It was the night before and I was sitting and reflecting on what was to come- a new year – the last year! One moment I was excited for the countdown to begin and in the next I was a puddle of tears as I realized that this was my last year of teaching and tomorrow would dawn on my last first day. Over the years there have been many last first days – as a senior in high school or senior in college – the list goes on! The next day would come whether I wanted it to or not and I would face my last first day of teaching.



As I prepared to leave and drive to school the next morning, the first streaks of light colored the sky with pinks and reds. The greeting of the sunrise was a warm welcome to the day ahead. The drive to school is relatively short but the radio softly whispered the words from one of my favorite songs – “Your Grace Finds Me” by Matt Redman. God knew and God reminded me of His grace in that moment through my car radio.

This is my year of grace – a chance to accept this gift and pass it on not only to my students but to the staff I work with daily. Grace is God’s way of saying “I have you in my embrace”. When the days become hard or when the emotions of the “last” year of teaching threaten to overwhelm, I am covered by this beautiful thing called grace.

Life moves along quickly and days become years in what seems like a blink of an eye. The excitement of many new beginnings seems to quickly change into a series of endings that places you into the next phase of life.  As each stop along the journey seems to blur into the next, it can seem almost impossible to know that you are headed in the right direction. You hang on desperately at times and find it hard to let go and move on. You search for happiness or answers to all your questions along the way and hope that you are in the right place at the right time.

Thirty years of teaching has taught me so much and I have grown up into who I am today. Life has zoomed past and I even questioned whether teaching was for me at the very beginning of my career, but soon learned that there was no other profession that wrapped passion and a job into one embrace. Reflecting on this journey has taught me that in the moments when life was the hardest, God is there. In the moments of celebration, God is there. Every freeze frame of time is wrapped in the arms of God’s love and grace. The snapshots of life are God’s way of recording His love in the photo album of our life. The pictures imprinted in our hearts are lovingly given to us by God to remind us that He never leaves our side and marks each step of life with us.



So if you are marking the passage of a last first day and the emotions are swirling, remember God is with you and the snapshots that you will add to your photo album will be beautiful.



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