How Change and Disappointment Bring Us New Opportunities


Note: I understand the difficulty parents face when deciding on what “back-to-school” will look like for their family. What I share today is our family’s experience. I respect what each parent decides is best for their family. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to parenting. 

This August I am going back to school—back to preschool!

My daughter and husband decided to keep our oldest grandson home from Pre-K this fall. My daughter asked me to help homeschool him. I jumped at the opportunity.

First you need to know, I have never homeschooled anyone. I am not a teacher. I basically have no qualifications for this role except I love this little guy so very much and want to do whatever I can to help him and his parents in this difficult time.

I am so excited! I will have him two mornings a week. We will have class in the treehouse—our own one-room-one-student school. We have the whole backyard and lake for nature lessons and math and beautiful spots to sit and read.

I get to see his face light up when he catches on to something new. I get to celebrate his little daily successes as he learns the alphabet, numbers, and whatever else his mama gives us to do.

A few months ago I thought our time together was going to be limited because he would be in school five days a week. But things changed. Now I have the opportunity to not only be with him more, but to invest in his education by being one of his first teachers. What a gift.

In the midst of my excitement is also my grandson’s disappointment that he will not returning to preschool this fall. I, too, am sad for him because he will not be in his wonderful preschool making new friends. He is so ready to be with other kids. I know this was a hard decision for his parents and they are doing what is best for him. I am also disappointed that my fall Bible study is paused indefinitely.

I wonder how are you reacting to changes in your fall plans. Disappointment, frustration, discouragement? Is it taking your breath away? Do you need a minute to regroup and figure out what the next few weeks or months will look like for you?

Last month I followed the Lifeway Women’s daily Bible reading. Its focus was dealing with stress and change. One truth I saw over and over in the different stories and teachings is that the thing God uses for His glory is often what He uses for our good. Let me explain. Everything that God allows in our lives is for His glory and our good. But what I saw in these passages was that many times these were the same things. The same thing that brought God glory was for the good of the person in the story.

For example, in Mark 4 Jesus and His disciples are in a boat crossing a lake when a huge storm comes. Jesus speaks to the storm and the storm stops. God was glorified when the disciples saw the power of Jesus and started their process of believing He truly is the Son of God. The disciples’ good is that they saw the power of God in Jesus and that He truly is the Son of God. They would need to truly believe this in order to spread the Gospel after Jesus returned to heaven. Also in this same story, God is glorified when the storm obeys Jesus and stops. The disciples’ good is that the storm stops and they are safe and no longer afraid.

Do you see what I mean? The same thing both glorified God and was for their good.

Of course, we can’t always or immediately see how God is glorified or how something difficult is for our good. But we can be in a posture that is on the lookout for God working in our lives. And we can know that God is always working on our behalf because He loves us. And that is always for God’s glory and our good.

So whatever changes or disappointments we are facing, how about we ask God to help us see His glory and how we can cooperate with Him for our good and the good of others?

Let’s look beyond the changes and disappointments to the new opportunities we have instead. God will meet us where we are.


Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

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