I had come to a conclusion. Not one I was fully confident of. Not one I was happy with. But a conclusion, none the less. I still had a couple people to talk to, people that I thought could help me change my mind.
I had come to the conclusion that my faith, which I felt I had lost not too long ago, was gone. That I was done. That I was going to need to step away from my church, my work there and my God. I had come to the conclusion that He didn't care. He wasn't there. He didn't see me. Or just decided I wasn't worth his time and so He hid from me.
In the book Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade there is a point where the main character gets a phone call from a friend when she needed it most, "then and now she recognized these small interventions for exactly what they were: God throwing her a lifeline through the words and hands of His people."
Now, this doesn't happen to me often. I don't get calls or texts out of the blue. Friends that pop by just because. It's not something that has happened and that's fine.
But during workshop week (back to school week for teachers) I had a fellow teacher catch me in the hall and ask if I had a minute. When I responded I did and that they should come into my classroom they seemed a little different. A little off. He came into my room and told me that he doesn't talk to people much about this stuff, but that his wife had told him that she had had a great time talking with me about my work with my youth group and my church. That she really had a good time teaching summer school with me. So he was going to step out and tell me...
Umm... okay? Strange right? Then he grabs a marker and writes this on my board:
And proceeds to say: "Sometimes I feel God speaking to me. And it usually comes as I'm falling asleep. It's often just words. Last night as I was falling asleep I had this image in my head... like a movie... of me walking into your classroom. Writing this on your board."
He stops to look at me to see my reaction and goes on: "First, you are the owner of this classroom. It is not J's it is not E's (the previous two teachers in the room), it is yours. And you need to own it. Second, you are sweet, beautiful and kind inside and out. But before you show that, to your students, you need to show them that you are strong, strict, confident and in charge. You can show them those three things, once they see you own the room, and see the strength, the strictness, the confidence that you have and that you are in charge."
He again stopped and waited for my response: "I seriously have goosebumps right now. I always refer to this as J or E's room. Never as my own. Especially when people ask where my new room is. And I was just sitting here thinking about how to transfer what I learned with my 7th and 8th graders last year, in my first full-time year teaching, into my second year, teaching mostly 6th graders. I was worried about how I would do and what I would do to ensure the classroom climate is where I want it to be."
It was in that moment that I remembered that line from Becky Wade's book... "God throwing her a lifeline through the words and hands of His people."
Maybe God is often silent in my life. Maybe I don't see him. But He is there. And this was a lifeline that I needed at the moment I had decided to stop looking. To stop believing. To take a step back.
It was definitely a moment I will remember. I thought I'd lost it. That's I'd never see it again. And then there was a lifeline... and a spark. A spark to reignite the candle... which given time may begin to burn brighter and brighter and brighter.