I listened to a precious young lady tell her testimony. She poured her heart into every detail that she chose to share as a drink offering unto the Lord. Her story, though now victorious, was long and hard and heartbreaking. She shared a minor detail that has stuck with me and built a fire underneath my feet and in my heart.
As a child she often felt distant and different from other children. She would often play by herself and often felt rejected by her peers. She didn’t know God as a child and had many things in her life that caused her to feel unheard, lonely, forgotten, unloved, worthless, and rejected.
I share this because of how it has touched my heart. There have been many days already this year where I have felt defeated, worn down, and ineffective as a teacher. Note: We have been in school for 20 days. When this young lady shared her story, I was reminded of my purpose.
Yes, my purpose as a teacher is to teach precious children how to read, write, and do math, and I really do want my kids to grow and master these things. But I do have to say, it is not THE reason why I teach.
I teach because I want to come alongside children in the place where they are at, the good, the bad, and the heart-wrenching parts. I want them to feel safe and accepted. I want them to feel supported and loved and heard. I want them to build friendships. I want them to be kind to one another. I want them to learn how to respect others that are different. I want them to feel empowered to follow their dreams. I want them to laugh and celebrate. I want them to know that I am FOR them.
I feel like I go on about why I teach a lot. Some of you are probably tired of hearing about it so please forgive me. The truth is, though, is that I forget because it is HARD. It is overwhelming. There is red tape everywhere. And Satan wants me to forget. I always need the reminder when God shows it to me, no matter how easy or hard the year is or has been. It is easy to lose focus. It is easy to get frustrated.
I talked that the young lady after she shared her testimony, and I told her I really appreciated her sharing about her childhood because I am a teacher. She said, “Just get in there, and love those kids.”
Some years it is harder than others. By now, teachers, you probably know how mentally and physically tough your year will be. If it is tough, know that it’s okay for it to feel tough. Every day that you enter your school building and your classroom, you are helping and supporting these kids fight battles that they will talk about one day. That is some seriously tough stuff!
Take care of yourself, teacher. You have battles of your own you have to fight, too.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” Psalms 28:7
When everything I try seems to fail, I know in my heart that He is my strength and my help. He is my Rock in whom I can place my trust fully, despite my failures and circumstances and where I can never be enough. In Him is my salvation and identity and my victory. I always have a reason to give thanks to Him.