Are You Really Listening?

I know I have not really been listening.

All week I have been miserable. Struggling to get out of bed, struggling to sleep. Struggling to get through the day, struggling to love all my kids. Here is a brief overview of my week. In my 9th grade Bible classes I had girls trying to curl their hair during class, a student (whom I thought at the time) flipped me off, and yet another student flip off a classmate. My 6th graders broke a couple of things in my room, they continue to touch ALL of my stuff. I have had to had the same conversations with them about respect more than once. I gave them one homework assignment all week and over HALF the class did not do it! I internet was out all week until Thursday. Now our living room light just mysteriously does not work. The tension among the American teachers about various things is growing by the day. And lastly, it is fall back home. I was warned about this. People are starting to wear scarves and sweatshirts. It is football season, and I cannot partake in that. It is time for bonfires, smores, and hotdogs. But yet here I am sweating every day.

I am unfortunately reaching that point where little things drive me nuts. Facebook statuses that friends post, snapchat pictures I get, etc. They have all become reminders that I am missing out on a life I love.

Everything came crashing down this morning. I was home alone and the internet was not working, AGAIN. My iPod would not turn on after being off for at least 15 hours. So to kill some time I was cleaning off my computer. I was going through old videos and started watching videos from a conference I had gone to in 2013.

This is the exact song I was listening to. Then as plain as day I heard these words, “Daughter, when are you going to stop trying to do this on your own?” My first thought was, shoot I am really losing my mind now!
Then I realized: GOD IS THE ONLY REASON I AM HERE, AND I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DO THIS WITHOUT HIS HELP. How could I be so stupid, so prideful? Those of you who know me, know that I am a strong willed and independent woman. Needing to rely on anyone (let alone God) is something that does not come easy to me. It is something I fight in every season of my life. But what good will me being here do unless I allow Him to direct my every decision? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. That is the absolute truth.

There were some great things that happened this week however:

  1. One of my 8th Grade Bible students (who just joined the bilingual school this year) asked me to teach him how to pray in English! HOW COOL IS THAT?!
  2. On Teacher’s Day (Thursday) I was greeted with many kind words, hugs, and high fives by not only my students but students I do not even teach!
  3. A 9th Grader from my Bible class came in to me after school one day and handed me a note. And her exact words were, “Hello miss I don’t understand lot english because this year is my first year in the school, but I love you class because I love God too. You are a beautiful Princess of God, you are a good teacher. I love you. God bless you.” This came to me after I had spent the entire class period grilling them about respect and how lucky we all were to be alive and how they should not take any of that for granted.
  4. 99% of my 6th Graders FINALLY got rounding! (Yes that sounds silly, but we’ve been working on it for TWO WEEKS)
  5. My week was ended with receiving a package from a dear friend whom I consider a mentor. And receiving letters from my mother, my nieces, my grandparents in Texas and one of my “other” mothers! So I have now started a card wall in my bedroom. I hope to fill it up by the end of this year!

Here is the truth. I do not always want to listen to God because I am afraid of what might be said. Recently, in fact, I have been deliberately ignoring God because I am afraid that He is going to call me to come back here after a year. I have this war in my heart and mind filled with tears and conviction. These kids NEED consistency, and I get that. I see it in their struggle with authority. I see it in their struggle with love and respect. To them we are just the American teachers who will most likely come and go after a year. I am DEEPLY afraid friends, that me being convicted of that truth is going to lead to God calling me to be here for more than one year. To be 100% honest, I do not want to stay for more than one year! I committed to a year and I feel like that is all I can commit to. I am questioning if/why God would call me to stay. Why would He want me to be miserable again? Why would He ask me to do something I obviously do not want to do? Is He really even asking me to stay or am I just psyching myself out?

Here is how I see my life going. I finish out my year here. I move back to Iowa to be with those I love. I fall in love, get married and stay close to my family. But what if God has different plans? As for the answer to that question I do not know, and I do not think I am ready to find out. I am scared.

Prayer Requests:

  1. That my students and I continue to grow in our relationships.
  2.  For peace and wisdom for myself.
  3. That my school would get their poop in a group. (That whole explanation could be an entire blog post in itself, so if you would like to know more ask me!)
  4. That the tension among teachers would get worked out.
  5. That we would all continue to press on toward the goal.
  6. I feel very selfish saying this but…any and all prayers for me about anything. Ask God how to pray for me, I think at this point He knows what prayers I need better than I know.
  7. Also, that we would get paid. We were supposed to be paid on Monday but did not receive money, and we are all running out quickly. (This ties in with number 3.)
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