Sunday, October 30, 2016

THE DANCE WITH DOUBT (A TEACHER'S LIFE)

Maybe I'm speaking MOSTLY to the teachers now because their kind is who I know.  They are the life I've grown up in. They are the people I have become. They are the people my heart has learned to beat to, but it may be true, you feel more like a teacher than you know.


Teachers sometimes live in the cesspool of doubt...doubt that they are believed...doubt that they are heard...doubt that they are valued...doubt that they are enough.  


On more than one occasion through my teaching years (and admittedly it has been me on many),  a co-teacher has taken her precious time to come to my room, sighing or maybe crying, seeking grace to erase the sludge of sick thinking about herself that quickly accumulated in the pit of her soul. 


Whether she related a story in fury or declared it in defeat, her eyes showed that vulnerability that comes with over striving and being overwhelmed and overloaded.


Maybe it's the pressure of the expectations of five days for eight hours a day (plus the work at home at night) that she fill the roles to be the perfect mom,  mentor, doctor, disciplinarian, entertainer, preacher, and teacher to twenty-five or more students and their families.

And just like that cesspool, this doubt needs to be cleared, because the sickness drains out if not.  It leaks toxic and becomes vulnerable to the roots of doubt expanding until her soul system fails.


Have you danced with doubt in your life?


Our soul doubt needs to be frequently emptied because the cost of maintaining our soul is staggering if this is ignored.

The shadow of doubt accumulating in the muck of the mess must be cast out if we don't want her broken and collapsing. 

It's tough to be brave when confronted with brutal words of doubt.


While we can't remove others words from miring the doubt that contaminates our soul, we can saturate our soul with the words of grace. 

Teachers and all who feel like them at times, I can tell you that our soul tells us the truth. We are not enough. 

---WE ARE NOT ENOUGH---

We are not enough for any situation we will face. We are inherently riddled with mistakes, become short sighted, miss the obvious, try hard in many of the wrong places, judge others and ourselves by unbelievable standards, and work hard at working hard often to no avail, wishing others would notice our efforts.

AND THEN GRACE...
Grace percolates and our weaknesses are forgiven and perfected.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" (2Cor. 12:9)




Teachers need to speak words of grace and forgiveness every day to themselves. 

We cannot be stifled by the truth that we are not enough because the truth is what our soul has believed all along--- we are not enough!  


Yet, the freeing and deeper truth is that God will work through those weaknesses to accomplish His purpose.   

Our days of doubt serve to remind us of our need to clear the accumulated mire. Walk down the hallways and seek out those who will remind you for Whom you work and of the successes you've been afforded. 

When those days in teaching come (and they will) that you find yourself reviled and faced with reproach, and you cannot restrain harsh words being flung at you or replaying in your head, and you have no recourse, and you need to be rescued, may you be reminded that grace delivers you.

He continues to work in you in order to strengthen your work to fulfill purposes beyond your understanding.


"You have to say 
I am forgiven 
again and again 
until it becomes 
the story you believe 
about yourself."
--Cheryl Strayed













2 comments:

Rose McClarren said...

Cher
I can't explain how moving your post is. I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I was not a teacher but a nurse. So many times my heart would break and I could only pray that I had enough courage to go on in the face of death and fear. And I can not imagine being a teacher. The courage, energy, and human warmth and caring would wash out of me. Thank you and every teacher that walks on the face of this earth. You have captured the pain and yes the hope that one needs to go on.
All my love,
Mom

Kevin McClarren said...

This really applies so well to my situation sometimes. While I am not a teacher, I have a lot of these same feeelings. Well written and captures the essence of many,

Love your bro.