Student Teaching Jitters – Surrendering Fear

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As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2:4-5

I start student teaching on the 25th of January and since the beginning of the New Year I have noticed more and more my neglectfulness in getting “ready” for my last semester of undergrad where I’m student teaching freshman honors and juniors. That freaked me out because

  1. I’m held responsible for them, especially their minds (mind blowing)
  2. I’m questioning my ability to teach them adequately
  3. Will they learn something from me?

All these things where going on in my head and in God’s grace, He allowed me to realize that all those things I worried about where all in my own abilities. I was so concerned about how I will do stuff instead of just remembering His faithfulness and that He is so much bigger than I am.

I was getting a lot of encouragement from my family and friends which helped me some, but my fears ceased when I finally addressed to Jesus my anxiety about what I thought of my teaching this semester and it was Christ alone that calmed my fears and directed my gaze from myself to my God.

I’ve been clinging to Psalm 34. All of it. I’ve been holding onto it and running with it with freedom. It spoke so loudly in my ears and brought a smile to my face in how much God is such a comforter. It’s so beautiful how the Psalm starts out in thanksgiving to the Lord and then says in verses 4-7,

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me

and delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant,

and their faces shall never be ashamed.

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him.

And saved him out of his troubles.

The angel of the Lord encamps

Around those who fear him, and delivers them.” (Emphasis mine).

How much beauty and comfort and truth and peace hovered over me in just those lines. God hears the cries of His children and when we seek Him, He will answer us and deliver us from all our fears. That’s such good news. When I keep my eyes directed on myself I become scared because I know I’ll mess up. But “the Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned” (verse 22). I can say with confidence I’ll mess up, and I won’t know all my student’s questions, and I’m going to probably trip while walking in my heels checking on their work, but God walks with me, so it’ll be ok.

It’s easy to be fearful when we think about our own abilities and doubt about if we will be this or that. I know before I believed that God made a way for my salvation through Jesus Christ (basically believing there was a God but not really sure about Jesus) I relied on positive quotes and feel good sayings from people higher than me, like noble prize winning poets or a family member. But that alone never helped me when it was time to stand my ground against a raging bear that were my fears.

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock

and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2

God alone is able to pull me up from my fears, that place that has my face buried in mud and shame. He alone puts my feet on the rock, my firm foundation that will not move.

“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested tone,

a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;

the one who relies on it

will never be stricken with panic.” Isaiah 28:16

Jesus Christ is our cornerstone – the stone in which everything is built upon, supported by, and directs everything else included in building a solid house. I’m sure you’re familiar with the story of the three little pigs. As elementary as it sounds, if we build a house that’s rocky and supported by fragile things like quotes for sticks, or our abilities for straw it WILL fall down. But if we trust and believe that Christ is that foundation, our rock in which we can stand firmly on, even when things get shaky, He promises He will not put us to shame, and He will carry us. I’d rather keep my eyes on my God than on me.

If you are struggling with fear, doubt, anxiety, the Word of God says to seek Him and He will answer you. Imagine what life would be like when we didn’t worry, stress, fear, etc., because we’ll actually believe in what we say we do? Or, for those who don’t believe in Jesus as all, what could hurt you from giving Him a try? You have nothing to loose, and you’ll gain the fullness of life in Him.

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