“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
    along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
    and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake them.”
– Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)

 

 

How are you with change?  I have to admit that I am not good.  At all.  I like things laid out in front of me with no surprises.  I prefer a plan over "winging-it".  I am loyal, sometimes to a fault.  (Have you read the third chapter in my book “Blessed Blessed…Blessed”?  I even stuck with a doctor whose actions ravaged my body so badly that my reproductive system was almost completely destroyed.)  It takes a lot for me to change anything.  Then Duck Dynasty came along.  Ha!  You talk about every day being completely different!  I had to give up that control, and that was extremely difficult for me to do.  I had some pretty emotional days early on, but prayer and really listening to what God’s plans for me were  (not always my plans, right?) started to give me a peace in that insane new world that was hitting us all directly in the face.  After 5 years of filming, I began to become in sync with it.  However, I still held onto the facts that we were still all attending the same church, we were still living in the same house, and my kids were still going to the same school.

 

Well, one of those has now changed. 

 

Mia will be a freshman in high school this next year, and we have decided to move her to the large public school in West Monroe.  We decided this in February, so she tried out for cheerleader and made it.  While she is excited about the new physical challenges this will provide for her skill level, I am looking forward to her expanding her talent in music since West Monroe High School has one of the finest (if not the finest) choral programs in the state of Louisiana.  So what's my problem?  While all this seems to be new and promising, I continue to struggle as a mom with making this decision. 

 

You see, I didn’t just grow up at her former private Christian school, I found out when I was thirty years old that it was started in my very own living room when I was only three.  My parents, along with 4 other couples, invested $2,000 each to start the school in 1974.  My mom and dad, 26 and 29 years of age respectively, didn’t have this money, so they took out a loan.  My mom had a degree in choral music yet donated her time teaching for ten years until the principal there insisted she start taking home some sort of a paycheck (a few hundred dollars a month) until she retired years later.  These sacrifices made me even more thankful for the years my children and I spent at Ouachita Christian School.

 (My parents and I in front of the school flag, the school they helped to found)

 

As many of you have heard before, when Jase and I were dating, we made a deal.  He could duck hunt every single day of duck season every single year of his life with no complaints from me as long as he agreed to put our future children through my alma mater.  We both upheld our ends of the bargain, and Reed and Cole graduated from there.  I assumed Mia would do exactly the same.  Until she came downstairs one night with four pages of pros and cons of both schools.  “Just think about it,” she said, as she handed them to me, smiled and walked away.

 

Needless to say, I was a bit stunned.  Since Jase graduated from her new school, he had no hesitation.  But I did. 

 

What is this public school idea thing?

Why on earth would you be thinking this way?

Don’t you know OCS is MY school?

 

Then we read the pages.  They were thoughtful, mature, informative, funny (of course) and spiritual. 

 

Who is this kid of mine who isn’t scared of change?  Not only not scared of change, invites it in!

 

Switching from a Class 1A school (the only school my children and I have ever known) to a Class 5A school when you’re 14 years old is a bold move!  Where does she get this tenacity?  I’m still grasping the answer to this question.

 

What concerns me the most is her spiritual life.  I want her to be safe, secure, loved and accepted.  I want people to pour Jesus into her at every turn in her life, every day in her life!  So I pray.  I pray, I pray and then I pray some more.  I came to the understanding that I was holding her back from opportunities she really wanted to experience.  I had to remove myself from this equation.  Is this the best decision?  I have no idea.  But I feel a peace about it.  A peace that only comes from the Holy Spirit living within me.  And He gives me little nuggets of that peace along the way.

 

Like today, thirty-nine cheerleaders, their sponsors and cheer coach filled up a charter bus to head off to cheer camp at Ole Miss.  We loaded up their luggage, took pictures, hugged and they all found their seats.  As I walked by the door of the bus to get in my own car, I hear one of the dads say, “Ok, girls, let’s pray.” 

 

My heart leapt.

 

As he was leaving, I thanked him for leading them in prayer and mentioned that this was one of the things I thought I had to leave behind at our old school.  His response was, “West Monroe don’t play.  We’re all about prayer here, and our principal has made that clear.”

 

 

That was a huge nugget for me!  I drove home with tears in my eyes. 

 

I understand that Christians are everywhere, that there are moms and dads in every city in our nation that are trying to instill Christian values in their children at home while also sending them into the world where they are told every day that God isn’t real.  We need to understand that while our great nation was founded on Christian fundamentals, Americans are living right dab in the middle of a mission field no matter where we live.  Show love.  Show kindness.  Show Jesus.  What will happen if you take a risk and pray with your child’s team? Sadly, our great country has told us we aren't allowed to do this.  But, if you do, you may find out that there are more of us out there than you previously thought. Praise God!

 

 (She's already making new, sweet friendships)

 

Change takes risk.  My parents risked a debt to make a huge decision they believed would advance their children’s spiritual lives.  Jase and I are taking a risk and leaving that secure safe space for the very same reason--for the benefit of our child.  Spiritual growth looks different at different times in our lives.  Loyalty is admirable, but so is risk.  Only God knows the outcome, but I trust that He is making our “rough places smooth”.  If this decision brings our family closer to Him, it’s no doubt the right decision.

 

And don’t fret, my OCS peeps.  I’ll still be there with Mrs. LinDee for the Grandparents’ Day production!  You have been and will always be my home.

