It would take me years to write about everything God has taught me since my adventure of teaching began. I have been hit with a different environment where I can’t take a walk by myself at any time of day and especially not at night. The protection of a nice parking spot is completely vanished. Thankfuly I have yet to crash or wreck a car. I have had to learn by asking a lot of questions. God is stripping me of my pride and giving me the taste of humility. My pride likes to think that I have absolutely everything under control. But I am learning that I must communicate and express my struggles as a teacher to get helped. That is what Jesus did on the cross. He gave up His pride so I could know Him. How precious.
All teacher movies have become comedys to me. There is no quiet, awed face on my children as I come in to teach. Ha ha. God is teaching me patience through these children. Solitude is a gift of long ago days. I am constantly surrounded by people, either at school, mandatory after school activities, or a congregation of people to serve at the house. Sleep is a pastime that I now dream about. Every minute of sleep is a precious, silent treasure. I drink more coffee than anyone should.The fact that I am writing a blog when I should be sleeping or lesson planning is also a gift. Everyday God asks for a little bit more of me. Everyday God asks for a little bit more of me to break. He is shattering my pride and selfish attitudes so I can be used by Him. I will not lie to you and say that my life is easy. It is not. It is difficult living and working with the same people and sometimes struggling with communication and knowing what others except of you can be difficult and pride stripping. It is difficult in a humbling way. The people I live and work with are kingdom champions. God comes before sleep, planning, food, and quiet moments of solitude. I have blessed to work with people that will stay up all night to ensure a child’s safety or to pray literally without ceasing. The more I am with such godly people the more of my flesh that I can see in myself.
I think God does not want us to live in a cycle of normal for to long because then He does not have room to work. God continually steps out of the neat little lines that I have put Him in. God is not man to be placed somewhere. God is everywhere and wants to overflow your universe if you let Him. So, while these last few weeks have been the most challenging they have also been the most rewarding. The presence of God is everywhere. You do not have to look far to see Him at work.
One morning this week I was driving to school. It was a miracle that I had my cup of coffee and a bite to eat or that I had anything even remotely planned to teach my students. I was feeling overwhelmed. How was I going to properly challenge and love my students all the while keeping them in line and teaching them discipline? I drove to school to see the streets full of children walking to school. Some of the girls were caked in makeup hoping that others would see them as older, more mature, and that a guy would notice them. You could see the learning for love peeking out from behind mascara model eyelashes. I saw little children walking alone to school. I was afraid that something would happen to them. I saw the faces of the older people sitting on their stoops. Their faces hardened and listless, and devoid of purpose. They seemed well enough to work, but the rocks of discouragement and the arrows of sin had blinded their eyes to see the truth of God that was right before their eyes. Oh, how I prayed that I would be opened. God began to open my sheltered eyes and guarded heart. He has taken me from my ivory tower that I longed to stay in. The longer I am here the greater I see the need of the people around me. They are hungry hungry for God. But they do not know it. The longer I am here the more helpless I feel. But I am okay with feeling helpless. I would rather live a life where every day I must give every ounce of my energy to Him than a boring life where I feel like I can manage. This feeling of helpless inadequacy is one more thing that I can bring to God. These children and the people of my city will no means come to God except through Him. God does not have to use us. He chooses to. “For God has chosen the lowly things of the world to shame the wise.”
My education has not prepared me for the muddy, messiness of ministry. But He is with me. Nothing in life will fully prepare us for the challenges that God will put before us. Time and time again I have felt ill-equipped for the task. The hardest thing for me is living a life of constant change. I like my life to be perfectly planned out so that I know what will happen. I think we all like the idea of a perfectly scheduled and predictable life. But God continues to break the box that I continue to put Him in. Over and over again He reminds me that He is unchanging and that He is above what might be stressing me. The school that I am in makes it nearly impossible to have the walls of perfect stability. I asked God to stretch me and He has. For sure and for certain. I am like playdough in my Master’s hands. He moves me and twists me in directions I would never have chosen on my own. He is making me into more of His creation rather than an imitation of what I think I should be, God is allowing me to be the real thing.
“casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for You.” 1 Peter 5:7
Do not hide your eyes to the brokenness around you. Ask God to break your heart and open your eyes.
Thank you so much for all you prayers. It is by grace that I have been saved. And thankfully I can live by God’s grace. When God sees me, He chooses to see the blood of Jesus stamped upon my heart. Thank you Lord for the cross.
Much Love ❤ ❤