So I started school. Again. On August 27th, almost a month ago (crazy!). Why does being a teacher candidate mean I have to be at school a week earlier than everyone else? I don’t know. But it probably has something to do with the fact that when I do become a teacher, I will be at the school preparing a week earlier than when school begins – probably MUCH earlier than that if I teach overseas.
So they’re preparing me for what the real world is actually like – yayy! This is what school is supposed to do, right? (“Supposed” to…not always. The education system is pretty messed up sometimes, but that’s a discussion for another day lol.)
It’s crazy to think that this is my 17th year of schooling altogether. That means, for the past 17 years of my life, I’ve had a first day of school every fall. Every year, I go back to receive an education, to grow and learn about who I am as an individual through the education system, and of course, to receive a degree so that I can have a career. Though I try to take with me and remember the skills I learnt before, I don’t always remember everything. So every year, I begin again and again.
But this year is different.
And I don’t mean that it’s different because it’s my last year. I mean that I am different, and I am beginning again in a different way.
This summer was an unexpected, life-changing summer. God revealed himself to me in unforeseen ways, which shouldn’t have surprised me because He always seems to be moving me in unexpected ways. But it surprised me nonetheless.
Growing up in a Christian home, there are many things I knew about God and Christ, but experiencing them firsthand is completely different than simply having a head-knowledge. Here were three great reminders God gave me this summer:
- Christ’s Authority
- Christ has all the authority, therefore, I have authority because Christ lives in me (Colossians 2:9-15). This was a truth I didn’t realize I was grappling with until I attended a healing retreat with Ellel Ministries. On this two day trip to a beautiful mansion on a lake, I was able to spend quality time with God and be ministered to by those who have walked in my shoes. On a session about forgiveness, I realized I had always asked God to help me forgive someone, but never really chose for myself to forgive them. My minister said to me, “Anna, I’m so glad you’ve been asking God to help you forgive them, and He absolutely will. But knowing that, you need to declare that you forgive them because you have the authority to do that with Christ in you.” It was incredibly freeing to be able to say “I choose to forgive them” and let them off the hook, into God’s hands. To think that I had the authority all this time and never used it too! I was missing out (lol). It seems like such a simple revelation, but a revelation that changed my life nonetheless.
- God’s faithfulness
- On multiple occasions this summer, I questioned what God was doing in my life. I didn’t have a job for the first two months, and then the job I did get was extremely exhausting and I was overworked in many ways. However, God proved to me over and over again this summer that I can trust Him no matter what. For example, when I still did not have a job after applying many places, having interviews and not getting any jobs, I thought God, you know I need a job to pay for school… why haven’t you provided that yet? Will you provide it at all? The answer I got was a phone call from Ellel Ministries asking if I wanted to go on a healing retreat the next day. I had applied to go on the healing retreat a year ago and hadn’t been able to get in. God knew I needed that healing retreat at that time, and I wouldn’t have been able to say yes on such short notice if I had a job at the time. God’s answer to me was “Actually, I have something better in store for you”. AND the job I ended up getting was (although very exhausting), extremely rewarding!! I got to work with teens and teach them how to be a leader. Not only was this practice for my teaching skills, but I was able to connect with these teens and I loved watching them grow and learn. Looking back on how God really orchestrated this summer, I know I can trust God with everything!
- My true Identity
- Over the summer, God really revealed to me how he sees me, how much he truly values me, and what His true character is (See my blog, “Being Brave: Being Vulnerable”). He taught me what it really means to be a child of God, and what it really means to me that He is a perfect father. In my next blog, I will be writing more on this revelation of being a child of God.
So after this summer, I have real, genuine hope that God will continue to reveal himself to me and what His plans are for me. As I begin again this school year, as I face the unknowns of the teacher education program, and where I will go after I graduate, I know God will be in it all.
And I truly believe the same for you too.
When I start to lose hope, or forget how to trust, I will begin again and again, surrendering all to God over and over again. Ironically, it was my new year’s goal to be in full surrender to God every day. There have been several moments this entire year where God has reminded me over and over again the freedom in coming to full submission under Him and His will for me. I often have to begin again and again with God, but He really is such a patient teacher!
I encourage you to continue to surrender to God every day too. When we allow God to have full control, amazing things can happen!
Maybe you want so bad to believe this, but you feel like you surrender every day and get nothing in return. It’s easy to feel discouraged when we don’t see the fruit of what we are doing. But know that God will always come through for you. He loves you so much!! “But it was because the Lord loved you ad kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments” (Deuteronomy 7:8-9). His promises remain, and He is so, sooo faithful!! Also know that I am praying for you, that God will speak to you and continue to draw you closer to Him <3
Thank you, Jesus, for your constant patience in teaching us over and over the freedom in submitting to you. Thank you for constantly showing us your love, your true father’s heart, towards us in continuing to encourage us to come in full surrender to you. Please continue to guide us and reveal more of yourself and your heart to us. Draw us closer to you, Lord, that we may grow in our walk with you.
And now to begin those lesson plans… over and over again 😛
(Photo Credits: Jake Hawley)