Rebecca’s first day in Kindergarten at New Covenant School was her first day in school….ever. The only organized classroom setting she had ever been in was her “Sunday School” class at church. After five years of hearing her every thought and enjoying all things new with her, I was on the brink of sharing her with a new place, new people, and new influences that would affect her thoughts in a new and significant way. It was exciting and heart wrenching all at the same time.
On her first day of school, in her first little navy blue jumper, with her first ever teacher, Mrs. Gamble, Rebecca’s whole world changed. Her fresh little eyes were open to new ideas, words, thoughts, opinions, RULES.
As we journeyed home after that very first day in a classroom, Rebecca reflected aloud on her day…
“Oh yeah, Mom, and we had these rules…”
She paused for a minute and then said,
“…but I didn’t do them.”
After I promptly responded with admonishment to “do the rules,” she went on to say that her teacher expected her not to talk while she was talking and she confessed she just couldn’t do that.
We have shared that story a zillion times. Rebecca, now a freshman in high school, eventually learned not to talk while the teacher was talking and she’s learned a few more things too.
She has learned that God is BIG and she is small and all that spins here in His Creation is a direct result of His hand and His purposes. In her little years she was given the absolute truth. Her mind was not challenged to think critically or negotiate Truth, but was fertile ground for all that is complete and whole and good. Let’s face it, when you are little you believe every word that leaves your teacher’s mouth. As parents, we have been blessed to educate our children in a place where we are confident that His truth is taught, not just in the curriculum used, but in the words, thoughts, and ideas of the teacher.
Rebecca’s grammar years were full of reading, writing, memorizing, and arithmetic in an environment where she was nurtured to love, forgive, recognize fault, enjoy restoration, and appreciate the unique way that God designed each of His children. Her eyes were opened to the gifts that God has given to her and she was humbly taught to use them for Him.
Her “middle school” years gave her an opportunity to see the world through all that she had learned so far and she began to understand how all of that affected her personally. We began to see her relationship with her Heavenly Father become personal and her desires were to please Him more than her peers or even her parents. Her love for Him motivated her choices, drive, and diligence. Her confidence grew and she became more comfortable with who God made her to be all in a season of life that typically brings insecurity according to the world’s observations.
This year, as she has moved into the final stretch of her grade school career, high school, we are enjoying new conversations with Rebecca about life and God and hopes and dreams. Academically, I often joke that she is “way smarter” than me. I didn’t know half the stuff she knows when I was her age. She’s smart. She likes to learn. We don’t take that for granted. Schoolwork is easy for her and she likes to do it. About halfway through the summer, she is ready to go back. I know she’s not your average kid. These are gifts God has chosen to give to her and we thank Him for them. I can’t help but believe that New Covenant School has had a tremendous impact on her “smarts”, her diligence, her drive…. and most importantly, her growth in Him.
At New Covenant School, Rebecca has actually NOT learned to “do the rules.” She is learning to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him. Her little sister is too. For that we are incredibly grateful.