My 8th grade students are taking their final today and the essay prompt is, "What have you learned about yourself this year?"
As the pages flipped and pencils scratched, I began to think about what I am asking of them. Reflection. Introspection. Confession.
This has been a year of change for me, mostly in regards to my spirit. I feel alive! Reborn! I feel like I did in high school when I was ON FIRE for Christ! I've learned that I am happiest and most fulfilled when my thoughts, words and actions are glorifying My Savior! I've learned that if I read the Bible then the Holy Spirit will guide my thoughts and reveal truths to me, truths that have been on my nightstand for 31 years. My New Year's Resolution for the past 5 years has been to read my Bible more. I actually started doing this last summer with a study of David. Then Ester. Now Love. If all of this knowledge has been here, why haven't I been diving into it? My ignorance baffles me. My sin humbles me. But My God loves me!
I've learned that I have questions about the Bible and my faith. Not doubts, just questions. I want to learn more so that I can share more. The drive for this is heavy on my heart right now. I have felt unsettled in my job for the past year. I've wondered what God has in store for my future. How long will I teach? What is next? What does He want for me? From me?
My students this year have been amazing. I began this year full of doubt and fear. They had a reputation. I wondered if I would "love" them. How am I going to teach this bunch of kids? I haven't been teaching for many years, but it was my first year to receive nothing for Christmas or Teacher Appreciation. "What am I doing wrong?" I wasn't concerned for selfish reasons. I don't need "things" from the students, I just appreciate a word of thanks from them. But, this was the year that I received a Mother's Day card from a student. A Birthday present from another. Mrs. Ora, our custodian, told me that, "Even Jesus couldn't reach 'em all....but if you just reach one then you're doin' all right." I'm trying, Mrs. Ora. Lord knows I am.