Lindsay Wright found the process of deciding the next school was becoming taxing until she heard some wise words from her father-in-law

secondary school

Image: John Schnobrich on unsplash

All the school pick up chat at the moment is about secondary school applications. With the deadline for submission looming it is building up and up. Some parents have already submitted whilst others are adding it onto their long to do list and everyone is finding the whole process rather stressful. That appears to be the key word during this experience, stressful.

Choosing the schools you wish to look around can be stressful. Actually attending the open evenings can be stressful, actually, strike that, it is stressful. It is busy, it’s loud, there’s information coming at you left right and centre, and every classroom is done up like a carnival store with chocolate prizes to be won in exchange for completing a subject themed game. Then, if you’re like us in our area of Blackburn, multiple schools have their open evenings on the same night, leaving the parent with either having to choose to miss out on some or dashing across town to attend them all. Then there’s filling out the form and the final wait, they can also be stressful, or so I’m told. Something happened to us on the night we filled out our form which highlighted the importance of keeping God at the centre of everything.

We didn’t plan on filing the form out that night, we were meant to be celebrating my father-in-law’s birthday. It was all in the energy of the room, we were fresh off the latest round of open evenings, after many which had been average, one had caught our attention and our child’s heart. Our in laws were buzzing, the excitement was all around and suddenly it was happening. Why wait? We all said. Let’s just do it now! We all said.

My in-laws lent us their laptop, my husband filled the form out whilst we all continued the celebrations, I checked everything over to make sure everything was completed properly and then he pressed the submit button.

“Done!” He announced to the room, which was met with cheers from everyone, especially our eldest who gave us both a big hug. All except my father-in-law who, with much jubilation, responded with a simple sentence;

“It’s in God’s hands now.”

Five simple words, one mighty impact. It is in God’s hands now. We’d done the research, we’d prayed and our child had ultimate choice of where they wanted to go. We’d put in the work, the bit we could control, now it was time to hand it over to God.

We’ve been told the waiting is stressful. Recently I was approached by someone who told me stories of their anxiety and stories of their friends anxieties too, expecting me to be the same. They were taken aback not by how calm I was pretending to be, but how calm I genuinely was.

By saying those five simple words my father in law had accidentally unlocked a world of peace which had God placed firmly in the middle of it. Instead of sitting there anxiously waiting with the results day acting like a dark ever present cloud of dread hanging over us, it is nothing but blue skies. It’s not because I know we’ve got this, or that I’m 100% sure my child is going to get their first choice, but because it is in God’s hands now.

There’s a lot of uncertainty in life, and everyday of parenting seems to come with uncertainty, but this is one uncertainly that doesn’t keep me awake at night, it doesn’t turn my stomach with dread, or bring me out in cold sweats of worry. I am so grateful to my father in law for these words, and I encourage all of us to not only keep putting God at the centre but to continue to speak up about it around others because you never know who really needs to hear it.