My friends, this life is a CRAZY ride! I’ve been able to post a couple of times since I started working as our middle school’s Special Education teacher. (I’m loving it by the way.) I’ve shared how it’s been my lifelong dream to be a teacher, and that God has
called us blessed us with exceeding fruitfulness. Oh my friends! We truly do have that blessing of fruitfulness on our lives! You are not where you are by random chance! God has placed you precisely where you are for such a time as this! He has called you to bloom where you’re planted and make a difference right where you are, right now. You don’t have time to sit around and wait for the perfect opportunity to be fruitful and productive, because NOW is that time! This very moment, this very second, this very day! Bloom NOW, right where you are! You are the light of this world, BE IT! He has placed you as a lamp, high on a hill, shine by being precisely, fully YOU! And only you know what that looks like and feels like. He made you who you are, be that person today – shamelessly. Be you! Allow yourself to indulge in what it feels like to do the very thing that makes you feel unique and special and then then bask in that warm glow that emits from your very soul. For me, that’s teaching and connecting with children.
I have always loved children, they make my heart full with their silliness and smiles. And right now, as a middle school teacher I get plenty of that! But even more so, over the last few weeks I’ve been faced with a gift only God could have given me. I fully believe that God has placed me here in this classroom. There is no doubt about that in my mind whatsoever. And I’ve been operating in that function – “God has put me here.” “I’m supposed to be here.” “This is what I
‘m supposed have to do.”
I had been praying about my former position that had been open for the last 8 weeks and I was marveling at how long it had been taking to find someone for my Instructional Assistant position. And at the same time, nervous about it being filled because then that might leave me out of a job if the school decided to go a different direction when my contract was up in December. So I had taken a bit of comfort knowing that it hadn’t been filled and if needed I could always go back to it. Up to that point I had been dutifully going through all the motions of being a Special Education teacher in a middle school. I had even applied to the school of Special Education at Ball State for my masters and have been accepted. But I had done it all out of a sense of duty, not desire.
Then one morning as I was driving into the sunrise pulling into the school parking lot God asked me, “Is this where you WANT to be?” In that one question He made it known to me that my former position hadn’t been filled yet because He was waiting for me to choose the role He had placed me in and bloom where He had planted me. And it was in that moment that I did decide that this IS what I want. It certainly wasn’t what I had prayed for, hoped for, or asked Him for all summer; but having done it for the last two months, against my will, I had grown to really enjoy it. And in that moment I realized that, “Yes. This really IS where I want to be and what I really do want to do.” It wasn’t an hour later that another teacher came in my room and struck up a conversation with me where I repeated those very words aloud! And wouldn’t you know it, it wasn’t even another hour later that my mentor teacher came strolling into my room with my IA replacement! Seriously, I’m not even kidding you! That very same day that I made the decision that I wanted to stay and be where God had planted me, was the very day that He said, “Wish granted” and “There’s no backing out now!”
The very next week, last week to be exact, I went on a whirlwind tour of training! Two days in Fort Wayne with the always fabulous Indiana IEP Resource Center.
And one day at the Indiana Connected Educator Convention, where I attended a session on telling our stories. Guess who talked me back into blogging more often! And inspired me to buy a headset during my lunch break so I could screencastify – I’ll explain more about that later.
To put it mildly, I’m thrilled to be stepping into this role wholeheartedly now. I always put at least 100% into everything that I do, but there’s a mindset shift when you go from doing something because you have to, to doing it because you want to! And I couldn’t be happier to not just accept my role here at SMS, but to embrace it and fully become all that I can be here in it! My blog has always been all about me and the things that I’m thinking and learning and that won’t be changing. However, because my life has changed so drastically in the last few years, so will the content of my blog. Which only makes sense. I’m sure that I’ll still be throwing Bible verses and the Holy Spirit in here from time to time – probably ALL the time. But they won’t be standing alone in the stay at home mommy world any more. They’re going to be set in a classroom full of kiddos that have had the whole world set against them for a very long time. These kids need prayer in a way that I’ve never experienced before!
All of children need prayers and so do the teachers. There are times the teachers (like you!) are the only chance some kids have to thrive. May God drive your heart, hands and voice as you teach.