On any given day, I can feel all the feelings ranging from joy to despair, excitement to discouragement, courage to fear and everything in between. Compassion and love weave throughout to lace all the “feels” together.

I am a teacher!

Most days I wrap up the day feeling fulfilled with a sense of having made a small difference. The grumpiest student left with a smile or the light bulb moment appeared in math.

I am a teacher!

On this day, I left heartbroken – tipping the scales toward tears for all the unanswered “whys”. More questions than answers and frustration over situations that cannot be fixed.

On this day, I am a heartbroken teacher!

broken-tears

We have no idea what our students face at home each day when they leave us. We have no idea whether a snack is waiting before homework time let alone if dinner is even a possibility. The questions far outweigh the answers and the unknown can only leave us speculating.

But on this day, reality collided into the questions and the truth spilled out. Our students not only face hunger at home but many other possibilities.

  • Single parents struggling with the day to day
  • Homelessness that comes at a time when everything else might be falling apart
  • Only the floor or perhaps a couch to lay their heads at night
  • Parents facing life threatening illnesses
  • Uncertainty overtaking every minute everyday
  • Emotions that threaten to consume and cause you to lose control because the thought of the future is just that – a thought

On this day, one student lost total control at school, but to him this was the only choice he had because it ultimately helped him to gain the one thing he craved – control. His world is full of many of the things mentioned above-homelessness, a mom who has cancer, dad in and out of his life and emotions that are trapped inside with no way to come out without much support. His answer to all the feelings that he needs to express, but cannot express appropriately was refusal to listen, rage, destroying things in his way and even trying to hurt himself. On this day, he felt he won because many adults around him stopped everything just for him and he gained control. On this day he released all the feelings that most days stay trapped inside.

Release is important. Understanding is crucial. Patience is necessary. Love is a must. But I am a teacher and someone who loves to fix all situations. This is not one that I can fix or make better. But I can pray and release all this to God who is the fixer of all situations.

I can love as God calls us to love. I can extend grace and give this student new mercies each day as God does so lovingly for each of us. I can reassure with my words, love with my heart, provide understanding and let God guide me as I do.

This is what the Lord says:

“Restrain your voice from weeping
and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,”
declares the Lord.  Jeremiah 31:16

In the middle of the broken, the messiness and the uncertainty, God is working. We may not see it and certainly not understand it, but He has chosen this child, at this time for His glory.

May we all see the beauty in the mess, the glory in the harshness of life and His love as a salve for the open wounds caused by the injustices of the world.

In prayer and peace,

Mary

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