Written by Mary Therese
A few years ago, our life fell apart. Two children within two months were displaced from our family. The situations were totally unexpected and beyond shocking.
I have had some people say, behind our backs, there was more to the situation: they got what they deserved. Really horrible comments, that although I say them here, I had to let go of. I didn’t want to let the thoughts go, but I did it for my relationship with God, my husband, my welfare and to show an example to our children. Lastly we realised we were gaining His blessings by letting these comments wash over us.
I personally wouldn’t judge a situation unless I have personally been involved and have very intimate knowledge. There is only one judge, God. We will all stand before Him for our own personal judgement.
So how do you homeschool in the suffering, when you are still in shock, when your heart aches so much, when your world is torn apart?
For us, we limped along for a while, but we also knew our other children were deserving of our attention. We concentrated on what we had instead of what we didn’t have. It was very simple.
My initial response was I understand Jesus’ Agony in the garden. I went through each of the sorrowful mysteries and I could easily align myself to each one. It is in this set of mysteries that I discovered The Cross, how I must carry my Cross and how God gave this Cross especially to me and this family. I was to be thankful for this Cross. He chose me. That’s easy to do, isn’t it?
I now understand the saying, the Cross brings you closer to God. Well it certainly does, but you also need to constantly bring yourself back to ‘this Cross is mine’. I will carry it and not just carry it, but carry it with Joy and Happiness. God really helps when you do.
This was my first window of light. Yes, I still fall down and say why... but then I get up and keep walking along the journey. It’s often the interior voice of Mary that soothes me and encourages me.
So years down the track, there is lots of wisdom gained.
There is still hurt and unresolved pain. But there is love and many blessings have been gained.
We moved forward one foot at a time, just gently and with much prayer.
I learnt eventually to say very little to outsiders, because they can misconstrue your words.
I learnt that we were the gossip of the parish. I / we turned the other cheek.
Forgiveness? This has been interesting. How can you forgive the people surrounding the events of the lives of two adorable children? Well for a long time I tried but couldn’t. I wanted these people punished. I wanted God to take complete control and sweep down with His fire and brimstone. But... the realisation came that in forgiving, God can do so much more. He can begin the process of repair of relationships and reunite us all if we forgive. That took a long time and many, many layers of forgiveness.
So what did we do to homeschool in the agony? After all this rambling, we recognised Jesus’ Agony. I united myself with Mary’s agony. We picked ourselves up and continued to Follow Christ. We got on with life, moving forward, but never forgetting our treasured children.
Like an onion, we forgave in layers. We are still forgiving in layers. Things will crop up and we will need to handle it, and overcome it, and ask Jesus to help us forgive.
We handed our children over spiritually to God every day: 3, 4, 5 times a day.
We all talked and laughed and forged new relationships with each other and God.
Although these children are greatly missed in our family circle, many blessings have flowed from doing God’s will in very difficult times.
I would say one of the biggest things was to seek good counsel. Speak with a good spiritual director, seek confession and keep your eyes totally fixed on Our Lord.
It’s not important what others think of you. The most important thing is your relationship with God, your husband and your other children. Everything else will flow from there.
This is how we as a large family are getting through a suffering and remain homeschooling.