Living Classical Education


On December 16, I was 14 weeks pregnant and at the hospital having a miscarriage. I was (still am) devastated. This story is about how Christ saved me after my miscarriage through my own classical education.

That weekend I had the same dream three times. Now, earlier in my lifetime I would have ignored the dreams because dreams are just our subconscious making up things. Or because, well, scientifically, dreams can't be proven true. I'm a good old modern rationalist. So the fact that I realized the dreams were telling me something is the first evidence that my own Classical education is working. (This book about Saint Perpetua is the book that really taught me to pay attention to dreams.)

In the dream, I was in a slummy town. It was dirty and gross and a little scary. There were people around me, but no one with me. Suddenly, all the people around me started running and hiding. I picked up on their panic and ran to hide too, although I had no idea why. I found an open door, ran in, and slammed it closed. I turned around and asked the other people hiding there, "What are we hiding from?" They all said, "The wolves are coming."

So three times, I had this exact same dream. The third time I woke up and realized I needed to pay attention. I asked the Lord what this meant, "the wolves are coming." And I realized that I was going to be attacked, demons were going to come for me. I've fallen into depression before (long ago), and I knew the miscarriage could easily send me over the edge again. And it's slightly terrifying to think about the old devil coming to get you again.

But I have memorized Ephesians 6 with the kids and I read Perelandra twice last year. Ephesians 6 talks about the "full armor of God," "the breastplate of righteousness," "the sword of truth," "the helmet of salvation." All fighting words. Perelandra is about a man named Ransom who is placed to fight against a devil. He tried to use reason and logic, but the devil was able to use all of that in a twisted way that made Ransom look foolish. Ransom realizes that he's supposed to fight this devil hand-to-hand. It scares him, and there's this whole wonderful chapter of Ransom's argument not to fight the devil, but he does it. He goes head to head with the devil in a full fist fight to the death. (It's awesome.) Both this story and the Scripture came into my head that night after the dream and I realized that I was going to have to fight these wolves that were coming. Not yet, but they were coming and I should be prepared.


“In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, here goes-I mean Amen," said Ransom and hurled the stone as hard as he could into the Un-man's face.” ― C.S. LewisPerelandra


But how to fight these wolves? I mean, I couldn't really fist fight a devil. Even though that would have been a little easier and gratifying. (Wouldn't it wonderful to just clock a demon like Screwtape in the face? That may just be me.) I realized the way to fight these wolves was going to be doing my work. Doing the laundry and cleaning the house and homeschooling the kids. Now I know this seems silly, but how hard is it to do laundry when the spirit of depression is oppressing you? It's impossible! But knowing how to fight this devil and putting on the armor of God, I felt ready. I was pumped up and almost excited about fighting and beating this devil. (Foreshadowing, y'all, foreshadowing.)


“The joy came from finding at last what hatred was made for.” ― C.S. LewisPerelandra

For two to three weeks, I was protected. I lost quite a bit of blood on the day of my miscarriage so recovery took a while. I really did feel protected, like the wolves couldn't get to me. The prayers of my family and friends surrounded me and kept me safe. 

Then one night Jeremy was home and the house was a mess. And laundry was overflowing. Jeremy and the kids had started cleaning the house but laundry is my chore. Jeremy cooks and cleans the bathroom, the kids take care of dishes, trash, and animals, and I take care of laundry. I was laying in bed and I couldn't get up. I was mindlessly playing spider solitaire and I literally could not get up. The wolves had come. And I could not get up!

But I need to tell you another part of my Classical education. I have a prayer, written in my bullet journal, that I pray every morning after I write out my work list. It goes like this,

"O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of the eternal Father, Thou hast said, "Without Me, you can do nothing." In faith, I embrace Thy words and bow before Thy goodness. Help me to complete the work I am about to begin for Thine own glory: in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." 

I don't have it memorized completely, but these written prayers have helped me learn more about how to pray, what to pray, and what all God can do. Of course, I believed this prayer but I don't think I knew it before this one night. I mean, does Jesus really do laundry?

Turns out, He does. And better than me.

As I was laying there playing solitaire and knowing I just needed to get up, I remembered this prayer. I prayed it desperately, with full knowledge that I really could not do anything, even get out of the bed, without Him. Suddenly, I got up and I did laundry and helped clean the house. And I've been doing my work, leisure, and even some amusements ever since. Of course, now I know that the list I make in the morning isn't really for me. But it's my Jesus list and He has gotten everything done on the list every day since then. I sometimes even put extra things on like a challenge to Him. He gets those done too. He makes me laugh with just pure wonder.

Anyway, back to classical education. I would not have paid attention to those dreams, I would not have had Ephesians 6 or Perelandra in my head, and I would not have had that prayer in my heart if I had not had Classical Education. Classical Ed. teaches us how to live life and to do it well. And it also teaches us that we can't do it well without Christ working in us. How beautiful is that?!

4 comments

  1. That was amazing. I’m still processing it, but I just had to say WOW. Thank you for being authentic and honest. It was a beautifully woven story that I know many of us can relate to and learn from. To God be the glory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and yes it is for His glory!

      Delete
  2. Jennifer,
    I'm so sorry for your loss. I recently lost a baby and the wolves came for me too. It wasn't until about 2 weeks ago that I stopped crying and shouting at the stupidest things. God is good. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Lacey, I'm so sorry! May the Lord have mercy on you and keep you. There is no formula for His grace, but He gives and withholds for our good and His glory. The wolves still try to get at me some days though their attack is much weaker now. And yes, God is good. Your story, and my story, will one day be made right. I long for that day!

      Delete