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“Mama, I wish I was in eighth grade,” my sweet first-grader said to me as she sat at the kitchen counter one day after school at the beginning of the year.

“Why’s that?”

“Because then I would almost be done with reading,” she stated matter-of-factly. “Mama, I don’t like reading. It’s so hard.”

My mama’s heart broke, and I about burst into tears.

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In her 6-year-old mind, getting to eighth grade meant she was getting closer to the end of being in school. And to her, getting to the end of being in school meant she wouldn’t have to read.

School is not easy for her.

It’s a definite challenge. And she’s extremely strong-willed, so working with her at home gets a lot of pushback.

As a former teacher, I know the importance of building a solid foundation in reading. I know the implications of having poor reading skills. I know all of that, and my heart breaks for her.

I want to run in there and fix everything. I want to give her the skills to be confident and successful. But I also just want to scoop her up and run away from the real world. The emotions within me swirl like an angry hurricane.

My baby is not wired for a typical school setting.

She is not wired to sit in a chair. This sweet girl excels with anything that’s hands-on. She would be thrilled if I let her live outside and allowed her to figure out everything on her own.

I think all of this weighs on her even more because her sister excels at school. My second-grader was made for academics, and that kind of thing comes very easily for her.

My children are very different. I hate that school is a challenge for my youngest because I know the fights that are bound to come down the road. I know the frustration she is going to have with herself. I know the tears that are going to flow down her sweet cheeks.

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But I also know there’s so much more to this life than school. I know that God wired her exactly how she needs to be wired. He has an incredible plan for her life, one that is going to make all of these struggles seem so fleeting.

Sweet mama, I don’t know what struggle your child is facing right now, but I know that God can use it.

He has a plan in the midst of this crazy season you’re in. And you know what? He’s holding you and your child the whole way through it.

He’s not going to let go, and He will give you the strength, grace, and courage you need to face each mountain that comes your way.

This world needs people who don’t fit the typical mold, and God knows that. He has a plan in motion. Your sweet child is going to do mighty things.

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Tynea Lewis

Tynea Lewis is a teacher turned freelance writer and watercolor artist. She and her husband are raising two girls, and they love spending time together at their family cabin. Tynea remembers loving to write as early as first grade, and she has a heart for encouraging women. She writes for various platforms, including Living By Design Ministries and Just Between Us. You can connect with her at tynea-lewis.com, on Instagram (@TyneaLewis) or Facebook (@TyneaLewisWriter). Her original hand-painted greeting cards are available at https://www.etsy.com/shop/WonderAndWanderArt.

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