Faith / Spirit, Homeschooling, Passions, Teaching

Will You Come and Follow Me?

On Sunday, we sang “The Summons” again in church.

Here’s the link if you want to check it out on YouTube … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiXnbOORTAU

It really is beautiful.

I heard this song for the first time two years ago … same church different pew.

And on that day, I felt like Jesus was reaching his hand out to ME, asking ME, 

“Will you come and follow me, 

If I but call your name?”

He persists with,
“Will you go where you don’t know

And never be the same?”

At the time, the possibility of alternative education for me as an educator and for my children PERMEATED my every thought. I was SICK with what my job as a high school educator had become. 

Attempts to COPE in the last couple of years I worked in the public system included cutting back to halftime, teaching for a different (online) school, and … actually … here’s the most rash thing … I even resorted to having another baby. Another baby would mean another year off from a job I’d come to loathe.

Of course, that’s not the only reason we had our third baby! But the potential time away from that job had a certain appeal.

The public education system in Saskatchewan has become so corrupt. There’s a general lack of a moral compass, and there’s certainly no accountability. And it makes me absolutely crazy!!!

I was SICK at the thought of being a being a part of something like that anymore.

I desperately wanted “to go where [I] don’t know / and never be the same” as the song summoned.

It continues with,

“Will you leave yourself behind

If I but call your name?”

Yes!

“Will you risk the hostile stare

Should your life attract or scare?”

Lord, give me courage, I know my decision to explore educational alternatives for myself and for my daughters, is not a popular decision. I will be questioned. I will be challenged. I will be gossiped about. I will be unsupported by my husband and others too. Give me strength.

“Will you love the ‘you’ you hide

If I but call your name?”

Lord, You know me like no one else knows me … You know what’s on my heart, You know who I am, You know who I want to be … Lord, I’m tired of hiding. 

“Will you quell the fear inside

And never be the same?”

I want to, Lord. 

“Will you use the faith you’ve found

To reshape the world around,

Through my sight and touch and sound

In you and you in me?”

I’m trying, Lord. There’s nothing I’d rather do than “reshape the world around,” and as YOU know, because You knit me together, my “reshaping” would HAVE to be related to learning and growing and education … and as You ALSO know, reshaping education will reshape the children we raise and send out into the world … there is NOTHING more meaningful or important to me than that, Lord.

Two years ago, when I heard this song for the first time, I felt the Lord speak to me. He whispered to me, “Go!” “Do it!” “It’s yours if you want it.” He gave me permission … His blessing … “Pursue it” … “we need this” … “YOU need this” … “Let’s do this!” 

In the months that followed, I started to explore and dabble in and eventually get REALLY SERIOUS about this pursuit of alternative education … for me … for my children … for our community … I started to share my idea in church and with friends … I started talking to the right people, I found an ally, we invited people to join us, we held public meetings, I prepared all the right documents … on and on and on … and THEN? Everything ground to a halt … 

As my maternity leave drew to a close (even after asking for an extension), my anxiety and worry and absolute terror of returning to a job I hated, had me on my knees … in late August 2018, I sat on my screen deck one afternoon, and literally cried out to God, “What do You want from me? You told me to pursue this! You “summoned” me, Lord, and I followed You! And, Lord, this hasn’t been easy … You told me Yourself to “risk the hostile stare.” I’ve done that, Lord. I’ve done what You wanted … what I wanted … but it’s not working. I have no alternative work situation for me. I have no alternative for my daughter. Lord, the new school year is approaching. What else do You want from me?”

And then the phone rang.

It was Darren Gasper, Superintendent of Sun West School Division. As our conversation progressed, he began describing a new concept that they were considering … a Regional Teacher for their Distance Learning Centre. This would be a work-from-home position … same salary and same benefits as every other teacher in the province … I would be supporting homeschooling families in our area AND I would be able to homeschool my own daughter at the same time … she would be one of MY students.

MY PRAYERS HAD BEEN ANSWERED!

Of course, a contract wasn’t signed that day, but by the mid-November, it was done … I had a full-time permanent contract with a different school division, and my daughter was coming home to learn.

I share this today because I KNOW there’s a woman out there that needs to hear that it’s OKAY to leave a life behind that you no longer love, a life that no longer fuels you, a life that you’re dissatisfied with …

I did this … 

EVEN THOUGH my husband did not support me, 

EVEN THOUGH my mom was worried about the switch, 

EVEN THOUGH I had three young children underfoot,

EVEN THOUGH I was (mostly) alone,

EVEN THOUGH it all scared the absolute crap out of me … 

I “quell(ed) the fear inside” …

“Lord, your summons echoes true

When you but call my name.

Let me turn and follow you

And never be the same.

In your company I’ll go

Where your love and footsteps show.

Thus I’ll move and live and grow

In you and you in me.”

Everything I wanted for my life and for my children, I have now. 

I have a job that allows me to use my talents and gifts for good … a job that allows me to serve and care for people … but also, a job that is super flexible, which means I can meet the needs of my own family as well. I am trusted as a professional and deeply respected for the work I do. 

WHAT A GIFT! 

I also get to do what Jesus does in “The Summons” now … I invite and (quietly) encourage others to “come and follow me” … not just by telling you to do it without ever doing it (and living it) myself, but by showing you IT CAN BE DONE!

I can encourage you to explore an alternate learning path for your children and your family because that’s what I have done.

I can encourage you to pursue a dream because that’s what I have done.

I can encourage you to follow Jesus because that’s what I have done.

COME AND FOLLOW ME!

BUILD the life you want.

BECAUSE I chose to “turn and follow You, And never be the same,” I hope that you too will turn and follow HIM (or me), and NEVER be the same!

COME and SEE what it’s like … 

Come and see.

Come and see.

It really is a beautiful thing.

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