Everyone says having kids teaches you so much about God. Well teaching students is like having 24 of your own children. And while I know being a teacher has probably only allowed me
to understand a fractional piece of parenting, God teaches me so much about how I relate to Him through my students.
I taught in Columbus for two years and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Looking back I can say one of those reasons is because I gave my whole self to my kids. I loved them more than I could ever express in words and gave everything I had to allow them to feel loved despite the way they sometimes responded or reacted to me. There are so many wonderful and hard memories from my time there. So much bitter sweet.
Travaughn. Let me tell you about this young man. He had a hard time staying in one spot for more than 15 seconds. He changed out of his school uniform into his gym uniform in the middle of my class……I didn’t notice. He was very vocal in his opinions about things and was not a huge fan of raising his hand. Needless to say…school proved to be a bit challenging for this sweet young boy.
I spent hours of my time with this kid. I went out of my way to encourage him and used different strategies to help him be successful in school. If I thought it would help him and it was within my reach……it was done.
One day in particular stands out to me with Travaughn. He was having an especially hard day and much of my morning was spent giving him lots of my attention. By lunchtime, my patience was running extremely low. But something in me softly told me he needed to know that although I was frustrated with him, I was not just going to push him away.
At this school we ate lunch with our students because we didn’t have enough staff to monitor the students. Us teachers sat at one table while the students sat at a table with their classmates. This particular day I invited Travaughn to sit and eat lunch with me. I talked with him and told him how much I cared about him and loved him. I will never forget how he responded…
“No you don’t! You don’t love me!!”
I froze. And I thought to myself That is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard!! If I didn’t love you I wouldn’t spend all this extra time encouraging you and trying to help you make it through school. If I didn’t love you I would have written you off months ago and considered you a lost cause; unteachable. If I didn’t love you I wouldn’t have chosen to eat lunch and spend time with you on a day that I didn’t feel I had any patience left! And then it hit me. Like a ton of bricks.
Isn’t that how you respond to Me Lindsey?
Whoa. Isn’t it? God has done everything for me…even sacrificing His very life for me. And yet how often do I look at God and say “No you don’t! You don’t love me!” All too often I find myself looking at my circumstances and thinking…how could God love me? Or looking at my life and how I never measure up and thinking “God couldn’t possibly love me.”
But He has. And He does. And I felt like I got a tiny taste that day of how God must feel when I believe the lie that God doesn’t love me. He must think to Himself That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!
I continue to be challenged. How do I get there? How do I get to the place where I believe God and what He says is true. About me. About Him.
I’m thankful for God using Travaughn to help me see a glimpse of what He is thinking.
Perspective change? Definitely.
God continue to help my unbelief.