If I had one word to describe the general feeling of these first few weeks it would be "freedom". Ella is finally free from the torment of the mean kids who haunted her for 9 months. Free from a teacher who didn't seem to really care about her. Free from the restrictive structure of the old school. Free to be herself. What a precious gift!
It reminds me of the reading I've been doing in Isaiah, with the Bible in 90 Days plan. The Israelites had sinned over and over again. The consequences of their many sins were harsh. Isaiah prophesied that after years of living in the Promised Land, consistently giving their hearts and souls over to false gods, God was going to kick them out. It would break His Heart, but he had to do it to draw them back. Exile would be even more difficult than they'd ever imagined. They had not known what it was truly like to have God's Hand taken from them until they were forced from their homes, away from their families, and into slavery. So, think for a moment what they must have felt when they heard the words of Isaiah. God used his servant to tell them of a Redeemer Who would free them from their chains of bondage and sin. This Savior, Jesus Christ, would gather them back to the God Who created them and loved them more than anything. "'For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger, I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,' says the LORD your Redeemer...'In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.'" (Is. 54:7-8; 14).
The Israelites would once again be able to experience the freedom that comes from knowing the Father. The words of Isaiah must have been like water spilling over parched ground. The exiles would be gathered once again under the shadow of Yahweh's protective wings. "Instead of their shame My people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs." (Is. 61:7)
I pray every day that Ella experiences the same joy over her new found freedom. That it pours like rain with each new day in a new school. That God would bestow on her a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. That she would be called an oak of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. (taken from Is. 61:3)
Dear friend, I pray the same for you. If you don't know Christ and the liberty that He bought for you when He died on the cross, I encourage you to go out and look for Him. You will find Him! ~ "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,and to our God, for he will freely pardon." (Is. 55:6-7)