Sunday, October 25, 2015

But God Gives Songs in the Night

"But God gives songs in the night..."

This verse was taken from Job 35:10 and came to me at the perfect time. More than ever, I miss my fiancé, John. I miss my family, especially knowing that my sister just had her second baby, this time a sweet little girl. And, quite frankly, I don't like teaching.

Sometimes, in the past, these factors were enough to bring me down, but it was nothing a little exercise or the occasional ice cream treat couldn't fix. Last week, however, the anxiety was much more real and much more extreme than this.

I am not writing this to get anyone's sympathy or just to be heard. I am telling my story because I don't think I'm the only one in this boat. Maybe my story can help a few others.

I joined Teach For America because I believe every child deserves the opportunity to obtain an excellent education, and I stick with it because of all the reasons mentioned in my last post. But more important than both of these reasons is the pure fact that God called me here for two years.

For the past two weeks, I wanted to quit more than anything. I know there are other qualified teachers who could do my job. I know I'm not Roma's best teacher. Honestly, I don't even like teaching. I like being with youth- mentoring them, coaching them, sponsoring clubs, helping with the church youth group, etc.; but the day-in and day-out routine of explaining math to high schoolers drives me crazy- despite how much I really do love them. On top of teaching every day, I feel like I have to walk into class and pretend like everything is okay for 9 hours while I'm in front of students- because they are each carrying burdens even heavier than my own. And yes, the thought runs through my mind frequently that if I was not here, I could be married to the love of my life, already.

I know that my family and loved ones love & miss me, and it's hard seeing myself put a strain on them because of my absence. I cried myself to sleep and cried on the way to work every morning last week (except for Friday...because I woke up in a frenzy at 7:20 and had 20 minutes to shower and get to work.) I talked to a few people about it, who reminded me that God has me here for a reason and he is using me. My response was that I know that, and I believe it, but it's not enough to get me out of bed in the mornings right now.

But then God stepped in and spoke (or maybe I should say, "but then I finally opened my ears and my eyes to what God was trying to say").  John reminded me that it wasn't easy for Joan of Arc to fight, and face death for her obedience.  Paul didn't "like" being in prison for spreading the gospel, but he kept following the Lord's plan anyway. Moses didn't have the confidence to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but God chose him anyway and sent a helper to guide him and help him.

I'm not going to be okay on my own. I'm not even going to be okay with the help of John, Brittany, Mrs. Casas, Sierra, and my sister, mom, and dad. But I am holy, chosen, and loved1. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me2. I am called for such a time as this3. I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down4. I love, because he first loved me5. And that means I'm staying here and by the power and grace of God, will finish the school year strong. God has made it clear the duration that I am called here, and I must be obedient- there is too much at stake for my students and my community to not follow his plan- they are always greater than mine.

God gives songs in the night6, and today, my song remains, "when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.7"

1- "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience." Colossians 3:12
2- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
3- "And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" - Esther 4:14
4- "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?" Nehemiah 6:3
5- "We love because he first loved us." -1 John 4:19
6- "...Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night," - Job 35:10
7- "from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2