Not to mention, feelings of inadequacy and constant comparison to other teachers that I know are so great and successful...
I thought this year would be much easier than the first, and I thought that I would be able to hang loose. It has not been so, and spending a whole school year racking my brain coming up with new things to motivate my passive students has been so exhausting. Tiring. Causing me to question, am I really doing this? Is this really what I should be doing, is this really me?
But in the midst of the chaos, confusion, moments of crying to my teammates and feelings of doubt, GOD LOVES ME. Wildly, passionately, completely loves me and loves me with no hesitation, no doubt. He shows me in the most beautiful ways.
There is a freshman college student who I met last year as he was one of our class's high school PALS. We ran into each other at 24 Hour Fitness this past August and began talking, got into some interesting conversation about Jesus and he asked if he could come volunteer at the school for volunteer hours. After that he began working as a leader in the after school program, stopping by to say hello and having intense or growth-inspiring discussions about the Lord. Through these interactions, this college freshman has fully 100% put his faith in Jesus Christ and is now applying to work at a Christian summer camp to tell children about Jesus, as well as ministering to his classmates at TCC and telling them that Jesus is the real deal, and there is no other way.
Or take the 6 year old student I have who I have been encouraging and praising regarding his writing the past few weeks. This afternoon, I was tired. I had had it. I was DONE. And he comes up to me when we are packing up our backpacks and handing out folders, and I'm so busy rushing about trying to get 20 kids out the door, when he hands me a piece of paper.
"Miss Leiss, look how much writing I did."
"That looks great, sweetie," I say as I am still moving about, cleaning things up.
"...will you read it please?"
I am SO, so glad that I decided to stop my madness and take a moment to read it. This is what it said.
"Thank you for all of thees things Jesus. we All love you Jesus. We hope you never diae on the cros. and nowon hates you Jesus."
I melted and I told him, "This is so wonderful. It truly touches my heart and I'm so glad you wrote this. But I have something to tell you. Jesus DID die on the cross already, and it's a good thing, because since he died on the cross, now we can know him and live with him forever in heaven. We aren't good as people, but he was perfect. And him dying on the cross allows us to be perfect with him one day."
See what I mean? ANY GOOD THAT I DO IS COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY BY THE GRACE, THE GOOD, AMAZING GRACE OF GOD! Because my tendency is to let my stress and frustrations overshadow the good around me. And he, he is SO good. And he loves me, wildly, passionately, completely, because he allows me to take part in his reconciliation of the world; even on the worst of days, he shows me the beauty that he is.
You make beautiful things out of the dust You make beautiful things out of us You make me new You are making me new