Come Back Home
An open letter to my wandering homeschool brothers and sisters who have left the faith.
As a homeschooled kid who grew up between the 20th and 21st century, I know we went through an interesting era to say the least. Our Parents who had seen (and most of them experienced) the loss of morality in this country's culture, were left so broken and bare they had to find a better way for their children; here cue the legalism, the jean jumpers, the hyper-patriarchy, and "everyone can be entrepreneur" mantra . I know most of you suffered and still suffer regrets, missed opportunities, and scars from heavy-handed parents, overbearing church authorities, and failed leaders... so you rebelled.
You began attempting to relive what you wished your life was, so you overcompensate and drop swear words when you're out with your friends. You aren't afraid to strongly voice your own opinion now that you're living on your own, some of you with your wife... or girlfriend for that matter, and of course you do NOT want anyone to think of you as a *homeschooler* ever, ever again.
...if everything else was a lie, why not the very faith that was supposedly the driving force behind it all?
I get it, that part of you is gone, and you're doing everything in your power to distance yourself from that old identity as much as possible, even cutting out things that once meant so much to you... like your faith. I mean, if everything else was a lie, why not the very faith that was supposedly the driving force behind it all?
Here's the thing, you can't change how you were raised, and a lot of you aren't even living well as a "normal" person. Your language choices, sprinkled with profanities show that you're overcompensating. Your "confident" clothing choices only reveal a deep insecurity in yourself, and broadcast the emptiness inside while you search for a new identity apart from Christ.
Brothers and sisters, I plead with your to consider a few things:
- Is the life you're living fulfilling, or does it feel more like bitterness: drinking your own poison and hoping for the other person to die?
You'll never find fulfillment or peace on a path of unforgiveness.
- Speaking of forgiveness, and not to be morbid, but your parents are aging. Do you really want to spend your best years reliving the "rebellious stage" you never had and making your parents pay for "ruining your childhood"? Most of the real world has already figured this out by age 22, and are beginning to see the heart of their parents' good intentions and appreciate their love, while you're over there sucking the marrow right out of their bones with no end in sight. You'll wake up eventually, but hopefully it's before you've realized that you squandered your second-chance in life to make new memories with your parents. Hopefully it's before they're old and gray...
Most of your parents regret their decisions, and want to welcome you back into their lives because they see where they were wrong.
It's a hard road for any parent learning to let their children go, not just the homeschool ones. I've been in the same room with parents who have cried because they realize their mistakes and wonder if they've lost their relationship with their children for good. Give them another chance.
If your parents are still struggling with grace, show God's grace to them, pray for them, and have faith that they'll see the light, but it's important to get into a church that will pour into you; one that understands the true gospel and grace; one with community.
Consider the god you rejected was in some ways a false representation of the true Jesus.
Growing up in the homeschooling world, most of us were presented with a god who was almost human in nature; a god who was subject to carnal desires like revenge and spite... a god who was "out to get us" for our sin.
-Psalm 103:10 says, "He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities"
Friends, this fear-mongering in order to invoke obedience from us when we were kids was wrong, and if you're a parent who hasn't yet realized this, I plead with you to repent to God and ask forgiveness of your children. As a parent, realize the immense amount of grace Christ has shown you in spite of your past sins. Realize no amount of "penance" in how pure and perfect lives you live now can ever cleanse your past. The only hope for you is the same grace and forgiveness Christ extends to your child.
The ONLY reason God ever "punishes" us is for our own good and His glory. The ONLY reason God ever punishes His own is to draw us closer to Him so His tender love can wash over us.
Lastly, place your faith in Jesus.
Remember the hymn that said "all other ground is sinking sand". Yeah, that one. When we put our faith in men, rather than "Christ the solid rock", he'll remove those on pedestals because He won't let anyone take his place as first. He will not allow His children to place their faith in anything or anyone other than himself, because only He can provide you with the peace, love, and care your heart is longing for. Christ is that shelter and home where your heart can find safety.
We've all been through a lot; some more than others. We all have scars. Whether you're still living with your family, left and full-blown swung to the other side, or are somewhere in the middle, Brother or Sister I plead with you... Come back home.