By Jeni Warwick

As August approaches, parents and children begin thinking about going back to school. Thoughts of routines, supplies, new schedules and activities, maybe even some anxiety with the anticipated changes a new school year brings, can start to take over your mind—particularly this year with the virus and a lot of unknowns. Where do we turn as our kids start expressing worry or maybe even dread if school is not their favorite place to be? The “What ifs” for both parents and children can start to become overwhelming.

  • “What if my child doesn’t have someone to sit by at lunch?”
  • “What if my friends aren’t in my class?”
  • “What if my teacher is not kind?”
  • “What if we have to wear masks all day?”
  • “What if no one wears a mask and we get the virus?”
  • “What if the school calls and my child is struggling?”
  • “What if I don’t get good grades this year?”

And so on  . . . do any of these sound familiar? However, when we look in the Bible, the Lord promises His children in Hebrews 13:5–6, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. . . . The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.”  Romans 8:28 also reminds us, “We know that for those who love God, all things work together for good.”

As you gear up for this new school year, remember that the Lord has commissioned you and your children to be His army and the school building can be a perfect mission field. We can be so excited about this! Instead of the anxious “what ifs,” what if we rephrase those to be “what ifs” with our mind on God. The possibilities become endless!

  • “What if the Lord uses me to reach a classmate who needs a friend?”
  • “What if the Lord uses my child to be the hands and feet of Jesus at school?”
  • “What if my children pray over their food at lunch and the Lord uses them to minister to a classmate sitting nearby?”
  • “What if I show grace, love, understanding, and support to my child’s teacher?”
  • “What if the Lord uses this year to remind my children that their worth is in more than their grades?”

Pray over your child’s school year starting now! Before you start all of the school shopping and planner filling, start with prayer and remind each other God is in control of this school year!

  • Pray you and your children would have eyes and ears to see and hear where the Lord wants you and how He will use you. Sometimes those places are hard, like lunchrooms and hallways, or maybe even the desk next to someone who will not stop bothering your child.
  • Pray your children see their classmates through Jesus’ eyes.
  • Pray your children find their worth in the Lord and not grades, social media, or peers.
  • Pray He surrounds them with adults and peers that help point to God.
  • Pray that you would have grace and love to support their teachers.

As school starts this year, create a new tradition at supper for each person in your family to think about someone at their school or workplace they can pray for, then pray for them as a family during supper time. This could be a friend, classmate, teacher, school helper, etc. Utilize this opportunity God gave you to be a light for Him! Have a great start to your school year!

Jeni Warwick is a kindergarten teacher and a member of Soteria Church, West Des Moines, Iowa. This article was originally posted to Soteria’s blog and is reposted here by permission.