I remember hating multiple choice tests as a kid. There were always too many options presented and I found them confusing. I found myself questioning my knowledge and wondering if I really knew my stuff. It wasn't until I took some SAT prep courses in high school that a teacher taught me to appreciate this method of testing. The beauty of the multiple choice test is that for every single question, the answer is sitting right in front of you.
I now try to convey this simple fact as I educate my children. We have been working on test taking skills. I let them know that while they might be 100% prepared in knowledge, a test is meant to push them past what they know and stretch them. Some of the questions will be tricky and it might appear there is no right answer but if they are diligent to test each answer against their knowledge they will most likely arrive at the right answer. Some of the choices are so blatantly wrong, they are easy to throw out. Sometimes there are two answers that seem correct and they must choose the best option.
Several times a week, a friend or someone I meet in the grocery store will say to me, "I don't have any idea how you home school, it's just too hard and I don't have patience." I have given a variety of answers, but if I was to really choose from the many "almost right" answers - the best answer is: Jesus. Sounds too easy to be right but it's the truth. I have no patience, minimal generosity and sometimes very little any peace - but as I continue to surrender myself daily to Christ's work in my life, those things grow. It's not me, I am not a model mother - on my own I fail miserably...just ask my kids.
As I share parts of my testimony with other women, they ask, how did you persist and endure a difficult marriage? My choices were: A) Stay miserable and do nothing B) Thousands of dollars in therapy C) Seperation/Divorce or D) Jesus. Many times I struggled with my answers until I settled on D - Jesus. My mother once told me that it was imperative that my children need both their parents to be whole. I didn't even know what she meant but as I pressed into God and begged His son to heal and help us, I saw myself and my husband as broken individuals who need to be filled. I no longer felt like pointing fingers, but knew the only One who could fill us and change us was the Christ who died so we might have life to the fullest. Christ who died even though we were miserable sinners so that we would be forgiven. How could I not extend that love and forgiveness to my own husband?
When I respond to people with the one word answer, "Jesus", they sometimes get a little uncomforable. I get that. I mean, really, does He come down and teach the Algebra or stumble through the books with the early reader? No. Did he sit with a black and white striped shirt between my husband and me and referee heated discussions? Nope. Perhaps another way I might answer is found in 1 Corinthians 15:10 which says, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me."
Success and change didn't happen until I realized my helplessness and was broken enough to desire the real answer. I tried and tested all of the other options and nothing every worked. Some answers appeared correct and worked for a while but the reality of life always won out. I can honestly say that surrender to the Lord is the only solution. I do not live in a perfect household and I contend with many problems in relationships even still. But when I truly step back and look at my options I say to myself, "I choose Jesus", there is a peace that endures and comforts me no matter the challenge.