Comments

Robin Henckel:

When our oldest was ready to start school, it was just assumed he’d go to a private school. After all, my husband and I both graduated from a private school, we even went on to Bible College. I’ll never forget that day sitting at our kitchen table and God told me “no, no your son is not going to the private school, he’s going to the public school.” Oh my, the arguing that I did with God. Why, why would he want my son in the public school? Public schools are evil, right? It was a battle. When I finally gave in to God, a peace washed over me. I can remember telling God “if you want me to put my boys in the public school, then God you better put walls of protection around my boys.” Can you believe my nerve? Demanding something of God?! But God is good! Not only did all three of my boys graduate from the public school, but when my youngest started school I began working in the school. God protected them and I had the huge advantage of being in the school. Our boys received an excellent education and were even blessed with some Christian teachers along the way. God is good! He will protect your baby and Mia will make a huge impact with her classmates!

Jul 19, 2018

Sherry:

What a wonderful story and lesson on Gratefulness!
Thank you so much. I will take it with me as I enter detox today for alcoholism. I will do my best to glorify our God!

Jul 03, 2018

Nancy Lockett:

Hi Missy I loved your devotional girl ,you have done a great job you and Jase have done great with your family,and for as duck dynasty you all handled it all well I miss you all by the way! Mia is young beautiful girl who far as I can tell has great parents who raised her a Christian and good person with you all she has gone through many surgeries and joined cheerleading squad and more she growing up and taking you along for the ride enjoy the ride with her many not so lucky enough to do so .im doing the same my daughter Marlena has lately with her family members joined the army and four years later are home yes it was hard but there choice and now my son been in college trying hard to be a pastor just learn more work ahead might have to wait still only to learned that there is a lot of God sheep lots there way home to church a fact that was hard for us to here but he is going to take it day by day and see where Lord Jesus Christ takes him ,so do Mia the same you may be so happy and surprised and God bless you all.

Jul 03, 2018

Linda Davidson:

Over the last 12 years I have been through lots of changes. I lost two husbands within 8 years. All I wanted was to be happily married with a wonderful family, God’s plans are different than ours. I have learned it’s not about us, it is what He is going to do through us. I have been able to help other who have become widows and grown deeper in the Lord. God has us and wants the best for us. God bless your family for standing tall in this crazy world and being such a blessing. The best is yet to come!

Jun 18, 2018

Michelle:

Oh mama

I hear ya! My daughter Nevaeh, who I believe has same bday as Mia, was homeschooled her whole life. Although her three older brothers went to our public school and did fine, it was an individual decision for her. I loved that I was able to raise her on our farm, pouring God’s Word into her throughout all her subjects and life lessons.
The original plan for high school was she would attend just the Ag program in our town which is state acclaimed. She interviewed and tested and was accepted as one of the few homeschoolers ever. During that summer she made the same bold choice to jump into high school FULL time. I of course had the same reservations and fears as you did. How would she do with this? How would she be treated? Would she be safe? What would she be exposed to. It was the fear of letting go and giving up the controlled environment that I had had for the past 14 yrs.

But I had to remember that God loves her even MORE than me and He would keep her safe. I had to thank Him for placing courage and boldness into my girl for taking this risk She would be the Light and there will be many purposes for her to be at this school. I still pray everyday when I drop her off. She did amazing this first year transitioning flawlessly. Many of her teachers had no idea she was homeschooled yet did tell me there was something special about her. She is making me a proud mama.

Change is good…hard, but good.

Keeping y’all in prayer. Mia is a warrior!

Michelle

PS not sure if you remember us but we went to The Heartfelt Conference a couple years ago. We flew down from CT. and brought you all our soap!

Jun 18, 2018

Linda Hermann:

It is scary. We doubt our parenting. Did we prepare them, and live, in a way they will chose to stand firm in their faith? Really our kids will we be alright as long as they keep asking God: “What’s next?”

Mia, keep walking in faith! Jesus is smiling.

Jun 16, 2018

Christy :

I too had this moment with my daughter! She had always been homeschooled and felt the Lord leading her to our 6A public high school. Her exact words “Mom, if I don’t do this I’m being disobedient to God!”. I’ve never done anything so courageous in my life, so to watch my youngest daughter desire to follow the
Lord’s leading with confidence and security in Him was truly amazing!

Jun 15, 2018

Leticia:

Dear Missy,

This is a blessing. She will be a light to others who may not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. She will most definitely plant seeds in them.

Jun 15, 2018

Nancy:

Dear Missy,
Thank you for sharing your story of “change”. I found myself nodding and smiling in agreement as I read how you have felt about it. Me too! Your story greatly encouraged me and I’m grateful to you for that. It also encouraged me to be reminded that fellow Christians are everywhere and God will give us “nuggets” of encouragement along our paths as we look to Him! Thanks😊

Jun 14, 2018

Jill Huff :

Missy
Thank you for this beautiful blog .. I am a mother of 3 boys … You ready 23 yr old . 29 yr old and almost 8 month old .. Austin , Jesse & Noah .. I am not good with change either but in order to grow it must happen .. Our 20 yr old son is moving out on his own next week.. I cried all morning and he will be getting married in Nov.. It’s a lot to take in that he will not be living with us anymore on top of it we are moving to a different town .. Never have we been apart from Jesse it’s hard but he is a good young man and knows God has a plan for his life .. He brought me closer to Jesus !!!

Jun 14, 2018

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