While preparing for the last SHE event, I was also typing my application for Teacher of the Year. I struggled tremendously with that application because I did not want to brag on myself or my abilities. That obviously got me into some trouble many years ago. Father had taken me through an extreme time of brokenness, so it was interesting to find myself in that situation after all these years. As I began typing the essay for the application, it was so amazing to see how Father had arranged my steps over the years as stated in Proverbs 3:5,6 (NASB) “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”
Let me share an abbreviated version of this journey:
He led me into teaching a long time ago. During my first semester at Florida State University, I started attending a Bible Study with Campus Crusade for Christ. One crisp and cool Tallahassee morning, I attended a Mug and Muffin sponsored by the CCC staff women. That morning, they were sharing from the book, Building Your Self Esteem by Josh McDowell. They began to talk about people who influence our lives and shape our beliefs early in life. Of course, our parents were on the list, but then they began to list pastors, coaches, and teachers. As soon as the word, “teacher” was said, my heart began to beat rapidly in my chest. At this moment, I heard Father whisper in my ear, “Love the children.” I knew He was telling me to change my major. On Monday morning, I marched into the Stone Building to change my major from psychology to education.
Flash forward to March 14, 2012, the day of my interview for Teacher of the Year (TOY) for the parish. I found out the day before SHE that the committee wanted to interview me for TOY for the parish. I was humbled and prayed that Father would speak through me and that they would see Him as I spoke. On that morning, Kalon and I prayed that He would be glorified regardless of the outcome. During the interview, I was asked how my community work helps me as a teacher. I almost giggled with glee when I heard it. I began to tell them about the SHE event from four days before. I told them that I had spoken on exchanging lies for the truth during my session. I went on to say that this is what I do in my classroom every day. Because I teach in the gifted program, I deal with students who are VERY hard on themselves. They say things like “I am so stupid” on almost a daily basis. This is just one snippet of what we discussed that day.
Later on that afternoon, I began to ponder whether or not I had been chosen. I found myself focusing on that and it was making me anxious. Right at that moment, one of my precious students walked into my classroom crying. She asked if we could talk, and of course I said yes. She told me she had received a white slip over a poor choice she had made. She was devastated and could not bear thinking about facing her mom. I sat with her and reminded her that she was not a bad kid; she just made a poor choice that day. I told her that this can happen to anyone, it's just what you decide to do afterwards that makes the difference. I said you need to forgive yourself, pick your head up, and walk forward. I told her that we were going to call her mom and tell her about it. I got her mom on the phone and stayed with her while they talked. When she got off the phone, I could see the pressure release from her shoulders. Her mom had repeated truth to her as well. I walked this precious young lady back to her homeroom class. While walking back to my classroom, I said to Father, “I do not need that award….You just allowed me to experience what I talked about this morning and that is the only award I need.” I released receiving the award, smiled and walked back to my classroom. Two minutes later, my principal walked into my room and told me I had been chosen. I was completely shocked. She said that during my interview that they could see my heart. I was so flabbergasted. Father answered my prayers…they had seen Him. I pray that my interactions with everyone in that room will draw them into a closer relationship with Him.
You ask why I might share this story with you….I share it because Father used this to show me how intimately involved He is with my life. He cares about every detail. I doubted why He wanted me in this job for many years, but lately, I have seen why He has me there. I pray He will reveal the truth of why He has you where He does. For many years, everything was bleak and meaningless to me. I had no idea why I was doing what I was doing. I am thankful that He gives me the privilege of allowing Him to live through me at school and in the community.
I love you my sisters!!
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