This chapter on endurance was exactly what I needed to hear, and what do you know... the perfect timing for it too!... Thank you, Father, that You know what I need better than I do... I would like to highlight some of the wonderful encouragement I gleaned from Sally's book today.
"When strong winds buffet a tree, it develops strong fiber and relies on its deep root system to withstand storms. This is how we develop fortitude, persistence, and the strength of heart that enable us to meet adversity, pain, and persecution... There is no greater challenge, no higher calling than to persist in the things of God."
-William & Nancie Carmichael in Lord Bless My Child
"...if I am doing the will of God by choosing to homeschool my children, then I need to endure. If I throw away my confidence in God- the confidence that he will work in my life and in the lives of my children- then I am throwing away the rewards God wants to give me for doing his will. When I feel like giving up, I may think what I need is divine deliverance, when what I really need is endurance."
"For the Christian, endurance is bearing up under the weight of persecution, difficulties, or suffering. Although that may sound like gutting it out, true biblical endurance is never just a passive or meaningless exercise. It is always forward-looking. It always has in view a desirable end, a worthy goal, or a divine reward. Biblical endurance is active and purposeful."
"I knew deep in my heart that God designed me, as a mother, to be at home with my children. To even think of settling for something else would be to step out of his will. No matter how difficult the homeschooling lifestyle might become, my commitment was to do God's will, not my own. Even though I could selfishly choose an "easier" lifestyle, I would have to disobey God to do so. I know in my heart that God has called me to homeschool and that there is no turning back, no matter what today or the future holds."
"We don't much like the word today, but during the Victorian era "duty" was a valued virtue. To perform one's duty meant that a person did what he was supposed to do because it was the right thing to do, regardless of his feelings or the personal cost associated with that duty... In a sense, endurance is the duty of living by faith. It is doing what I should do, regardless of how I feel or what it costs, because it is what God wants me to do... I don't know exactly what lies ahead of me in this life, or even how my children will turn out, but I know with certainty what my duty is before God. Despite the certainty of difficulties and struggles along the way, I must faithfully endure. If I do, I will find, at the end of this path called life, the God who has faithfully walked with me every step of the way. And then I will see the eternal fruit of my faith."
This chapter for me is more than just a band-aid... it's not even a soothing sauve... rather more like the peroxine you put on a cut before you try to protect it. These words go deep into so many feelings and thoughts I've been struggling with internally. They are, in essence, cleaning out the dirty, ugly thoughts and feelings that began to infest my heart... toward homeschooling... toward my children... toward myself and my inabilities. Sally's transparency and encouragement have helped me to see that my struggles of late have been a buffet of lies Satan has offered me to feast on.
I could really keep quoting her... probably just type out the entire chapter, but I don't want to ruin it for you. You should read it for yourself because the Lord may have something in it just... for... you!
"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
- 1 Corinthians 15:58