Last January when we moved here, this overprotective, control freak of a momma felt God’s leading to enroll her children in public school. It was a huge step for me outside my comfort zone. And it ended up being a fantastic experience for all of us.
But I maintained some control by driving the children to and from school. Public school was one thing; the school bus was entirely too much.
This year, the children are in three different schools. It still works well to drive them to school in the mornings (we all get to sleep a little bit later this way). But after two days of picking them up in the afternoons, it was clear that my plan wasn’t going to work very well this year.
I called the school transportation office to let them know my children would be riding the school bus each afternoon. Once again, I was stepping outside my comfort zone and giving up some more control. And I didn’t really like it.
On the second day of school-bus-riding, ThingFive jumped off the bus and ran to me excited to tell me he had stopped a bully on the bus. Later, he calmly told the whole story — a little boy in front of him was calling another little boy names and telling him “all sorts of lies” before grabbing his arm and twisting it. “What kind of lies?” I asked.
“That he had a machete at home and would bring it on the bus and jab it in his belly and make him die.” ThingFive answered.
Oh! Goodness! That sort of second day certainly doesn’t help this overprotective momma feel better. Honestly, my gut reaction is to say, “Ok, I gave the school bus a shot. But I’ll drive them from now on. Thankyouverymuch.”
But what if ThingFive weren’t on the bus that afternoon? Would another child have been paying attention to those little boys? Would another child have cared enough or been brave enough to intervene and tell the bully to stop? Would another child have gone home and told his overprotective momma? Would that momma have taken time to call the school and report the incident?
You know, my tendency is to see the dangers in the world, the darkness of the world, and pull my children in close and protect ourselves from all the bad stuff. But we aren’t called to be light in this world so we can keep our light safe inside the walls we build. We are called to be light so that we will go into the darkness and shine.
Right now, this is how God is stretching my faith and helping me loosen my grasp for control. Yes, the school bus can be loud and scary with bad influences all around. But my children, with His light inside them, can be good influences.
He Who is in them has overcome the world, even the public school bus.