During the summer of 2008, my husband and I faced the toughest times with our homeschooling and raising our children. Our then 17-year-old had been dating a girl for a year. The relationship began as a courtship and both families were keeping the dating couple in accountability. That is, until June of 2008. The young couple wanted to dash off for a two-week trip to see her family out of state. My husband and I were not okay with that and promptly put an end to the plans. The young girl, 20 years old, took offense and retaliated. She began talking to another family member and concocted a plan that would unfold the day after we hosted a 40th anniversary celebration for my in-laws at our home.
On the morning of July 8th, I was working at the local newspaper as a beat reporter. My oldest daughter, who was 15 years old at the time, watched the younger children for the four hours I worked twice a week. The younger kids were 12, 11, 8, 6, and 5 years old, and my daughter worked with the younger kids doing some drill sheets and workbook pages. I heard over the police scanner something about a “welfare check” and barely caught the name of the street…until my daughter called to tell me two police officers and a social services worker were at the house. We share a home with my mother and she was home at the time, as she often was, but there is something about law enforcement officials being at your house that can be unsettling, especially when you really don’t know why they are there. I was heated with anger!
The allegations were that we had no food in the house for our children and that our oldest daughter was homeschooling the children. Thankfully, we knew homeschooling law and she wasn’t schooling them at all. We also had plenty of food in the pantry, fridge, and freezer, and all allegations were found to be false. But that moment when it seemed family was against us, and our son was in a dark place and was not himself at all, those were the times that we pulled together as a family and prayed and recommitted our family and children to the Lord. And through that trial, I gained a renewed spark and passion for homeschooling and homeschooling law awareness in our state. We stood on the Scripture verse: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgement You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servant of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17, NKJV)
That summer was so incredibly difficult for my husband and me. Relationships were shattered within our extended family. Trust was broken. We felt as though allegiances were formed against us. But we turned more to the Lord and our church family to see us through. In the end, the girl’s true feelings and motives were revealed, and the relationship between her and our son dissolved. He saw that we weren’t trying to do anything malicious to him, but at the time, she was. We forgave the girl, her family, and our family members, but it took almost five years to get to a point where we would be comfortable being at family events together. The Lord is restoring that relationship more and more every day. But it is only through His grace and our willingness to trust Him fully in all that we do that reconciliation is able to come. Colossians 1:21 says, “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled…”
What hurts have you endured? What relationships need reconciling? Allow the Lord to perform a miracle in that relationship and do what only He can do to restore love, trust, and peace once again.
Summers That Changed Us Series
This post was a part of the “Summers That Changed Us” series going on this month at Managing Your Blessings. Be sure to check out other great posts in the series!