Wholly Surrender

Any parent of a toddler knows that you cannot force a kid to do anything with a smile.  If you want them to get to the car and they are dead set on driving (but being 2, they just aren’t quiet old enough yet), odds are you are going to be carrying that kid kicking and screaming to the back seat.  You may even have to tackle them into the straps and endure about 20 minutes of screaming as you journey to your destination (and for your sake, I’m praying that destination has coffee…. or wine.)

Did the goal get accomplished?  Yes.  The kid got in the seat and you got wherever you needed to go.  Was it pleasant?  No.  Would you want to repeat it?  No.  Did anyone learn anything of value?  Meh, probably not.  Do you have a headache?  YEEES.

If you’ve been following my blog or instagram, you know that I’ve returned to work teaching students with special needs an elementary school.  I didn’t want to go back to work.  It wasn’t my idea [for more details on that, read my post Me Vs. God].  But it was very very clearly what God was asking me to do.  After a lot of back and forth, I decided, “okay God, I surrender.”

And I was pretty sure I had.  I did what he wanted.

But not gonna lie to you, I’ve been kicking and screaming along the way.  And I’m TIRED.

Yes, I’ve been going to work everyday (except for the two days… the first week of school… that the plague hit our house… ).  I’ve put in my all.  I’ve stayed up late.  I’ve tried to make everything perfect.

And I’ve fallen short.  And when I fall short, I fall apart.  When I don’t have the kind of control I want, I fall apart.

See, I was pretty much okay with giving in to what God wanted, as long as I could do it on my terms.  My terms mean that my class will run without issue, I won’t be staying up until 2:30 or 3, only to get to school to realize that nothing I did actually mattered or I did it wrong.  My terms were “As long as I can be the best at this and it is easy and everything goes smoothly”.

God’s terms I’m pretty sure are different.  Yes, we might both be heading toward the same destination, but I’m thinking that I’m behaving as the toddler and creating more of a headache for both of us.

And so, I’m trying to remember God’s purpose here.  It’s not so that I can have an easy year and bring home a paycheck.  It’s hopefully so that I can be used by Him to love my students and my coworkers.  So that I can make an impact that will direct their eyes toward Him.

In public school, we aren’t allowed to say His Name.  But we are allowed to pray for our students.  We are allowed to love them.  We are allowed to show them grace.

So here’s to ending the kicking and screaming and wishing I had a group of well behaved kiddos.  These kids are people too and come to school with their own set of baggage and difficulties.  I don’t know what goes on at home, but I do know that while I have them in my classroom I can love them as Christ does.

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