Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Thank goodness for breathing room

Many people (friends, family, acquaintances, and even those I don't hardly know) have found themselves at the other end of my tirade about the start of Colin's school year over the past few days. For this, I sincerely apologize. I have started to see some of the not so positive aspects of public schooling, and even reconsidered (for a brief moment) the idea of homeschooling. But in the end, a little time, a little breathing room and a whole lotta prayer have seen everything work out just fine.

It's a long story, and one I'm not going to record in detail, because I'd rather just bury the whole thing and move on. Suffice it to say that I have some interesting run-ins with the school administration that made me realize the golden truth behind my mother's wise words: I am the only one who will be advocating for my child. I was loaded with a little guilt at wondering if I'm just becoming "one of those parents" who is always complaining about one thing or another and seeking special treatment for my child. Luckily I was reassured by those I spoke with that the issue at hand was indeed important enough to be addressed.

I learned two important lessons after this whole debacle. The first is to trust that "all things work together for good to them that love God," and the second is to always take time to calm down, process, ponder and consider a situation before running in head first.

I was speaking with a good friend on the weekend who found herself in a hard situation regarding her son's school start. I hadn't had any issues at this point, but as we spoke on the phone I counseled her to remember that it was important to believe that everything would work out as it needed to, and her son would find himself in the place he needed to be. Little did I know that two days later I would find myself in the exact same position! It did me much good as that phone conversation came flooding back, and amid my confusion and anger I heard my own words echoing clearly in my mind: everything will work out as it should.

It was a phone message yesterday that sent me spiraling, and when my phone messages went unreturned, I could feel the frustration rising higher and faster within me. But in the end I was grateful to have missed the phone call (I just didn't move fast enough to pick it up!) and also to have not had my own calls returned; it allowed me to really think through the possibilities presented, consider the positives and negatives of each decision (yes, I even made a list!), ponder, pray and read from God's word in search of guidance, and take the next 24 hours to really think about all the angles of the situation, instead of jumping in with an instinctual answer.

And so, all's well that ends well. In the end, the situation resolved itself even without the "meeting" this morning I prepared myself for. I had a whole list of well-thought out points to discuss, and when I arrived they simply said to ignore the phone message, all would be left as is. So although it might appear to have been a fruitless exercise in frustration for me, I have learned two important lessons that otherwise might have eluded me. Life lessons are always learned in the tough times, aren't they?

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