the joys of being in the middle of a place I never, ever wanted to be.
maybe you too are in a place that you never, ever thought you would be, and where you most definitely did not want to be. maybe that’s exactly where you are right now, or maybe that is where you are headed, or maybe you have already been there. but, I can promise you one thing, if you haven’t been in that place – you will, it’s just a matter of time.
as I sit in my new placement for student teaching, I look at all eighteen little third grade faces. they all come from a different world – different place. different home-life. different support system. different ability level.
as I have realized how different they all are, I have also realized that God has created each of them uniquely with a very specific purpose. I pray that each of them find who He is and surrender their life completely and solely to Him, despite their differences. I pray that each day over the next several months I show them Jesus, and make them see that there is something different about me. when they realize who He is and who He has called them to be, their worlds will radically change. they will see that He is good no matter the circumstance, the home-life, the support system, the ability level. they will understand He has created them for a purpose. they will hear Him as He reveals His plans and which paths to take.
wow. I never, ever wanted to be in this place, but I am so grateful that God knew I needed to be in this exact place, at this exact time. I needed to see and learn and grow and have a burden for each of these children. I needed to realize the urgency for Him in their lives and the urgency among this school.
over the last several weeks, tragedy has hit for so many of these precious kids. for one, her mom was killed unexpectedly in a car accident. for another, she was picked up by defax instead of her parents. for two, they were sent to the office for writing cuss words (but can we expect anything else when this is their everyday home-life and the example that has been set by their parents?). for another, she was told her grandmother had terminal cancer and only has a few weeks left to live.
I watch these kids and see that they are all so precious not only to me, but to Jesus. they are precious in His sight. they are fearfully and wonderfully made. AND, they all are in need of all the same things: to be taught, to feel safe, to know someone believes in them, and ultimately, to be loved.
obviously, I want to academically teach each of these students. I want them to excel in math, science, social studies, reading, and writing. I want them to leave my class knowing how to multiple two and three digit numbers, I want them to understand the concept of magnetism, I want them to know the major rivers in the US, I want them to read fluently at or above their level, I want them to write complete sentences and know how to write a paragraph using RACE, but I want to teach them so much more than academics. I want to teach them that this world does not revolve around them, that showing love and kindness is far better than treating people rudely, that encouraging one another is a blessing, that having a hard work ethic will get them far, and that to succeed in life is up the them – not their parents, friends, or teachers.
I want each of these kids to know that they have a safe place within these four walls. I want to teach them that I believe they can do far more than anything they think they can, that they are worth it, that they are smart enough, that they choose their behavior and how they respond to situations, and I believe that the CAN do anything they set their minds to despite anything that comes their way or the way they have been raised.
and ultimately, I want to teach them that they are loved. actually, I must show them that they are loved. loved more than they will ever know by me, but they are loved by a Heavenly Father more than they could imagine. I pray that my life shows that. I pray for opportunities for the students to openly ask about Jesus so I can liberate.
wow. the joy that has come from being in a place that I never, ever wanted to be is far better than anything I could have ever imagined. I encourage you to take a step back from the place you never, ever wanted to be, look to see the joys that have come with it. when you do, I can promise you that you will forever be grateful God placed you there and changed your ‘never, ever wanted to be here’ to ‘I could never, ever imagine life without it’.