Sunday, October 15, 2017

I'm learning how to trust You more

hopefully, by now anyone reading this knows that I'm a teacher. And, as He has many times before, lately God has been using my students to convict and speak to me. I have this one fifth grader, we'll call her "Lucy" (that is far from her name, which is kinda fun). Lucy, I've come to find out, is rarely pleased with what is given to her. Not that she's ungrateful, it's just a "the grass is greener over there" scenario EVERY TIME she comes in my room. If we are doing group work, she wants to work independently. If we are working independently, she wants to be in a group. If we are learning a new song, she wants to go back to an old familiar one, and if we are reviewing an old song she wants a new, exciting one.
Lately she has been fixated on whether we sit on chairs or the carpet. As a third-year elementary music teacher, I feel like I'm finally finding my sweet spot of when to have students sit in chairs and when to sit on the carpet, what grades do best in what type of seating, etc. Sounds weird, but it takes a long time to figure your students out (turns out humans are complicated, go figure). Anyway, Lucy begs me, every time she enters the room, to sit on the carpet when others are sitting on chairs or vice versa. I have gotten to a point where, when she asks me "Miss Stovall, can I please sit on the carpet?", I just tell her: "Please trust my judgment."

Here's why:
I know Lucy is easily distracted, tends to be disengaged, and as I said she's rarely pleased with what is given to her. I've let her sit separately from the group a few times to test it out, and EVERY time she either disengages from class and is in her own world the whole time, or gets in trouble for distracting other students/talking during instruction. What I've found is that Lucy does best when she sits in the middle of a row of students, doing exactly the same thing everyone else is doing.
And she hates that. She hates having to go along with everyone else (psychologists, help me out here, is it just nonconformity?).
But in order to keep her from getting herself in trouble, to help her better understand my instruction, and to keep the students around her engaged, I have to make Lucy unhappy every Tuesday. She shows up at my door and asks hopefully to sit away from the group. And I tell her, every Tuesday, "Please just trust my judgment."
She doesn't like that answer. Finally this week, she asked me, "What does that mean?" I tried to explain to her that I'm doing what is best for her, even though she doesn't like it.

Are you starting to see where I'm going with this?

A lot of times I get road rage. The one thing that really bugs me is when the car in front of me is going really slowly and I can't get around them, especially if we are in the left lane. And somehow every time I get frustrated by it, something happens farther along down the road that makes me grateful for that slow car- usually a state trooper sitting with his radar gun, occasionally a crazy driver on the road that makes me realize if that slow car hadn't been in front of me, I might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and been involved in an accident.
Every time, I hear that little, "See?" whisper from God.
"See, don't I know what's best?"

He's doing for me, in the big and little things, what I have to do for my students many times each day- make them unhappy so I can do what's best for them, because I can see it and they can't.
This season of life is one that I'm finding myself trying to just get over with. I want to rush past it and get on with the next, more exciting things. Get past the job that is exhausting and toilsome and has so little physical reward. Get past the dating-for-three-and-a-half-years-and-watching-everyone-else-get-married. Get past the renting a house and having to deal with a landlord that never really fixes anything. Get past the never cooking and always eating unhealthily because I'm so out of energy at the end of the day. Get past the not really feeling plugged into my church because I'm in that weird limbo of not-college-not-singles-not-married.
These things and many others fill my mind each day and make me want to rush forward to what must be greener grass on the other side. Rush forward from behind this slow phase so that I can accelerate down the left lane and enjoy the view.

He may be teaching me to be more engaged and invested in the present, He may be protecting me from trouble or future hurt, He may be simply teaching me to trust. I don't know the purpose. I'm not going to say I don't ask daily "WHY?" because a lot of days, I do. I'm not sure why this season feels so slow and tedious, and I don't know when it will stop feeling this way. But I am beginning to trust His judgment. I am beginning to be a little bit better of a student of His, and trying to accept that He has a wonderful reason why He's leading me this way. If I love my sweet, constantly displeased fifth grader so much, how much more so does God love me and love to do what is good for me and what brings good to me and glory to Him?

If you are with me trying to rev down the left lane and feeling stuck behind the slow car, let's thank God for providing for us in ways we don't see. Let's thank Him for caring enough to make us slow down, stay where we are, and be involved in where we are each day.

"how sweet it is to trust You, Lord
I'm learning how to trust You more.
Oh, I will trust in the name of the Lord my God." -Christy Nockels- Leaning on You, Jesus

these thoughts brought to you by the following songs:
This We Know by Vertical Church
Leaning on You, Jesus by Christy Nockels
Jesus, Rock of Ages by Christy Nockels
You Don't Miss a Thing by Amanda Cook
Unpredictable by Francesca Battistelli
King of My Heart by John Mark & Sarah McMillan, sung by Bethel

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