So, a few months back, around Thanksgiving to be exact, I decided to take a teaching position I was offered.

I was hesitant. It was 6th grade, a tough group of kids, in a tough neighborhood, and I had a nice job as an aide in Zionsville. After much prayer and consideration, I decided to accept the job.I started observing and shadowing during the last week before Christmas break, and then was ready to roll come January 4th.

What an adventure it has been! Sometimes it is easier to remember than others (normally when I’m away from them), but they have become a part of my life. I cry over them. I put in 11-13 hour days for them. I go to basketball games and beauty pageants. I try to remember to pray for them. I try to love them. I agonize over how hard this is for me.  I fail. Over and over.

I lose my cool. I become irritated. I  may speak too sharply one minute and not sharply enough the next. I don’t smile as much as I want when around my kids. I don’t seem to shout “little Christ” enough to my kids. I seem to have lost some compassion. I seem to be changing into a different person, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it…

I’ve had kids suspended for writing sexually explicit stuff about another student and others that made me want to vomit and shower over and over again. I’ve had kids suspended for being in a fight (in which I was punched when breaking it up). I’ve had kids suspended for stealing from me and their classmates. I’ve had a kid basically expelled for poor behavior decisions all year. I’ve had a student expelled for hiding knives in the girls’ locker room. I’ve been cussed out, thrown at, and threatened.

I’ve cried. I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve sworn (and confessed). I’ve cried. I’ve thrown things. I’ve cried. I’ve had stress headaches. I’ve gone to bed earlier than I thought possible. I’ve cried out to God. I’ve thought about quitting, but that is not an option. I am there for the kids.

I’ve learned a lot about the depravity of man. My own and others. I’ve been humbled in ways I would never have thought possible (Take heed, lest you fall…) I’ve been reminded that unless we make an effort to be disciplined we won’t be.  I’ve learned I have a church body who loves me more than I deserve. I’ve learned to take things one day at time. I’m learning to let go of any perfectionist tendencies. I’ve learned that I need down time. I need time to read, to journal, to think, to process. I’ve learned I am going to have to create that time somehow.

Through it all, my Savior is the one who is getting me through. Through it all He will guide and lead me. When I physically and emotionally and spiritually don’t feel like I can take anymore, he provides… a friend to listen, a snow day, someone to listen while I cry, people to pray, mental and spiritual health days… He is Jehovah Jireh. He is a holy and almighty God.

Through it all, I know that at the end of the day, at the end of the school year He is still with me. No matter what else is going on outside of school and with school, it will all be like a blink of an eye in the scheme of eternity. It will be over and He will remain ever constant and ever true.