I don’t know about you and where you are on your faith journey, but God simply amazes me when He uses others to speak about specific circumstances in my life. Such was the case the other morning as I sat in the dental chair at 7:30 a.m for a cleaning.
First, you must know that my verbal abilities don’t boot up until I’ve been moving around for about 30 minutes. I had woken up at 7 and was at the office within 30 minutes.
Second, you must know that the last two weeks have been extremely trying ones in my current teaching position. It’s a good thing I know God never forsakes me.
Third, you should know that my hygienist Minda is a strong believer and that I always feel refreshed (and not just from clean teeth!) after I’ve been in her chair.
OK, so here I am watching The Today Show on a TV secured in the ceiling while the chair is reclined. I always hope that whomever installed it was careful to do a quality job because it surely would hurt to be hit in the head by a TV falling from the ceiling.
But back to the story.
Minda is updating me on her plans to finish her bachelor’s degree and then go to dental school within the next couple years. I’m glad she gave me some notice. I am pretty attached to her since she’s done my teeth for 100 years!
So she talks about her life’s calling – her platform – and knows assuredly that being a hygienist is on the road toward it.
I tell her, between swallows and apparatus darting in and out of my mouth that I know for certain that teaching creative writing in the middle school classroom is where God wants me. I’ve had too many confirmations to think I simply landed there because I’m such a great writer!
Then she stops, looks at me and says, “What grades do you teach?”
“All three,” I slurpily respond. “6th, 7th and 8th.”
“Man,” she replies. “Don’t take any crap [from them behaviorally]. I remember my 2nd grade teacher. She was the toughest ever; I knew she cared about us but we knew she meant business. And to this day when I see her, she remembers every student.”
OK, so now God really has my attention because I had not told her that my recent struggle had been with understanding how to use the tools I have for classroom management so they’re effective without OVERusing them so that students don’t care – especially after being corrected. And, let me remind you, I have wonderful students.
Behavior issues run in what seem like cycles and there’s always a student willing to challenge if you mean business, really care without being “momlike” and want to teach them.
“It’s hard,” is all I can manage to respond.
So Minda goes on to tell me exactly what I need to hear based on Scripture and providing encouragement that’s more than a “rah rah you can do it” type of thing.
For the first time in my life, I almost cry in the chair and not from pain but from relief.
“There’s hope,” I say.
“You always have hope,” she says. “And even if you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing, win an Academy Award for looking like you know what you’re doing.”
After she cleaned me up I gave her the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version of my recent struggles.
Then I headed to my mission field and platform – school.
Not only did I leave the office with a clean mouth that felt great, I left with a dose of hope.
Later that morning, I began my Academy Award winning performance as my students and I learned about sequential writing.
Just wondering: How has God used people or circumstances in your life to confirm what He has told YOU in Scripture? Remembering these times bolster faith when times get tough.