If this year hasn’t been one for the books, am I right? A year of confusion, exhaustion, and frustrations. But also a year to reflect, respond, and be thankful. It seems the light can shine brightest in the darkest of places.
Thinking back to almost a year ago, we had no idea how the world was about to change. The middle of March rolled around, and we were told we wouldn’t be coming back to school that next week. I frantically pulled together some packets for my 2nd graders to take home, and then I got to work on learning how to teach virtually. A week away from school quickly turned into the remainder of the year, and teacher hearts everywhere were breaking at the thought of not getting those final couple of months with “our kids”. We all made the best of it and did what we could, but it was HARD. I found myself putting in more time than if I were teaching in person. Parents would get home after work, have questions on homework, and I would need to respond to that 8:00 message after getting kids to bed. Zoom meetings with my class were scheduled during nap time, while staff Zooms occurred while the living room was being destroyed in front of me. What a time to be alive!
It was in the middle of this chaos that I felt the Lord telling me to be thankful. To not focus on all the things that were going wrong, but to shift my mindset to one of thanksgiving. During this time, I clung to Philippians 4:6. It was especially the part about presenting our anxious thoughts with grateful hearts that struck me. I knew that in order to keep trudging along the rocky path that we found ourselves on, I would need to direct my anxious thoughts to the Lord. Only He could take a worried heart and turn it into one that could find the light in the darkness.
Fast forward to the current school year. While we have been face-to-face (hallelujah!), it’s been a year of great challenge. So many days I come home with a weary and tired soul; one that isn’t sure how tomorrow will be faced. It is only from a gracious and loving God that I’m shown grace in the form of strength, wisdom, and perseverance. It makes me wonder how people go through challenging times without the Lord.
I hope this encourages you to lean into the Lord and rely on His strength and not your own. He’s more than strong enough to carry you, and His goodness never ends. He is truly the light in the darkness.