“Circle Zion, take her measure, count her fortress peaks, Gaze long at her sloping bulwark, climb her citadel heights— Then you can tell the next generation detail by detail the story of God…”

Psalm 48:12-14 The Message

Older Generations Have a Purpose by Tammy Hendricksmeyer for The Consilium

As a parent or grandparent, God helps us see how divergent He created each of us as we observe our children or our children’s children. My oldest son educated me the most in how to embrace God’s diverse design with a whole-hearted approach to acknowledging uncommon gifts and talents.

My life right now, in my late 40’s and my husband in his 50’s, is eclipsed with a transition away from homeschooling our two teens. I taught my sons for the last eight years, initiated by what could only be explained as a supernatural desire.

Before I started, I’d always thought, and said on more than one occasion, “I could never homeschool!”


The Could Never’s

I think the universe laughs at the “could never’s” because too many times, God displays how immensely more powerful He is versus our self-imposed limitations.

However, I dropped my “could never” homeschool  mindset while God met me with grace and stamina to teach. That strength kept me going until the end of last year when I no longer sensed the presence of mind to continue.

A change needed to happen. We made the decision, this year, to send our sons to our local public school for the first time.

As I grow older, I intentionally practice agility in shifting my self-view or life direction. Too many times when I was younger, my comfort levels could create a sense of security and maybe even a bit of stubbornness.


Misplaced Pressure

During those last years of homeschooling, we suspected that we were dealing with challenges we weren’t equipped to handle on our own.

We  began to recognize signs that would be considered high-functioning Autism (also known as Asperger) in our son’s learning ability.

After confirmation from a neuropsychologist, we felt a strange sense of relief. Finally, we had answers!

Once we accepted that his brain processes differently, everything started to make sense. For years as parents, we tried to make our son model what we considered typical childhood behavior, but he didn’t fit the standard mold—still doesn’t to this day.

No amount of misplaced parental pressure transformed him to be somebody he wasn’t.

In the same way, I tried to fit a parenting mold, attempting to live up to other people’s expectation.

But thankfully I have an older generation of women who mentored me in ways God knew I needed. These women’s wisdom allowed me to shed layers of fear, shame, or condemnation.

And they are no wallflowers either. They don’t pat my hand and tritely say, “That’s nice, Honey.”

Instead, they are strong, outspoken, and confident in who they are in God’s kingdom.


“Write this down for the next generation so people not yet born will praise God…” Psalm 102:18-22 The Message


Seasoned & Battle-tested

There are those who’ve forged ahead of us and smoothed this path for our family.

We reap the benefits of mature men and women who’ve explored and embraced God’s creative design, no matter how differently that may look.

I see and hear a recurrent theme from younger generations (even in my own)—we crave guidance, counsel, and mentors. We value those battle-tested older generations, firmly believing they have much to offer in way of enriching our less seasoned lives.


Raising the Could’s

Every generation holds potential. Maybe it’s such a time as this that we raise up all the children of Could who thought they Never Could. God continues to be on the move and works through who-so-ever will.

A younger generation watches and needs us to not only pursue our freedom for ourselves but for them too. Each generation cuts a path for those who’ll follow. We have the opportunity to draw out the God-given gifts, talents, and unique mission in those around us.

As a parent, I do this for my son. But as a woman, older generations have done this for me.

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T.H. Meyer (Tammy Hendricksmeyer) lived in Asia and Europe before settling among dairy and poultry farms in an oasis of rye fields and Bermuda pastures on acreage in east Texas. Far removed from big-city slickers, she enjoys family, back porch “dates” with her hubby, intimate gatherings of friends, and eating out anywhere someone else does the cooking. She’s the author of A Life of Creative Purpose: Embrace Uniqueness, Explore Boldness, Encourage Faith, and the co-author of A God for All Seasons with Amy Breitmann, releasing in the spring of 2017. You can follow Tammy's spiritual and writing journey by subscribing to her blog, The Art of Fear Not.

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