It is amazing to me how a simple phrase can express a whole season of our life. When commenting on our journey as missionary pastors, my wife Stephanie said, “The dream of living by faith and the reality are completely different.” What we expect at the beginning of a journey with what we experience is often very different. That phrase was tempered by the trials, the triumphs the joys and tears of years. A reasonable follow up questions would be, “Was it worth it?” The answer would be that it was far more worth it than ever imagined. That has been my personal experience with educating two of my three daughters at Fortis Academy as well.
There is always history behind present reality. My daughters were old enough that I gave them the choice of whether to attend Fortis, and as it true with all of life, choices are often complex. One of the ideas that was being discussed at school was whether employees should be required to educate their children at Fortis, and the decision was made that they should not be required for several reasons including the fact that it would restrict the talent pool of faculty and staff. I loved Fortis and classical Christian education, which I was involved in for a year before my daughters came to Fortis, but had I known then what I know now, I still would have given them all the choice, but I would have been much more persuasive. Every year that I see the fruit of a Fortis education in my children, I realize that not only has it created a love for learning and for the Lord, but it has strengthened my relationship with my children in a way I could not have dreamed. I was surprised that one of the areas that I value the mosts has come from helping them through psychological and emotional challenges as I tried to empower them to value the education and to believe that they are capable. Once that was settled, I now watch in awe and wonder as they flourish before my eyes. When I was not as involved in my children’s education, I was also being deprived of really helping them grow in the context of real life. Has it been a challenge? Absolutely! Is it worth it? More than I ever imagined.