Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we are not sure where to go. You know you are supposed to talk about it and ask for help but in that moment, you shrug it aside and keep on moving forward. As the little things pile up on top of the big things, you start focusing on all those negative things and the positive things start to shine as bright. Before you know it, you start to feel that heavy feeling in your chest that you may or may not have ever felt before. That was me last week.
I felt broken and I felt lost. I felt as if the entire world was on my shoulders and I didn’t know where to head from there. I started crying at the drop of a hat in the presence of whoever was around me, and if you know me you know that is not me. I am usually categorized as the energizer bunny by some of my friends. Enter school and a new busy schedule and twenty students relying on me and wham bam, I was stressed out. Then the guilt and shame and doubt started floating in because I was feeling stressed.
Who said you cannot handle it all? Oh right, its an unspoken rule. I forgot it.
For as long as I can remember, teaching has been all I wanted. I finished my entire Bachelors degree course in a little over a year. Nothing however can prepare you for what you learn in that classroom when twenty little pairs of eyes are focused in on you (or sometimes not focused on you haha).
For weeks from I got my job offer, I had been on full speed ahead and any stopping would show signs of weakness on my part. From the first week of school, my son and I were both sick. The new germ land had overtaken our bodies and from upset tummies to sore throats to coughs and the dreaded sniffles, these germs had a new plan of their own. I brought home work just about every afternoon, and thought that obviously everyone must have to do this because my twenty first graders never give me one moments peace to grade in the day so how on earth do other teachers do this? I started to doubt myself. And when that mean and nasty Mr. Doubt starts to set inside our minds, its very difficult to send them packing.
So between Mr. Doubt and King Germ and his millions of minions that were overtaking my body, I was starting to tear down. However, I kept on going. The work continued to pile on and every time I thought I had a nights break, I ended up with something I just HAD to do because you know the plan and curriculum needed it. Never mind all the paper that has to be copied and oh sleep. Who has time for that? EXERCISE? Food? Who has time to make these things happen and to happen with the utmost clean eating in mind? Pshhh… the last few weeks, I was lucky if any food went past these lips of mines and when it did, I can guarantee you it was not labeled “clean eating”.
Then I had the joyous moments of parent conferences and dealing with upset and frustrated parents over issues about their kids. I really started doubting myself now, and I prayed and prayed to the Lord but I think I was still trying to handle things on my own. I was praying but now handing it over. I was praying for change but not changing anything.
Nobody ever tells you about the balance between work and home. Maybe its one of those other unspoken rules … that people just don’t bother to tell you. Balance, what an intriguing concept.
The Bible tells us in:
God promises to renew us with his strength. He promises to be our shield and our protector.
I am beginning to learn that I don’t always need to have things together. That trying to be in control means that I am not letting Jesus be in control. Its great to be confidant but I need to learn to find confidence in Jesus plan for my life.
This past week when I literally felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown for the first time in my life was one of the hardest and most renewing things I have ever been through. I had to reach the bottom of my vulnerability to find the strength deep down that God has bestowed upon my soul.
I will not let people break me. I will not allow people to change my personality. I like who I am and I like who God wants me to be. However, I need to learn to thicken my skin to the negativity that can sometimes surround ourselves a lot in our lives. I need to take it easy and take some time for myself, my family, my friends, and leave work at work. I need to work harder on finding the balance and setting schedules for myself and my time.
But the one thing I will not do, is allow the negativity and germs and hostile people and things that I cannot change make me want to give up. I have never been a quitter. I do follow the beat of my own drum sometimes and I follow my heart more often than not, but I do not give up. I need to learn to ask for help and delegate tasks to other people and sometimes as much as I don’t want to, say no sometimes.
I have to learn that its not being unkind to say, “I’m sorry, I just cannot make it to that.”
With Gods help, I know this year will be full of learning experiences, some highs and some lows, but I know that when those little children smile at me and tell me they love me, nothing else matters in this world but those moments.