Watching children and families walk through the doors of our newly opened charter school two weeks ago was a surreal moment.
To most of them, it was simply the first day of school.
But to us, it felt like a dream.
Over the last 15 months I’ve dropped hints about the charter school we were helping to open in our tiny town, but I haven’t shared the full story.
At least not yet.
Because honestly, I didn’t know how to share it. The process was exhausting. And long. And we were buried under bloated bureaucracy and red tape for so long, we didn’t know if we were gaining or losing ground.
I’ve had several folks email me to ask, “How do you start a charter school?”
“I don’t know.”
It’s been the messiest, most convoluted, most frustrating process I’ve ever witnessed.
We’d have small victories, followed by major defeats.
Two steps forward, eleven steps backward.
There were several people who devoted their full energy to ensuring the school would fail.
More than once, they seemed to have finally dealt the death blow.
The death blow never came.
Allies showed up in the most unlikely places.
And everything fell into place in (dare I say) a miraculous way.
When I reflect back on the last 15 months… the first word that comes to mind is HARD.
This is, by far, the hardest project we’ve ever been a part of…
But I’m so glad we did it.
Even though the process was agonizing, brutal, halting, and frustrating.
I’m so glad we listened to the call.
I’m so glad we didn’t quit when the deck was stacked against us.
I’m so glad we didn’t let the naysayers bully us into submission.
I’m so glad we didn’t quit (even though there were points when we all wanted to).
In a month or two, I’ll have Christian join me on the podcast to tell you the whole story (it could seriously be a movie…)
But until then, I want to encourage YOU today. In whatever current challenge you’re facing (homesteading, homeschooling, entrepreneurship, etc):
- Do the hard thing.
- If you’ve felt the call, listen to it.
- Chase the audacious goal that makes people raise their eyebrows
- And when it gets messy (because it surely will) and you doubt yourself, lean in.
While our charter school challenges are far from over (running a school is also a formidable task…), we’re taking this brief moment to celebrate and exhale.
I’m proud of our little grassroots group of parents that, against all odds, did the thing.
And once again, I’m reminded that just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it’s bad.