He came to tears just with the appearance of books, notebooks and pencils on the table. I had no idea how to start and what to teach him. I asked him to read a lesson from his textbook which he did with a gloomy face. However, when I ask him to write the answer on the exercise page, he threw the pencil away, tried tearing the page and went and slept on the bed. That was my first day of home schooling my 7 year old son Asher, a year back.
Tears streamed down my face and in my mind I was pleading with God to please open some ways for him. I was asking God for a miracle; a miracle of some school which would accept him, a miracle of someone who would step into his life and teach him by compassionately understanding his needs or maybe at least his father to take up the responsibility of teaching him as he is much closer to Asher. It really didn’t make any sense to me that such a challenge should come my way. I asked God for some alternative ways to show up as I wasn’t ready to take up this responsibility of teaching him at home. My days were already filled with caring for the needs of my 6 years old daughter who wanted me almost all the time. One more responsibility felt demanding for me.
Every day I prayed that things would get better, that my son would learn to sit still and gain the ability to pay attention so that some school would accept him. The entire month went by with me feeling frustrated and defeated as there was no ray of hope for him to be eligible for learning under a strict school system. Neither was there any person who stepped into his life as I wished just like in the “Tare Zamin Par” movie where Amir Khan comes as a rescuer for little Ishan and suddenly everything gets better for him with a happy ending to his story.
I didn’t want to wake up to yet another morning of frustration, tears and feelings of failure for not being able to make a peaceful time of learning for him. Every day’s hope of seeing things getting better was shattered with yet another morning of tears from his side and from my side too. And there was still not a slight glimpse of a miracle which I desired. I felt like giving up, I felt lonely, I felt unqualified and I even felt like being “not the right” mother for Asher.
Seeing his days spent without any learning while other kids of his age were in school, I felt unfair for him. After spending almost a couple of months in disappointments and tears for the failed attempts of teaching him and for the total new concept that home schooling was for me, I began trying different methods for him to study. I enrolled myself in an online teaching course for primary school. I began researching more about home schooling by spending hours on Google in the midst of nights. I tried connecting with other home schooling mothers for guidance. I tried making his lessons more exciting with some creative ideas, along with learning videos and hands on activities. I tried creating worksheets as per his learning style and I also prepared a timetable for him adding different activities to fill his day.
Every day, I pushed myself to have more patience, more love and more empathy to help him learn the basics well, making his study times feel more enjoyable for him. It required a huge amount of patience to bring him back from the Lego city and Super Mario worlds into which he would wander away while I taught him. It required a lot of patience to make him practice the concepts of math, language and writing. Every day was filled with little bits of victories, little bits of failures, little bits of challenges and little bits of laughter too. Long story short….he has done amazingly well throughout the 2nd grade. Along the way, I have come to know about his exceptional reading skills, brilliant memory power and curiosity in learning different topics of interests. He is less fussy to learn the subjects, to write or to do math, he is kind of enjoying his study time and every day he is learning with less and less tears of gloom from his side and more and more tears of joy from my side.
As I prepare and plan for the next academic year for him, I know things are still bleak for him. However, looking back I can only say that I couldn’t ask for any bigger miracle than him learning his lessons happily: grasping the maths concept well, writing without fuss (sometimes though it does happen on lazy days), learning without any barriers, set benchmarks, grades, competitions or comparisons. Most of all it’s great to see him exploring things which interest him more.
There are times when we do get answers to our prayers right away, our faith works, prayer produces instant results, there are supernatural provisions, a breakthrough, and a miraculous shift. Praise God!
But sometimes, maybe a lot of times, our most honest, most sincere and heartfelt prayers won’t get answered the way we want! We go to God with the same prayer every day for a miracle. But things remain the same. No amount of fasting, praying and right living seems to work.
We have to face that unexpected diagnosis, the bitter realities, the painful surgeries, the hurting sicknesses, the agonising heartaches, the shattering setbacks and the shocking loss. We have to see our kids struggle, our loved ones suffer, our dreams shatter, we have to endure the loneliness, the rejection and the discouraging failures and sometimes, or maybe a lot of times we have to have that thorn in our flesh.
What do we do when there is no answer to our prayers? What do we do when God is silent? What do we do when miracle doesn’t choose us?
Be a Miracle!
Not getting what we wished for doesn’t mean God isn’t listening or our faith is failing. It only means God has different plans. He doesn’t always answer us as we want Him to, but He always does what is good for us. Faith doesn’t mean our prayers will work every time. It means God is working even when our prayers don’t seem to be working at all.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”. Isaiah 55:9
Sometimes God’s strength and power are demonstrated in what He does around us – the sure answer to our prayers. Other times, His strength shines in us, enabling us to endure our setbacks with remarkable strength, courage and ability, enabling us to experience his loving mercies in our pains, enabling us to show His power in our weakness, enabling us to develop ability & wisdom to take right steps ahead, enabling us to seize the opportunities in our adversity, enabling us to tell stories of His presence in the darkest moments of our lives and most of all enabling us to be a MIRACLE right in the midst of our trials until we get one.
“If God doesn’t give you a miracle, you are a miracle of God for someone else.”- Nick Vujicic.