Friday, August 13, 2010

His grace is sufficient. Period.

Dear friends. This past week has been so crazy. I have been thinking about how to tell you all about what the Lord has been doing and all that I have been learning, and I honestly have no idea how to condense it all. Bear with me...

This past week, the staff at my school has been in teachers' in-service, which is like a week of pre-planning. But the refreshing difference is that we start each morning with a devotional and prayer. This time has allowed me to focus each morning on what I am here for; I have time to consider what my purpose is as a teacher of 4th and 5th graders. I have been thoroughly encouraged by the thoughts and transparency of my fellow staff members. It is truly an honor to be here and to learn from so many people.

On the other hand, the enemy has been whispering so many lies of inadequacy and doubt into my mind, despite the peace that the Lord has given me. I think about all that I have working "against" me:

  • I have never taught a class of my own, and oh wait, I am teaching two grades.
  • I am "alone" in this journey; I don't have a husband by my side.
  • I went to a secular institution and am a product of the public school; I don't know much about Christian education.
  • I am neither a gringa (white girl) nor a Mexican; I look a little different than most around here. 
So I take a look at those things that are supposed to knock me down, and I say, who cares? I have the God of the universe on my side.  He told me to come here and made a way for me to be here. He has provided for me in myriad ways. He has given me a new song to sing!

Yes, I have never taught a class of my own, and I haven't taught two grades. But what an amazing opportunity to get my feet wet and truly love on and pour into 10 beautiful wonderful children! Yes, I am unmarried. But so were many brave, strong, and courageous women who changed the world. (Not that I am claiming to be any of those adjectives.) Mother Teresa didn't have a husband and look at what she did! Yes, I am a product of the American public school system, and I am proud of it! So much of what I learned through my experiences at school and with my peers has prepared me for what I am doing here. And finally, I may look a little different, but I honestly don't feel like a anomaly until people stare at me in Subway or at VBS. I was a little overwhelmed when I went to Wal-Mart last night because people stared left and right. But that's okay.

I am here because God sent me here. And while this transition time is somewhat uncomfortable, it is so worth it. Even when things are hard, I am stubborn, ungrateful, or inattentive to His goodness, He continues to be faithful. Yet I am completely undeserving. There's nothing like knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you are where you are supposed to be. It makes the tears, worries, fears, hard work, phone calls, letters, meetings, and 17 years of education fully worth it. 

All I can say about the people here is that they are a blessing. Each and every one of them in their own way. The other missionaries have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome. I have enjoyed dinners in people's homes, advice from veterans, and funny anecdotes. Some of the teachers' kids (including one of my 5th graders) have been helping me get my classroom set up, and they have such beautiful little servants' hearts. It makes all the more excited to meet the rest of my kiddos on Monday. I can hardly wait.

This whole week, the Holy Spirit keeps on allowing this verse to replay in my head, over and over again:

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
-2 Corinthians 12:9 

My purpose here is to give glory to God in my weakness. Isn't that supposed to be my purpose wherever I am? Absolutely cannot wait to love the mess out of my kids. This year is going to be incredible; I can feel it.


 Home sweet home in Chihuahua 


Kids listening at VBS; there were 95 kids in attendance last night! 

4 comments:

  1. Dearest Jessica,

    I am constantly encouraged by your honest and humble heart. God is so ridiculously in love with you and He and I agree that you are one amazing woman after His heart! I'm praying for you, for Monday, for your acclimation to your new home, and most importantly that the Holy Spirit would be an ever-present peace and necessity to you. I love you so much and can't wait to hear about your first week!

    Love, Melissa

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  2. Thanks dear friend! I love you so much! I want to hear about grad school and life in Athens. We should skype sometime soon. :)

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  3. I am inspired. Jessica, what you are doing is NOT easy by any means, but you are being so positive and just thriving. After traveling alone for 6 weeks, I can kind of understand some of the doubts you're having. Some days I felt "alone" because I didn't have a husband (or at least someone to travel with!). And at the clinic I was working at, I was constantly asked to do things like give injections and listen for heartbeat abnormalities--things I've never been taught to do! (it was totally out of my league haha). It can be really hard, no doubt, but you are doing awesome by keeping positive and keeping God at heart and listening to the other people you're working with. I'm sure they're SO GLAD to have you on board!!

    I totally agree with this: "Yes, I am unmarried. But so were many brave, strong, and courageous women who changed the world." Keep being the strong, amazing and talented woman you are.

    Love,
    Tia

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  4. Yep! His grace is sufficient ... and He is MOST glorified when it is something in us that only He can do. "The one who calls you is faithful and HE will do it" ... take that to the bank, sista! So proud of you! Praying for you!

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