A Word for My Dear Teacher Friends

It never fails that I wake up with a song on my heart. Whether it is an inspiring hymn, like “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, or a catchy melody I can never manage to escape, like the theme song of “Saved by the Bell” or Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe”.

Call it a gift or a curse, but songs have always accompanied the dawning of a new day for me, with or without an alarm.

This morning was different though. Instead of a song, I woke up with a scripture that I memorized many years ago as a child. It’s funny how certain things come to you just when you need it….but maybe I’m not the only one who needs it this morning.

So here is…

Philippians 4:6-7:

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

“….and the peace of God….which surpasses ALL understanding…”

These words are clear and definitive. It covers all circumstances and situations. There is no doubt that this scripture is for any and everyone. But I have a specific word for other teachers that feel a little anxious this morning and have a difficult decision to make in regards to their careers.

My Dear Teacher Friends (and school staff)…

Some understand our anxiety about “face to face” instruction. Others do not. Some will understand when we have to make hard choices based on our personal health and the safety of our families. Others will not.

Some will understand that this year, we were on the Spring Break from HELL and not a summer vacation. Some will not.

Some will understand that your heart is with every child in the Zoom box and you genuinely wish to connect with them. But you also know that if they were in the desks in front of you, you may not see or hug your Mom or Dad again for a long while.

Some will even understand that when you recite Philippians 4:6-7, you chuckle a bit at the thought that ‘it was easy for Paul to say because he was not an educator in the year 2020’. Some will not understand that humor at all.

Maybe you understand it.

Perhaps you don’t.

BUT…

Understand that EVERY prayer you have said since you could speak, and every song you have sung in your heart, and every scripture you have memorized was for THIS moment in time. Some of you will understand this and stand firm on it. Some of you will not.

“….and the peace of God….which surpasses ….beatsoutshinestopsexceeds… ALL understanding…”, including your own.

Do what is best for you and your family – whatever that decision is.

I was given some sound advice many years ago from a veteran teacher when I faced a difficult decision between an important event for my daughter and an important event for my school. She said, “Traci, they (the school system) will have a replacement for you before the end of the day if you dropped dead today – your daughter won’t.” Her few words left a vivid impression on me.

I’m not sure if anyone else’s Facebook timelines are gradually becoming filled with condolences, RIPs, and losses. My concern is that I will only see more before I see less again.

I choose to take Philippians 4:6-7 with me today as I go face to face and for the next few months. I will not honor the meddling anxieties that disturb my nights. God knows my heart and my prayers, and I am thankful for what I have right now – my health, my family, and my sanity. I will trust him to give me peace when I face difficult decisions. A peace that surpasses all understanding…including my own.

To My Dear Teacher Friends:

We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow. I pray for your protection from dangers seen and unseen. I also pray for your peace with the decisions you have to make over the next few weeks and months. May God give you a peace that exceeds even your own understanding. AMEN.

Traci D. Fuller, Pearls and Pretty Pens © 2020

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