Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Transitions...and sin...yeah, mostly sin.

 This week I am NOT going back to school for teacher's prep-week.  I'm not going to lie, after 6 years, it feels a little strange. Don't get me wrong, I had a HELLACIOUS (<- word? not sure), year last year and I'm in no rush to have a repeat.  But, a big part of me grieves the experience that I thought I'd be having right now.  That being said, God truly does work in mysterious ways.  Even though it's what Eric and I had always spoken about, I'm not sure that I would have had the guts to walk away from my dream job and raise a family if it hadn't ceased to be my dream job.

I miss my kiddos, I miss summer running with my cross country team (no, I really do!).

{Last year our high school ladies team took second place at the state meet! We were small, but mighty!}

I miss the first day when all the kids come in so excited and the year is brand new.  I miss buying school supplies. I miss getting to know all of the little humans that populated the seats in my room.

But more than all that, there's something deeper at play.  I miss who I was as a teacher. I know that as a Christian, I ought not to find my identity in my career, my spouse, my kids, my hobbies, ANYTHING but the Lord... But that kind of sin sneaks in really quietly.  It slips under the doorways that you guard and into the thoughts you try to push away.  And without realizing it, I have found that teaching and having a career (the kind for which you go to college and earn a degree), had become the majority of who I was, and what I liked about myself.

And now it's gone.

Funny that you often only see your sin when you're looking back upon it (insert cliche about hindsight here). I could market this whole situation to you as me just "making the transition to full-time motherhood."  And I won't lie, it's quite a process.  But for me, I have to call it what it really is, a sin, a sin of pride.  I am proud of what I did as a teacher, I am proud of what I accomplished, and if that was all, it would be OK.  But mostly I'm proud of myself as a teacher.  I took pride in my self-sufficiency and how good I was at it (and no deprecation here, I was pretty good at it). I took pride in my constant improvements, and even how I looked doing it. That's the parts that I'm missing, the parts that should have never been.

Sin, as it always does, steals your joy.  Do I look back on the past school years and fondly reminisce about the great experiences I had?  For the most part, no. I just miss and mope about the lack of that season in my life at this time.  I'll eventually get over this, and be able to look back fondly, that I am certain of; the Lord always makes a way for forgiveness.

But for now, as I repent of my pride and ask God to tear those parts of me away and replace them with more of him, it hurts.  I lie awake at night (hello, pregnancy insomnia!), and think about what my purpose is.  How many times can I clean my house?  And why is laundry NEVER DONE?! It's tempting to wallow and wish that things were different.  It's tempting to minimize the job I am about to take over: mother to a baby boy. This I KNOW is not from God, and needs stripping away immediately.

As I move forward, and closer and closer to the birth of our son, I know God will keep up the good work he started in me.  Sometimes, though, I wish it didn't hurt so much.  I've started collecting children's books for Andrew, and one of my favorites so far is called "You Are Special," by Max Lucado.

It's the story of a world of little wooden people who give one another stickers for their achievements, gold for good things, grey for bad things.  One particular wooden boy, Punchinello, is covered in grey dots and very discouraged.  He meets a girl who has no stickers whatsoever and she tells him she stays like this because she daily visits the woodworker, Eli who made them.  Punchinello decides to go and see the woodworker as well, and the following are the last two pages of the book (spoiler alert, haha!)...

"Every day I've been hoping you'd come," Eli explained.

"I came because I met someone who had no marks," said Punchinello, "She told me about you. Why don't the stickers stay on her?"

The maker spoke softly, "Because she has decided that what I think is more important than what they think.  The stickers really only stick if you let them. They only stick if they matter to you. The more you trust my love, the less you care about their stickers."

"I'm not sure I understand," questioned Punchinello.

Eli smiled, "You will, but it will take time.  You've have a lot of marks.  For now, just come to see me every day, and let me remind you how much I care. Remember," Eli said as Punchinello walked out the door, "you are special just because I made you. And I don't make mistakes."

Punchinello didn't stop, but in his heart he thought, "I think he really means it." And when he did, a single grey dot fell to the ground. 

I pray that as I go along daily that God will keep removing my dots, and reminding me that he doesn't make mistakes.  Thanks for listening in to the whirlwind inside my head, maybe you can identify with this, or maybe not.  If you can, come along with me to visit the maker every day.  Someday we will be dot-free. =)

1 comment:

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