“Giving Up What Was Never Ours”

I’m using the title of Chapter 8 in Lysa TerKeurst’s book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. Yes, I’ve been in and out of this book for a while. Do give me some credit for having read it twice (and some parts 4 and 5 times).

One of the things I love about re-reading a book (since I’m an English teacher, let me tell you that you should always re-read a book at least once) is seeing my notes in the margins. This is especially cool when it’s one of those books where I’ve recorded what God was doing in my life at the time. I love that God uses my very notes to give me that little pat on the back that is really a nudge much more than a pat of comfort.

Obviously, I took some time off during the summer. This is the one thing that I should NEVER take a vacation from – time with God. My relationship with God was less intimate over the summer. I can’t tell you how refreshing it has been to meet with Him again in my favorite chair in the quietness of the morning. I’m studying Beth Moore’s study over Psalms, and it’s beautiful…but back to Chapter 8.

Beside her last paragraph on page 128 which reads:
Likewise, God has special knowledge in our lives. He has blessings for the radically obedient that make the dime-store stuff we are so intent on holding on to pale in comparison. The question is, do we trust Him? Do we trust that He will bless us? Do we trust that His blessings are infinitely better than what He might first ask us to release? My comment in the column reads, “Ouch – to think that I may not trust God – the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE.”

It makes me think of over a year ago when a dear friend of mine was struggling with a move in her life. It seemed everywhere we went, messages kept repeating the idea of letting go, loosening a grip, giving it to God. I remember watching her struggle with the decision and feeling pain for her. I find myself in the same position.

My dearest teaching friends, the words of this blog are meant for you, too, but I ask you to keep the words to yourself and not for discussion in the hallways and classrooms…

Years ago, I don’t really remember when, I made a comment to God – almost a challenge – really, more of a dare. I don’t remember the context, but I clearly remember saying (and constantly repeating since then), “God, if you want me to stop teaching, You’re going to have to take the passion, the LOVE, away from me. It’s just ingrained in WHO I am. It’s part of my entity, part of ministry.”

Yeah.

I can’t believe I’m crying…but I AM! I guess confessions are hard, even on the computer. Especially when you really don’t want to admit it for a ZILLION reasons – the biggest of which is the idea that, “OUCH – I may not trust the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE!” Because, I kinda don’t.

My passion for teaching is gone. Wow, did I really just type those words…those words that have lingered on the tip of my tongue…been whispered via email as I cry out for prayer…been thrown out in the general direction of the husband to see his reaction?

I find myself explaining it away – which I am beginning to admit and believe is really my way of gripping onto it with the tightest of fists. Maybe it’s just the beginning of the year – the beginning is always tough as the students have to push the limits to find the boundaries; parents have to learn that I have a plan other than the downfall of their child’s GPA; maybe it’s hormonal; maybe it’s a test; maybe it’s…a million different things.

But, I think there is more to it…after all, I can give you a LOT of reasons to stick with it, ready?
#1. I am one of the very few to have a part time job in my district. I mean really, I work 4 hours a day.
#2. God has given me the ability to connect with students, to win them over when they hate me at first.
#3. I’ve worked HARD on this career – college, grad school, national certification, 11 years in the classroom, no telling how much money.
#4. Some of my dearest friends are those I have taught with and do teach with.
#5. I’m able to impact lives for Christ in the classroom without ever preaching or teaching – just by example.
#6. I can spy on my own kids one day (yours, too), and I can be a better advocate for them.
#7. My income is good security. DISCLAIMER: Jeremy is in no way paid in relation to the offering that comes in. NO relationship there. His salary is set by the Advisory Board. But, knowing we’re in a recession, in my mind (Jer has nothing to say about this one, it’s all my own nonsense), I can help give some relief if the church starts to falter because he could request to cut his salary to help out. DISCLAIMER #2: the church is in NO financial stress. This is all my very over active imagination.

The lesson from #7 that God is showing me is that I am so arrogant to think that I could save the church! Hello, the Creator of the Universe has a plan that is quite a bit larger than my half of a teacher salary (and I don’t even know how much that is, honestly).

So, my passion(s) – are they really mine, or do they belong to God? I know the answer is obvious, but can I give it up and hand it over willingly?

I don’t know. I’m doing anything, yet. I’m keeping my eyes on Him, and I’m vowing to follow Him. And, I’m teaching according to Colossians 3:23-24 until His plan is revealed.

(fellow teachers, know that I’m praying that His plan is that this is all just a test of surrender for me and that my passion will be restored and lit anew!)

Comments

  1. says

    ((hugs)) You prayed specifically for the job share – He gave that to you in His time. I'm sure you'll continue to pray and see what He has in store with this as well….

    My question to you is this, though…what other passion is He giving you in place of teaching?

  2. says

    Funny you ask Rebecca, that's my other struggle…it seems I'm being pulled to be "just" a wife and mom. It's a new one for me, so I'm fighting it as well. I mean, H goes to school next year, so I'd be home with no kids – weird idea to me.

  3. says

    the wonderful thing about God is that his sovereignty not only includes his plan for your life, but the timing of the plan. his mercy is new every day – and his strength is more obvious and evident when we are walking in our weakness. keep trusting as much as you can! and keep walking in obedience as much as possible! It's the best way to find His peace and joy (from my experience, anyway). love you, friend!

  4. says

    To one of the best teachers I know:
    I'm in tears and really don't know what to type, and kind of want to type all of this in private, but here goes. I've been sensing things have been difficult for you and I want you to know that you've been in my prayers since the the first week of in-service. I am specifically praying that you are able to just let go and let God reveal His plan. If your passion for the classroom is truly gone and you are no longer menat to be in this job, then I pray that you let go of that easily knowing that another chapter of your life is beginning. I'm kind of in the same place as you but in an opposite way, so reading this post really helps me come to grips with some strong emotions I have been having about our career. You see, teaching is never something you could ever fall into or fall out of without some type of emotional overhaul. I think it is mostly because teaching takes every single part of you, in good ways and in bad ways. So, I love you and I am praying for you, and I just can't wait to see God's plan work in your life as I find everything about your life intriguing and inspirational.

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