EMBRACING THE HARD
By Britt Snyder
Read: Proverbs 3
Reflect: Its 8:45 am and I am sitting here watching my two and five year old set up an egg factory in our living room (thank you Easter egg bin for some January entertainment). There’s a cleaning station, a weighing area, a counter to pay at and a room full of imagination, laughter, and cooperation. There are math and reading lessons waiting for us in our basement turned schoolroom but they can wait. There is learning happening right now that is bigger than our ABCs and 123’s. Let it be clear, this is not what I pictured this year. I thought we would be loading up the backpack, walking to the bus stop, and saying goodbye each morning to our oldest. How did we end up here instead?
I taught public school first grade for 7 years and had you asked me if I was planning on homes-schooling you would have heard me laugh and give you an emphatic, “Nope, Never!!”. Then 2020 happened. My plans and “nevers” were pushed aside and God’s plans stepped into place. I was angry when we began to realize that we weren’t going to have the big adventure school year that I had dreamed of. This was supposed to be the year that my daughter got to make new friends and experience field trips. This was supposed to be the year that I gained some more time in my day with only two kids to care for instead of three. This was supposed to be the year that I got to play PTO mom and volunteer in the classroom. These were my plans that were supposed to fill this year.
But God had other plans. So, we embraced the hard. We told our oldest that school wouldn’t be happening and we saw the tears fall. But in living within that hard, we have begun to see how truly good our God’s plans are. This year has brought beautiful time with our daughter. It has grown a sibling’s relationship. It has made our home one of learning and exploration. Are there hard days? Yes (currently the egg room sounds like it has exploded and there are definitely blocks being thrown – most likely at each other), but God’s goodness prevails when we listen to His calling, when we seek His wisdom over our own.
“It must have been God’s plan. What is God calling you to? God must have a purpose in this.” These phrases roll off many Christian’s tongues and can leave people feeling bewildered or even angry when what is happening feels hard and far from the course we would have charted for ourselves. Proverbs 3 points us to the wisdom we need to be seeking when life doesn’t feel easy – when our plans begin to fall by the wayside and we follow the Holy Spirit’s prompting into a hard place instead.
The childhood memory verse of Proverbs 3:5-6 points us to where we need to be looking when it comes to planning our future. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” While the path may be straight, it doesn’t always feel easy. But here’s the beauty. Keep reading. Proverbs 3 goes on to highlight the glorious gifts from above when we seek God’s wisdom instead of man’s. Look at what the Lord’s wisdom brings: better returns than gold (v. 14), paths that are peace (v. 17), feet that will not stumble (v. 23) and a Lord that will be by our side (v. 26) – to mention just a few. What a peace we can have knowing that God’s plans will lead us into so much good even when they seem hard.
Apply: What hard are you being called into right now? Where in your life do you need to push aside your plans and hopes and embrace God’s plans? What do you need to lay before God right now and seek out His wisdom? Maybe it is time to again read Proverbs 3.
Britt Snyder is a lover of Jesus and wife to Greg. Her days are filled loving on and chasing around their three little ones: Lynette, Audrey and Wade. As a former elementary school teacher and now stay at home mama she enjoys serving as a kindergarten homeschool co-op teacher and leader at GCC's Mornings for Moms ministry. Coffee and books fill the moments where all three kids are miraculously sleeping at the same time.