Teaching is such a consuming occupation. My alarm goes off before 5 a.m. every morning so that I can arrive at school by 7:00. I am rarely out of the building before 5 or 6 and often spend weekends there as well. Many of my nights are spent grading papers or working on my lesson plans online. At times I resent the power of my career to consume my life. I have agonized many times in prayer about whether I am where God intends me to be. I still entertain thoughts about another career at some point. I certainly hope that God does not leave me in this career for 30 more years.
However, one morning when I first returned to work after Abby's birth God sent me a strange, but beautifully clear vision of what it is that I do every day. You see, I enter into a room of 20 small children with a specific mission. Every year there are children in my class with stories that make me vomit and have nightmares. God showed me on that morning, several years ago, that those are the children that belong to me for 177 days out of the year. The vision was a very LOTR influenced thing. I was standing on a hill with a sword drawn and my "needy" children were sheltered behind me as a huge dark, swirling cloud of shapeless evil forms hurtled toward us. The sword that I held glowed as it parted the darkness around the small children behind me. Every year I see this played out in my classroom. As I pray over my children, God reveals himself and uses me to love the unlovable. For some children, this is a brand new experience for them. To be loved completely with abandon by an adult. It is hard and draining and leaves very little of me left to share with anyone else. It interferes with the ministry that I would like to do. But...God has demonstrated his hand in what it is that I do and until he allows me to go a different direction I will walk in faithfulness with my sword drawn, protecting my children.
Please pray hard for one of my special friends. Today he asked me to go home with him to keep him safe from harm. I need great wisdom in dealing with his situation and patience with the behavior that is coming out of his need for love. Seriously...beg God to protect my precious baby.