The Safest Place to Be

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“I will NEVER be a teacher!” I exclaimed in frustration halfway through my first semester of college.

“Never say ‘never,’” cautioned my friend in a knowing voice. He gazed at me over the rim of his glasses in his quintessentially professorial way and warned, “You don’t want to block yourself from a call God might have for you in the future and frustrate His will because of your stubbornness.”

I knew he was probably right, but I allowed the obstinate part of me to win the fight. A few hours later, I marched into the registrar’s office and dropped the education major that had become the bane of my existence in such a short time. However, after months of struggling with surrender, the Lord gave me the first glimpse into His plan for my life. The destination —  education.

Three years later, I find myself walking into a first-grade classroom. “Goooooood moooorniiiing teeeeacha!” recite my 25 students in the adorable, singsong way they have been taught. As I set down the materials I spent hours preparing, I take a deep breath before launching into my class for the day. The forty-minute period goes by in a blur as the carefully crafted lesson plan goes out the window and instinct takes over. When the class ends, a huge grin spans my face. I wipe the sweat from my forehead while organizing the materials we used during the class. They did really well today! I think to myself with a sigh of relief. Yesterday was a rough day for all of us. Their attention seemed to be on another planet, and I had to spend hours after class evaluating what I did wrong and how to make it better for today. But all that effort paid off!

It’s an intricate dance, and when you hit a flow during those forty minutes of class, the world melts away. There is nothing like that feeling. As a teacher, you must constantly be planning, evaluating, revising, and improvising based on the feedback you get from your students. It’s an intricate dance, and when you hit a flow during those forty minutes of class, the world melts away. There is nothing like that feeling. All these characteristics work incredibly well with my personality. I can’t help but chuckle and roll my eyes a bit at the irony. I spent so much time and energy fighting God’s plan, yet He knew that this was the perfect job for me.

My time here has brought me more joy and satisfaction than I had experienced in years. I love seeing the little lightbulb moments in my students’ eyes when they connect what we have learned with something in the real world or when I receive their spontaneous little hugs throughout the day. But above all, I love sharing with them a glimpse of the joy Christ has brought to my life. I now know more than ever before that being in the center of God’s purpose is the safest place to be, and if we surrender our carefully constructed plan and allow Him to lead, He will bring unsurpassable joy and meaning to our lives. So why not trust and give ourselves wholly to our loving Master? Doesn’t He know what’s best for our future?

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