So it’s been quite some time since I’ve been on here – heyyyy!! From my previous post which was in January I wrote about my nerves going into student teaching and me dealing with fear concerning me not knowing how to teach or if I’ll have the skills and knowledge. Well, needless to say, I struggled with fear some more, which led to the fruit of doubt and not seeking or trusting in God to be who He says He is. Let me explain:
Within the first week of student teaching I wanted to quit. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I was fearful, I did’t want to fail, I was extremely overwhelmed with what was required of me, and I just felt defeated. Half the semester I didn’t even want to seek my Father. Some reasons why I know I wasn’t seeking Him was because:
- I was exhausted
- I was swamped by making my lesson plans each day, grading papers (which never ended) and that became priority over spending time with God
- I was angry and selfish
I was keeping my eyes on myself and focusing on my own abilities was manifesting it’s toll. My husband Christian was feeling the weight of my emotions by my attitude, and my staff and students saw that I wasn’t confident. I felt really exposed, ya know? Like that time Adam and Eve realized they were naked and made clothes for themselves out of leaves because they were exposed… that was me. I was naked in my sin – in my own pity and selfish desires I was naked before the people around me who saw that I was struggling and leaning on my own understanding. I was naked before God, exposed and vulnerable about how I let my feelings and lack of faith dictate my emotions and distrust in Him to carry me through what seemed like my most difficult season yet.
I want to be completely honest and transparent. I was wrestling with God and I was wrestling with the fact that I wasn’t living in gratitude. Even in the first week I could hear the Lord telling me to write a gratitude list. At the time I was doing a devotion through http://shereadstruth.com/plan/psalms-of-gratitude/ and was reading about what gratitude is and at the end there were prompts on how we can actively thank God in all things. I didn’t want to fill in the blanks. Long story short, during lunch I wrote my list and looked at it for a long time and was asking myself if I believed it. I started to; in my gut I knew that I wasn’t going through this for no reason, and then out of no where (this was the same day) God started to put people into my life who were believers in the English department to encourage and tell me their personal stories of their own struggles student teaching. I was amazed and still amazed at God’s provision and how He shows that He cares for me. How He loves me even as I wrestle, and that our faith becomes stronger when we trust in God in the most hardest of times.
God was chiseling me into the woman he’s calling me to be, and it was happening through these very things:
- Being challenged/uncomfortable
- Giving me opportunities to fail
- Taking risks
- Testing my faith
- Wondering about my purpose
- Dying to my flesh (pride, attitude, control)
I didn’t have to student teach in Colorado and live with my husband. I could have very well taught in Texas and been states away from him a whole school year, but I didn’t. That was God’s grace. I could have been in any other school in the district but I was accepted to Air Academy High school that was on the Air Force base (10 minutes away from where Christian worked) and we only had one car. That was God’s grace. I could have taught some pretty weird high school students but I got my own group of amazing freshman and juniors that I personally got to love on, have the privilege to teach, and get to know them.. God’s grace.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I share all this to say, I am grateful that God didn’t let me quit. On my own strength I would have, but His Holy Spirit that resides in me just wouldn’t let me take the easy route. In this semester I grew more of a gratitude for Jesus and all that He’s done and does for me when I’m weak and lowly at heart. Slowly but surely I got plugged into community and studied in my Bible. That peace of mind began when I prayed and began to thank God for who He is.
… do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by pryer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hears and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellent, if there is anything worthy of praise, think of these things…and the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:6 – 9
This is just a short highlight of this past semester. Much more has been witness and experienced, but for the sake of being wordy, I shall wrap this up. I posted on Instagram a while ago a quote a friend told me and it has always been a sweet reminder. Especially during this time:
Because Jesus is strong for you, you are free to be weak.
Because Jesus won for you, you are free to loose.
Because Jesus was someone, you are free to be no one.
Because Jesus was extraordinary, you are free to be ordinary.
Because Jesus succeeded for you, you are free to fail.
Remember that friends. Lets take our eyes off of ourselves and gaze upon what he has done for us on the cross. That we are no longer slaves to fear and disappointment, but that we are children of God, able to walk in complete gratitude and trust that God is good in all circumstances. I don’t have any regrets. He gets all the glory because without Jesus I wouldn’t be able to share this sweet testimony with you now.