My social media feeds have been filled with school-related posts for the better part of this year. When the statewide shut-downs first occurred because of the pandemic, many posted about the experience of suddenly doing all schoolwork using exclusively digital mediums. As spring turned to summer and the uncertainty of fall loomed ahead, posts began to primarily feature the thoughts and feelings surrounding all of the details and decisions for the upcoming school year.
Fall Schooling Decisions
Some parents have had to choose between in-person school or online school. Some parents have chosen to formally switch to homeschooling. Some parents have had fewer options to choose from because their schools have decided to meet completely online. And this list only covers some of the options for schooling in the fall. I am a little weary just writing this and thinking about all of these hard choices—and I haven’t even scratched the surface regarding the posts shared by friends of mine who are in school administration or teaching. Whew.
These conversations have hit close to home in our household. My husband is a pastor at a church with a school, my dad is the principal of a Lutheran grade school, my sister-in-law is an elementary school teacher, my son starts preschool this fall, my niece starts kindergarten, and I have several brothers still in high school and college. Conversations about school have been more than just filling our social media feeds—they have been filling our in-person conversations too.
The First Month of School
In light of the heaviness these school conversations have held among my friends and family, I was struck by this recent sentiment shared on Instagram by a mom sending three boys back to school this fall:
We’re ready for the first month of school at the Smith* house. That’s right. I said MONTH. Tomorrow we start but we’re not going to talk about the first DAY of school. That’s too much pressure. Makes us think we’ve got to get the apps perfected and never miss a zoom and have every single scenario figured out for in-person instruction.
Her post reminded me of how easy it is to become so consumed with a decision or a day that we lose sight of where we place our trust. If we place our trust in the protocols a school has in place going into the fall, we will end up frustrated. If we place our trust in our ability to provide a good learning environment at home, we will end up feeling defeated. If we place our trust in a positive in-person school experience, we will end up disappointed.
Gaining Freedom through Trust
So how do we rightly place our trust and gain freedom from the weight of what this school year holds? We turn to the Creator of trust and safety. Isaiah 26:4 reminds us to “trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.” Psalm 112:7 reminds us that the righteous man is “not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.”
God’s Word is full of reminders that anchor us to the truth at all times. We can move into the fall and this new school year without fear because we do not have to place our trust in our school choices or personal ability to provide high-functioning at-home learning environments. We can feel confident about taking each day at a time because we trust in a God who holds all days and time in His hands.
Proverbs 3:5 reminds us to trust in the Lord with all of heart and not to lean on our own understanding. We gain this ability to trust through seeing God’s promises fulfilled on the cross and in the empty tomb that held our Savior’s body. That same mighty Savior goes with us into this school year, one day at a time.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
The September Everyday Faith Calendar is an opportunity to spend thirty days reading and praying through Scripture about trusting in God with your family.