Liberation and Purpose

There’s this song I used to listen to in high school.

The chorus goes, “Everybody scream your heart out.”

Essentially, it is the anthem to just let go.  (Listen to full song here)

There’s a beauty in letting go, isn’t there?

Letting go of the doubt, insecurities, sadness, bitterness, anger, frustration, feelings.

It’s like a weight is lifted off your shoulders.  I remember hearing this and singing it as loud as possible because even then, I wanted to let go.

I wanted to let go of the expectations and standards that had confined me for so long.

Now, I stand on the precipice of the same song because it’s time to let go.  It’s time to scream my heart out.  It’s time to find me again.

Me.

Simple word.  BIG issues.

Finding yourself even at the best times in life is difficult.  Finding yourself after a breakup is refreshing but also an obstacle course.

I am in the process of redefining me.  It’s different.  Hard.  Special.  Weird.

So me as a teacher.  Who is that?  What purpose do I serve by being a teacher?

I think that everywhere you teach, it’s a different atmosphere.  A different purpose.  When I was at my first school, my purpose was clear.  I was a constant figure for them.  I never wavered.  I made history fun for them.

Now, I find it harder because the public school system doesn’t seem to allow for that type of bond with your students.  Do I love my students?  For the most part.  Do they drive me crazy?  Almost always.

I think that with all the craziness that is public education, I think the most important thing for us as teachers to realize is that consistency and discipline are necessary.  And later on, these students will realize why we were hard on them.  Why we pushed them further than they thought they could.

You have a purpose as a teacher.  God did not call you to be something you weren’t meant to be.  I know that, even as I prepare to leave public school for a little while.  I know my time was well spent.  I don’t regret it.

Find your purpose.  Find yourself.  There’s only one you.  Be it.

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Love Can Make You Do Crazy Things

I came across this video while I was watching a favorite video of mine by the same person about women being empowered.  You can watch it here.

Let me just say…wow.

It talks about four different stories in the Bible that love is at the center.

Jacob who works for 7 years to get to marry Rachel, only to be given Leah instead.  So he worked another 7 years so he could have the woman he loves.  That is pursuing at its finest.

I mean, in my short dating experience, most guys give up at the first sign of work.  It’s all fine and dandy the first few dates, then they stop opening the door for you and think that paying half of the dinner is fine.  I mean….really?

But God gives us an image of working hard for what you want.  Jacob wanted Rachel.  He loved her desperately.  So he worked his tail off so he could have the honor of being called her husband.

Hosea and Gomer.  The most unlikely pair in my opinion, but I can definitely relate to Gomer.  Hosea was a prophet and God gave him the calling to marry the prostitute Gomer.  (Side note: I don’t relate to Gomer for that reason)  Hosea married Gomer and loved her fiercely, but she kept running away.  She kept giving pieces of herself away, but Hosea kept loving her.

That is love.  I can totally relate to running away from something great.  Fear makes us do that.  We fear good things because we start to believe that good things don’t happen to us.

It’s not a comfortable way of thinking, but I know I’m not the only one.  I am one of millions who think that way.

Hosea’s love for Gomer is a love that is comparable to God’s love for us.  We run away when things get hard.  We give up so easily for something that is so wonderful.

And the truth is, that’s where I am right now.

I have struggled immensely with seeing myself the way God sees me.  Which causes me to act like Gomer and run away to hide in my sin and shame.

Not okay…

The video next talks about Solomon and his beloved.  When you read it as an adult and break down what Solomon says in the Bible….it can be embarrassing.  But it’s beautiful.

He loved his beloved so much that he had to write about it.  He had to shout it to everyone that his love surpassed everything.

His reaction is what ours as believers should be.  His love is powerful, just as God’s love for us is.  We should want to declare it until we are blue in the face.

What a beautiful image of love.

Finally, the video talks about the church being the Bride of Christ.  We are.  We are the Bride of Christ.  And we should live that way.  Be proud of our status.  Declare the Word of the Lord wherever we go.

But we don’t.

We struggle.  We fight.  We run.  We hide.

We are not proud in our love and faith, but scared to be seen as different.  To not be liked.

This video spoke volumes to me.  It made me remember how loved I am, and the kind of love that I deserve by the one who God has created for me.  What a beautiful sight.

And love….love can make you do crazy things.

Little Do You Know

“Little do you know I’m trying to pick myself up, piece by piece.”

True story.

I remember sitting listening to my friends talk about their breakups and their heartbreaks and I thought, man I could never survive that.

Well, I definitely have a flair for the dramatics.  Even though it is hard, I am surviving.

Throwing myself into teaching helps.  Some nights the ache is so powerful that I forget to breathe.  To keep moving forward.

One step at a time.

That’s all it is, after all.

So back to the subject of this blog, teaching.

There is a lot to be said about teaching, especially a class for the low performing readers.  They lose an elective people.  They come in my classroom door already on guard.

So to keep them from hating us even more, we decided to give them something they desperately need.

Open gym.

Those two words to middle schoolers are like Nirvana.  Their eyes got wide, their smiles spread, and the adrenaline in their body physically manifested itself.

We are now not the ones writing referrals, the ones fighting them to learn, the ones that are exposing their weaknesses.  We are the coolest teachers in the world.

And though being “cool” is not the goal, isn’t that relationship important?  Isn’t that what we are striving for everyday?  Let me tell you, this is working.

I’m hearing them say thank you.  Middle school boys don’t say that very often.

Teaching is so much more than the classroom….so much more.