Monday, April 23, 2012

I can't wait until I'm 18!

Quick thought for today:

I can honestly say that my job is not boring. While I ache for the day the Lord shows me a path that, while still influencing middle school students, also allows me to utilize my administrative mind and talents, my days at work are never boring. Kids will teach you more about life and more about yourself than you probably care to know. They're full of questions, their own form of knowledge, creativity, vulnerability, "innocence," love, drama, all rolled into one large sponge of a person who soaks in absolutely everything around them. Middle school students are all of that... plus puberty! Oh the stories I could share...

Today I overheard a student say, "I can't wait until I'm 18!" While this is a normal statement made by all children it caught me today in a different place. Just recently I have learned to embrace my age and stage of life for what they are, instead of constantly wishing away the future and waiting for another time when things will be different. I wonder just how much of my childhood I actually spent wishing away the time!? As humans I wish we could fully embrace the present, where we are, and what God is doing in our lives. But then again... we're only human. I want my students, and God willing, one day my own children to spend their childhoods enjoying being kids. To fully embrace the freedom that comes with being a kid, learning new things, exploring, making mistakes and picking yourself back up. It's part of life... why wish it away for the days that require responsibility, bills, and the really hard part... self-awareness?!

After all... all of that practice of learning new things, making mistakes and picking yourself back up as a child only prepares you to do the exact same thing as an adult ;) Do we ever really grow up?? As a child I could be caught saying "I can't wait until I'm 18..." and now I'm saying... "28 is coming way too fast!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sitting... Waiting... Praying

Just recently an old friend of mine found out her husband has been diagnosed with cancer. They have two beautiful children and spend their lives surrounded by so much love from so many family members and friends. Life is a funny thing: one minute we think we have a grasp on what is going on around us and the second the storm has calmed and the sun begins to sneak a looksy at the world we find ourselves facing another struggle... another challenge... another celebration... another question. I'm not saying there isn't peace... there is! Most people just struggle to know where to find it... and understandably... our world is a very rough and cruel place...

In my 28 years of life I've faced more struggles than I wish anyone to ever face in 98 years of life. I've experienced human loss: loss of young children, loss of best friends, loss of family members, loss of innocence, poor poor poor decision making, and many different forms of abuse. My story, like most, if written down, would look like the first Honors English paper I ever submitted my freshman year of college... covered in red ink... might as well have written "Epic Fail" across the top.

But my story also comes with years of redemption, love, forgiveness, happiness, laughter, and more community than I could have ever prayed for. There's something about finding the love of our Savior that makes all of the trials we experience worthwhile. Don't get me wrong... I'm not thankful for the loss, pain, suffering, and scarring I've received over the years, and will continue to accumulate... but I am thankful for the grace, forgiveness, and love I've learned to both give and receive. None of this would have been possible without having rediscovered my relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ... and continuously waking up daily to renew that faith and will to live for Him.

On those days when I find myself waiting for the next bad thing to happen... because let's be honest... most of us do it... I remind myself that there is nothing that could come my way that I can't face. There is nothing that could come my way that our Lord would not protect me from and guide me through. I am where I am, doing what I'm doing, and experiencing what I'm experiencing for a reason. I might not always know what that reason is... but I find peace in our Lord knowing that no matter what, He will be glorified in the end. So to steal a line from Jack Johnson... well... modifying it a bit... right now I'm just going through life... "Sitting... waiting... praying."

I guess you can say my story, between my baptism at 9 and rededication at 25, was simply a rough draft... waiting for the final copy to be submitted. Truth is... my story still has the same words written on the pages as it did before, but now without the red markings...