RELENTLESS : [ri-lent-lis] adjective
- that does not relent; unyielding severe, strict, or harsh; unrelenting
Ten weeks ago, I began a journey that would push me to my core. It changed me in every aspect of who I am. It challenged me to look beyond who I knew me to be and allow God to change my character seeking a deep hope in Him.
On January 25th, I saw that Caleb was failing his regular Spanish class. My son is a smart kid and pursues education with his God given talent of knowing facts and loving to learn. Spanish on the other hand has been a huge challenge for him. I agreed to push him at the beginning of the school year and to make the transfer from his special Spanish class to his regular Spanish class. At the end of the semester he was so far behind that I knew he just didn’t understand any of the material that was being taught in his class. He said to me “Mom, I am trying as hard as I can but I just don’t understand 80% of the class.” If you know me, you know that I will always push my kids to try their hardest and I will always stand up for them when they need me.
The day I got his report card I walked into his principal’s office and requested a chat with her to move Caleb back into Special Spanish. January 25, 2017 was the exact date. It’s ingrained in my brain because this was the day that I began a relentless walk with God to seek his discernment, wisdom and powerful humility. You see six week later Caleb would be transferred into Special Spanish, but that is not the win I am talking about. I remember a few days after I first met with the principal that I called my friend Kathy and explained to her how the school was not understanding that my son was not comprehending the material that was being taught to him. I remember her telling me “Cristina, if you know that it will be better for Caleb to move back to Special Spanish you will have to pursue this like it is your new job.” I got that. I understand what the word job meant. For me it’s a word that means a relentless pursuit to build something new in obedience to God. To not give up, to be unyielding in my pursuit of our Lord in my life. I also understood that this was not just about my own son but about students like him that will follow and it would become about my character.
For the next six weeks, I sat in meeting after meeting with the principal. I showed up every day to talk with his teacher and I showed up twice a week to stay in constant contact with the principal in regards to Caleb. Emails where not enough, they needed to physically see me on campus to be reminded of what we were working towards. You see they were looking at their policy and saying “because of our policy this is how we have to do things.” I accepted their policy and followed it to the “T”. We as a family did everything they asked for and when their end of the policy was not being met I was in the principal’s office making sure they did.
Six weeks of this went on. Six weeks of seeking advice and counsel, praying and hearing from God. At one point John Mark said to me, “how did you walk out of that meeting accepting this decision? This is not like you. You always figure out a way to get it done.” It wasn’t like me at all. I told him that I was trusting God to walk me through the process. That this process was changing me and allowing to me to grow deeper in love with our God who provides in his perfect timing.
We were told to come in for a final meeting on Monday, February 27, 2017. The night prior I had written an email as our principal asked for me to send her what my thoughts where on a specific decision they wanted to make to “help” Caleb. She specifically asked me to write out all the pros and cons and we would discuss them the next day.
Here’s where I began to understand what God was up to. It wasn’t just about moving Caleb from one class to another, it was about allowing God to lead. Often times I can push my way through things just from my persistent personality. That persistence can be used for good or can be used to destroy. During those six weeks I was asking God to lead me with a relentless purist after his own heart. I was actively waiting on God and actively engaging him to lead me.
On Feb 27th we arrived at the school and where asked to wait. John Mark and I watched the principal and teachers scurry around from one meeting to another talking about Caleb. After about 30 minutes they came out of the headmaster’s office and the meeting we were supposed to have was canceled. We went into the principal’s office and she said to us, “after much consideration we think it is best for you as his parents to decide what is best for your son.” You have to understand that our heart has always been for our kids to learn the language here in El Salvador and be successful in communicating. We also understand that learning a second language is not the same for every person. We sat in silence as she began to tell us how this is not a typical decision that they make at the school. As I sat across the table from her I took a breath and told her “I know I can be relentless in my pursuit for change.” She stopped me, smiled at me and put her head on the table. She looked up at me as if she had just finished a marathon and said “Relentless? You are beyond relentless but what I appreciate so much is that even though you did not agree with me or the school you put every effort into what we asked and you respected me.”
There it was. A relentless pursuit for change showing God’s own heart. It came with a cost on my part. It came with me turning to friends for sound advice, waiting on God and choosing to pursue the decision they made even though I did not agree with them. Six weeks later my son is enjoying learning Spanish and is speaking the language for the first time in a really long time. He feels confident, loved and appreciated. I am understanding the depth of God’s character in me as I allow him to lead me.
As I said before this story isn’t just about the change in classes it’s about the change in our hearts to relentlessly pursue God in ALL we do. To not relent in seeking Him. I’m a super confident, risk taking, hard working person. Traits that have helped me in so many ways over the years. Those traits mean nothing if I am not relentlessly pursuing God in all areas of my life. It truly is a joy to be able to see how God has changed me and used me to glorify Him in all we do!