Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)
TITLE: Uncharted Territory
By Jen Davis
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This was one of those moments in life when in an instant everything changes. His words were like a gust of wind, altering the course we were on and steering us into uncharted territory. We had talked many times about ways to handle the challenges he was dealing with at school. I had met with teachers and had spoken with the principal, but nothing had changed. There was one exceptional teacher, one who went out of his way. But one teacher hadn’t been enough.
Not normally one to complain, my son poured out details that night he had not shared before. He’d been struggling with problems at school that no child should have to deal with. He’d kept so much inside that the stress he was under was beginning to change him.
Having assured him we would find a solution, I left his room and headed towards my own, praying along the way. Even before I could reach my room, I had an answer to my prayer. There have been only a handful of times in my life when I have heard God speak so clearly— “Take him out of that school.”
I planned to visit every school in our area, but I soon discovered that God had a plan as well. He took me on an amazing journey that week and opened my eyes to something I had never seen before.
The following day I ran into a friend from church, her children with her. “Hey kids, how come you’re not in school today?”
“We homeschool.” Brother and sister sang in unison.
My head jerked back in the direction of their mother. “I didn’t know you all homeschooled.”
She smiled in response to my startled look, and when I told her I didn’t think I could ever “do that” she laughed. “I hear that a lot,” she said. “In fact, I once said the same thing.”
Over the next few days I continued to visit other schools, but it seemed wherever I went God kept bringing homeschoolers across my path. Each one encouraged me, each one answering my many questions. A tiny seed had been planted and had begun to take root.
With so many options in homeschooling, I went to the library and checked out armloads of books on the subject. The more I learned I began to realize that homeschool would be a good choice for my son.
But, God, this was not my plan. What about my new career?
Having recently gone back to school, I had completed a degree that would allow me to begin a whole new career. Upon graduating, I felt my options were endless and that I could do most anything I wanted. I had great plans, but I soon discovered God’s plans were different from my own.
Most of the time when I think I hear God’s voice, it comes in a whisper; still there have been other times when I have wondered if God was there at all; but this time God had spoken loud and clear. Just days before, the option to homeschool had not even entered my mind. By the end of the week, I withdrew my son from school.
My son is a senior this year and will graduate high school with enough dual credit courses to begin college well into his sophomore year. He’s happy, confident, and excited about his future. We took the path less traveled by, but I have no doubt that we chose the right one for us. Simply following in the direction God pointed, we found our way by taking one step of faith after another.
While becoming my son’s teacher was not the career I had planned for, I have loved the journey and wouldn’t change a thing.
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