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. 

Give Me Your Dreams

The past few weeks God has been kind of dealing with me about something that I do all the time, which is dream. I dream all the time about what I want to do in my life, aside from my profession as a teacher. There’s so many things that I want to accomplish, and so many things that I want to see happen in my life, and while dreaming isn’t necessarily a bad thing to do, God has been really dealing with me about this and just wanting me to give Him my dreams, and in return, He will give me His dreams for my future.

This is a BIG deal for me. As I’ve already said in previous postings, I am a planner. I love to plan things and my family, who aren’t planners at all, think I’m a big weirdo for loving to plan things, which I think they’re all weirdos for not planning anything…Back to my point though…

I find it to be really hard to let go of these dreams that I have. Some of them I’ve carried with me since high school, others I’ve had since college, and He’s just been reminding me a lot lately that He can do so much more than I ever could. His plan for me is much greater and better than I can even begin to know or understand.

I was blessed to be involved in praise and worship teams in high school and college. I’ve always loved to sing ever since I was a little girl. At the house I grew up in, we had a swing set in our back yard at the bottom of this hill, and it was located close to our next door neighbor’s home. When I would go and play on the swings, I would always sing, and I guess my neighbors were outside sitting on their deck one day when I was playing and singing, because when I was a teenager, she had said something to me about how she always loved to hear me sing while I was playing as a kid. That kind of surprised me, because I was a really shy kid, and I didn’t like to sing when anyone was around.

Then in high school, I had the opportunity to join my church’s praise and worship team, and I did that through 2 years of college as well. During that time, I would go and work various teen and kids camps every summer, and one of the speakers that had come a couple of times during these camps I would work, his wife was a praise and worship leader, and she would write and perform her own songs. I was really inspired by her, and I ended up buying a lot of her music, and she has this song that she wrote. In the song she says, “Give me Your dreams. Open my eyes so I can see through eyes of faith. Your reality is much greater than me. Oh, help me to believe.”

The song is basically about asking God to help you to believe in what He wants and believes for your life. It’s actually still one of my favorite worship songs to sing, but I love how the song really talks about giving God everything we have, including our dreams, because He can take those and give us back something much greater than we can even know.

I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in the future. I’m hopeful that I’ll have my own classroom soon (I’m still working on this), and hopefully one day I’ll be able to be a wife and a mother, but all of those are just examples of dreams that I have that I’m just giving to God, and while it’s really difficult for me to give God these dreams that I have, in exchange He’s going to give me something even better. I’m not saying that He’s not going to give me any of those things, but what I am saying is that by giving God my dreams of having my own classroom and being a wife and a mom someday, maybe He’ll give me an even better teaching opportunity than I could ever dream up. He’ll give me a future husband that’s even more amazing than I could ever imagine myself.

I don’t know if maybe you’re reading this and you struggle with surrendering to God your dreams and plans for the future. Maybe you’re just like me and you have a hard time doing this because you’re a planner too, or maybe you just have trouble turning everything over. I honestly get it. I still struggle with this, but eventually we have to come to a point where we understand that whatever we give to God, He’s going to bless that and He’s going to make it even better than we can even begin to fathom. We just have to trust Him and know that our dreams are in good hands.dream

It’s Not An Easy Choice

So today I was organizing some of my school stuff and I came across my bachelors degree diploma. As I was looking at it, I was remembering everything I had to go through in order to get that degree. There were a lot of people that told me it wouldn’t happen, but through it all I never gave up, and I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. There’s much more to the story than what I’m sharing right now, but here’s my point..

Looking at that diploma, the very human side of me wants to go up to the same people who said I would never graduate and hold up that diploma and say, “IN YOUR FACE!” Doing that, however wouldn’t accomplish anything. So, instead of doing that, I’m going to choose to be a good teacher. I’m going to choose to ENCOURAGE instead of discourage. I’m going to choose to believe in my students, that no matter what, they can accomplish whatever goal they set out to do, no matter how hard or simple it may be.

That is how I’m choosing to live my life. Instead of choosing revenge or to get angry, I’m choosing to use that as motivation to not be that person that makes negative comments to others. I’m choosing to forgive and show kindness, because even though those people don’t deserve my forgiveness or my kindness, I’m choosing to do it anyway. I, in no way, shape, or form, deserve God’s kindness or forgiveness, but He gives it to me freely anyway, despite my sins or what I’ve done in the past. I could never earn it, but He chooses to give it to me anyway.

It’s not an easy choice to choose to be kind or to forgive sometimes. It can be really hard to do. Like I said, the very human (and somewhat competitive) side of me wanted to go up to every single person and show them that they were wrong, but when I asked God to come into my heart, He not only did that, but He began to transform my heart and my life to look more like Him. Galatians‬ ‭2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” That’s what happens when we truly lay down our own hearts and selfish desires and we choose to be more like Christ.