Don’t Give Up On Me

The old adage “never say never” came home to roost several years ago when I homeschooled my son for one academic year. Prior to that, several of my friends who said they “received the calling,” often regaled me with their adventures in teaching while I happily ushered my children off to the public elementary school, vowing that I would never, ever, absolutely no-sir, dare to take on the momentous task of education of my children. Sitting through a condo timeshare presentation in the Mojave Desert seemed like a luxurious indulgence in comparison.

But here’s the thing:  One must be extremely careful never to say things like, “I would never….”  Why? Because that puts ourselves in the driver’s seat, not God. Here I was, so glad that I could finally have some independence as my kids were both in elementary school. No more diapers or little tykes under my feet.  I felt like I could finally enjoy my time while they were away at school and then have the energy to care for them after they came home.

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However, now my son was going through some turbulent health and emotional issues, and after we met with a Christian counselor, the idea of homeschooling for the remainder of the school year came up. My little guy was surprisingly for it, and it was up to me to decide. I struggled.

Knowing I would have one of the greatest challenges ahead of me, I immediately joined the local Moms in Prayer homeschool group. While the kids played in the backyard, we moms prayed with groanings like you wouldn’t believe.

You see, this third grader and I were battling wits on a regular basis. An easygoing nature was definitely not one of his spiritual gifts. Each night at dinner he was either picking at his food, talking back, or getting up from the table for no apparent reason. The thought of having to prepare lesson plans in my little spare time and spend time each day trying to homeschool him filled me with dread. On top of that, the nutritionist we were working with had him starting a strict regimen of foods that I had to prepare daily.

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Our homeschool year began with great enthusiasm for us both. He knew it would be a privilege to be at home and to have less stress than being in a traditional classroom setting. And because he needed more rest than usual, the idea of sleeping in every day until he was strong enough to wake up, truly made him more accommodating.

My lesson plans were creative, filled with hands-on science experiments, math games using playing cards, and unique field trips that included interviewing the mayor of our city. But pretty soon, he and I were locking horns in an unwinnable battle. As days turned into weeks, and weeks rolled into months, I began to burn out.

“Are we done with school yet? What time will we finish?”

“No, honey. We’re not done. We have two more hours.”

“Awww… Can I play video games when I’m done?”

“No, no video games until the weekend.”

“Awww… Can we finish school early today?”

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One morning with very little sleep in my arsenal, my son came to the kitchen counter to eat breakfast, and he started the day by complaining. Not knowing what to say, feeling as if I were at the end of my rope, I simply wept. “Honey, what are we going to do? Mommy doesn’t know how to help you anymore.” “Mom, I don’t care what you do, but please don’t ever give up on me, okay?”

The sound of those humble words became my rallying cry. It was as if God Himself was cutting through the cobwebs of self-pity, lifting up my chin and causing me to look heavenward. If the Holy, Almighty God of the universe would never give up on sinful, self-absorbed me, He would provide infinite resources to never give up on my son, no matter how emotionally drained I was, no matter how inadequate I felt as a mother.

From that point on I stopped feeling sorry for the both of us. I did get “the call” from the Lord, not the homeschool call, but the one to never give up on my children and to persevere with Christ at the helm.  We finished the year, closer than ever before, and me with a deeper understanding of the depths of God’s unrelenting love.

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And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance proven character, and proven character hope; and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

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Kathy Chin Leong, a Moms in Prayer mom since 1996, is an award-winning travel writer with work published in National Geographic books, Sunset Magazine, Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. She is married to her sweetheart Frank Leong and has two grown children.

Comments 16

  1. Your story was very encouraging. Thank you for publishing it. My husband and I are raising a great-grandson who has been with us most of his infant life. He will be three years old in July. He was enrolled in daycare for a little over a year. After several brief discussions and a conference with the director and caregivers about his behavior, we decided to keep him at home.
    While he has not been medically diagnosed with any disability, it is very apparent that he is very active and aggressive. He is very smart and enjoys doing a lot things. I have many years of experience working with children in various educational settings, so we decided to keep him at home, in hopes that we can help him learn to control his behavior.
    Although we have other family members who help us out frequently, caring for Apollo is very challenging and stressful at times.
    I don’t believe in giving up on anyone or anything. I don’t want to give up him. I thank God for Moms in Prayer International. Please keep us in your prayers, and we will do the same for you and others who are in need of encouragement.

  2. I love the Lord. Grateful for your testimony this morning. I woke up feeling like I was at my breaking point with my son. To hear the reminded not to give up on our children, and that God never gives up on us. Looking forward to the help he will give us so he and myself can make it. Bless you!

  3. Danielle,
    Well said my sister. When we articulate our pain in front of God and one another, the healing comes and flows like a river. I know the road is hard, but the Lord walks with you, and I have gone ahead on this path, and it gets better and better. You and your son will have a very special bond in adulthood because of how you handle things now. Do not give up.

  4. Am touched and encouraged by your experience. Gods love is so vast and great such that he loves all and will never give up on any one. I will persevere in loving my children though grown up now and also all those around me. The fact that God will not give up on me is the more reason why i should exercise my faith to love others and help were i can.

  5. Wow! I am really inspired and would love to connect with mothers that want to spent time with the lord

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  6. God led me to your writing. He knows us intimately and hears our cry. He gives us trials to help those who come along after us to lift us up. Your words have lifted me as I literally told my husband I want to give up on my 14 year old son. It is too hard and I am tired of battling with him on every issue no matter how great or small. But God had me look inward to see where I could change…now I am seeing my son in a different way-God’s way. I have recently been tucking him in at night and reading the bible-Joshua a few verses a night then I bow down and pray over him. I did this when he was young but then stopped thinking he was too old. It has made us closer. Finally I realized he needs me still. Your writing today is confirmation that God never leaves or forsakes us which is no coindence the verses I reaffirmed last night to him from the Joshua reading and now you:-). Thanks for helping me see that I am not supposed to have ease and comfort but faith in the unknown because I know God.

    1. Your words will encourage so many moms like myself around the world to never, never give up on their precious children. Thank you for reminding us how important it is to keep looking up, no matter how challenging life gets. God bless you!

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