Encouragement is really something.
Another school year ends today. Another set of students heading out of my class and off to find themselves in high school. I’m usually excited about the ending of a school year, but I found myself yesterday bemoaning the fact that I just didn’t feel ready for the year to end. Sure, I have all of my paperwork finished and my room is packed up. I’m looking forward to a summer of a few new things as well. What really bothered me was that I wish that I had more time to spend with the students. I wish that I had more time to make the kind of difference that I was hellbent on making at the beginning of the year. More time to pull kids into lunches so that we can talk more. More lectures about behaviors. Cause it just didn’t feel like I had enough time for everything that needed to be said. And I was sad.
I was reminded by my wife last night that there will be years like this. That there will be years that I will end the year feeling like I’ve done nothing positive at all. This is one of those years when I wish that I had time back to really make a difference.
Another coworker told me this morning that sometimes we will never see the results of all of our effort and screaming. Which reminds me of the verses in the Bible where God tells us that we may plant the seed, but He waters them and provides the sunlight for them to grow and bear fruit in due season. So I take comfort in the fact that for even the hardest nuts in my class this year, nothing I’ve done is in vain. I may not see any change from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. God knows what seeds were planted in which students. I just have to trust that they will take root, and God will do some amazing things in them as they mature.
And then there are the reminders that sometimes things do go right. I’ve kept every note from every student over the past 4 years. In times like this, when my hope is tested, I have those words to reflect on and know God can still accomplish something through me, even when I can’t see it with my own eyes.
I love my job. I love how I get to minister through the most random of things. I love how I get to love on kids who don’t know the Father’s love. And as another year closes out, I thank God that these students are in His heart, and in His hands.