When You Walk Through Deep Waters

I know I haven’t posted in a while, mostly because I’ve been really busy with teaching and life in general, and while I had thought about posting many times in the past few months, I honestly didn’t know what to write about. There’s been so much happening in my life, and the more I thought about what my new post would be about, the more I couldn’t get this school year out of my head, so I decided why not write about it?

This was my first year that I landed a legit teaching job, and it wasn’t the easiest year. When I got into teaching I knew it would be hard work, and I’m okay with hard work. I’ve never been one to shy away from that, but this year was just nothing I ever expected I would have to go though…

My year started out with a very difficult parent, who was trying to get another student, removed from the school. That parent eventually removed their student from my classroom and school district, but to this day, that parent is still demanding things that they are not entitled to. Then I had another student who had a very violent and horrific event happen to them, and that student ended up losing half of their family members to that violet and horrific act, and my student got injured and almost didn’t survive. Shortly after that happened, I was confronted with a situation where one of the teachers I work very closely with had gone behind my back and said some things to administration about me that were completely untrue and unfounded, and I am still trying to pick up the pieces from that confrontation.

It left me with questions like, “Do I really want to teach?” and “When did teaching become more about popularity and politics than about the kids and being a good teacher?” I ultimately decided to leave my teaching position after this school year, because I cannot work in a school where other teachers have the power to ruin your reputation simply because they do not care for you as a person, and cannot be professionals.

I still plan on teaching next school year. I don’t know where I will be teaching yet or what grade I will be teaching, but I’m choosing to trust in God and I know that He has a better school for me to teach in next year. It’s been hard to trust God in this, mostly because I had to step out in faith and leave my current job for a job I don’t even have yet, but there’s a particular scripture verse that has kind of been my theme for this past school year. It’s found in Isaiah 43:1-3a.

“But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go though deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. “”

In this scripture God is talking to Israel, but I love what God is telling Israel in this scripture. I think everyone can relate to being afraid in this life, and this is just a reminder to Israel and to us of how much God loves us and that He is with us always, even in deep waters, and through rivers of difficulty, or even when we walk through the fire of oppression.

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You Won’t Sink

My last post I wrote about that God has been prompting me to give Him my dreams, and in exchange He will refine them and give me even better dreams because they’re His dreams for me. A few days ago I felt the Lord prompting me to step out of my comfort zone and into a place I have never been before, literally. I have been feeling like He wants me to move to a place that’s not Missouri. This is a really big deal for me because I’ve only ever lived in Missouri. It’s where I was born, it’s where my family is, but if this is part of God’s plan for my life, then I’m not going to question Him, but trust that He’s going to begin to put the pieces together for me. 

A few months back, I was reading and studying the book of Ruth, and that is the story that God brought to my mind and heart when I felt He was leading me to step out into this new adventure. Ruth left the only home she had ever known to go to a place she had not ever been before. It would have been really easy for her to listen to her mother-in-law and go back to her family, but she chose to go anyway. I’m sure she felt scared and unsure of what she had just gotten herself into. I’m sure there were times when she questioned her choice to go, but she never turned back, she continued on her journey and God blessed her for it.

I do not consider myself in any way to be a modern day Ruth. She is one of my biggest heros in the Bible, and I don’t think I can ever be as amazing as her, but what I can do is choose to obey God and go where He leads me. I may not have all the answers yet, but I trust God with everything I have and everything I am. 

I’m going to be taking this giant leap of faith, and I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen, but no matter what, I know that it’s going to be good, because God has nothing but good things for me. He wants to lead me where He wants me to be, and He wants that for you too. You just have to trust Him as He leads you across the waters, like Peter. 

In Matthew 14, when Peter started to doubt, he started to sink, but Jesus took his hand and pulled him up out of the water. I’ve often wondered if maybe Jesus thought to himself, “Peter, if you would only keep your eyes on Me, I won’t ever let you sink.” I think that’s what He’s telling all of us. If we would only keep our eyes on Him and not worry or get scared by the things going on around us, He won’t ever let us sink. We might get a little wet, but we won’t ever sink. 

Flood

It’s currently 1:00 in the morning, and I just got done helping my sister pack and move things out of her condo because just a few hours ago we were told that we had to evacuate because we’ve had so much rain the past week that the nearby rivers and creeks are rising rapidly and there’s a chance that her condo will be flooded. In all honesty, we’ve never really had to deal with flooding before. I grew up in the country, and we always lived on a hill, so I’m not used to preparing for anything like this. I’m reminded though, of the story of Noah in the Bible.

God told Noah that He was going to flood the Earth and to build a boat for his family and the animals. I’m sure that Noah was made fun of and people probably treated him like he was crazy or a big weirdo, but instead of letting the opinions of others get to him, he chose to listen to God. He continued to build the boat exactly the way that God told him to.

How many times have we let what others think of us hinder us from listening to God? I can tell you that for a really long time I really cared about what people thought of me. I was so focused on pleasing people that I lost my focus on God and that the most important opinion of me is God’s. In Galatians chapter 1 verse 10 Paul writes, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Whenever I have trouble remembering that other people’s opinion of me doesn’t matter as much as God’s opinion of me, I read this verse, because it reminds me that I’m just one person. I’m not going to be able to please everyone or make everyone like me. There is only one person that I can do my very best to please, which is God.

Maybe you’re like I used to be, and let’s just be honest here, like I can still sometimes be. Maybe you struggle with worrying about what other people think of you, but I want to challenge you to really think about what Paul wrote to us about how it’s not our job to please the people around us or care about what they think of us. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be kind or caring with each other, but it’s when we start to put our focus on other’s opinions and trying to please them instead of God that will get us into trouble. So, instead of trying to please everyone else or worrying about what others think about us, let’s put our focus back on God and do our very best to please Him.

**While this post is mainly about not pleasing others and instead pleasing God, I wanted to say that my sister and I made it out of her condo before all of the roads closed. It took us 2 hours to make it to my house, which is normally a 45 minute drive, but we’re thankful that we were able to make it out safe. The river is supposed to crest tomorrow, so it’s just a waiting game right now. The picture below is the condo. It was taken today, and we’re praying and believing that the water will not make it through the sandbag wall.