the Lord’s blessing in my endeavor. He has given me the power to do this, succeed, and make a difference in the lives of children and educators who come across my path. Thank you God. You are my heart.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Jackie

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