By Linda Yung
Today was one of my hardest days as a teacher. A few weeks ago, I got a new student who came with piles of incident reports of aggressive and uncontrollable behavior. When I heard that M was transferring to my class, I quickly e-mailed some teacher friends and asked them to pray that God would do a miracle and that this new student would be sent somewhere else. I already had three students with autism in my class and I just couldn’t see how I could handle another challenging student.
Well, my friends prayed and they all prayed that I would receive this student with God’s love. I was convicted and felt so grateful for friends who prayed God’s will and not mine. As M started four weeks ago, there were challenges, but overall, I was feeling very good that God was working… until today…
I sat down after school today and I felt defeated. My class was a zoo today—M was running around the classroom causing all kinds of havoc, J and S were rolling on the carpet refusing to work, I was still trying to teach the other kids and my aide was blocking the front door so M couldn’t run out. Today felt like forever.
After school today, I drove to our church’s Wednesday joint Concert of Prayer and I was looking forward to sitting in God’s house and soaking in His presence. I walked in and we were singing “He is faithful. Forever faithful. All His promises are yes and amen.” I sang and I raised my hands and I prayed. Suddenly, I realized, I didn’t mean any of it…my prayers, my praise, they were all a lie today.
I kept thinking about today and my honest feeling was, “Where are you, God?” My other honest feeling was “My friends should have prayed that M go somewhere else!” All the good songs and prayers felt useless and religious today. I was so mad. When did I learn to lie so well? When did praise and prayer become religious? When did I become a liar before my God, covering up so well my anger, my disappointment, my defeat?
When I was asked to write a blog about what God is teaching me through my special needs students in my class, I pictured myself writing about His faithfulness, how He answers prayers, and how He prevails over trials. I thought when God gives me a good, Christian lesson, I’ll write the blog.
I decided to write today, my worst day as a teacher, because if I wait, I might be tempted to lie again. Today, I am defeated and I am dreading to go back to school. I can’t say today, “God, You are so faithful” because I don’t see it. What I do hear is that I need to show up tomorrow and the day after. I don’t have the assurance that God is going to fix my class this year. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow may look like today, my worst day.
I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling towards God right now but I do hear Him. He is saying, “Show up tomorrow. Show up the day after tomorrow.” I wish He would tell me more. I wish I could write in this blog that I see a vision of how God is going to make everything better… but I don’t. All I hear is “Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, show up.” I guess for now, that’s the lesson.