I wrote this just a few weeks before school started this year. I didn’t post it, but saved it in my drafts. I found it tonight and can’t stop reading it over and over again. The truth really does set you free.
Every summer before going back to school, I have a spiritual and mental push for myself to be more resilient in the next year. To handle things better, to not crumble and break down, and be confident in God’s promises to me. Yet, for the past 2 years of teaching, I’ve seen myself just completely deteriorate from the inside out. The fatigue, pressure, and intensity is all too much for my seemingly fragile soul and I fall apart.
This morning as I reflected on a new school year starting, I kept praying and wanting for this year to be different. I want more for this year, in an internal sense. I now know that bad things are going to happen. Somebody is going to get mad, misunderstand, look down on, question, complain. I’m going to be put through the fire – someone will yell at me, insult me, offend me. Kids will annoy, drain, and infuriate me. Something will go wrong and I will make mistakes every single day. I know this to be the reality of my job and my position.
In the past, I just feared these realities. I hoped and prayed “nothing bad would happen.” And, for the most part, they didn’t. I still pray that these things won’t happen and I still pray for protection. But, I also have a keen awareness that imperfection happens. I will be imperfect, so will students, so will parents, and so will other teachers. And, because of it, “bad things are going to happen.”
My prayer is different this year. I pray that when the attacks come, the fatigue sets in, and my disillusionment overtakes me, that I would grasp on to the peace and joy that is so readily available to me. I pray that I would take on the armor of God. I pray that my heart would remember who I belong to and that nothing can separate me from His love. I pray that my mind would have a calm, steady, and quiet knowing that God is for me, and if that is the case – who can be against me?
When these things happen, would my first mutterings be to Jesus. The storms will come and the waves will rise. The fire intensifies and the pressures cave in. But, these struggles are nothing compared to the glory that is to come.
This year, I pray for resilience. I pray for an acceptance of imperfection and the joy and peace of learning and growing from mistakes.