Posted Thursday, March 30, 2006, 02:18 PM
I’m not one of those people who actually says things like, “I can’t believe that God has done this for me,” or “Praise God for this.” It’s not because I’m not thankful for the things God has given me, it’s just that I’ve grown up in an evangelical environment that has really turned me off to such boisterous and outspoken proclamations. It sounds very pious and attention seeking to me every time I here it, just by sheer virtue of that was the way it was when I was growing up.
That having been said: I really felt the peace of God yesterday. The night before I found out that I had not got the job I had been so excited about. So yesterday I was struggling to get through the day with out being too reactionary, which I have a tendency to do if I’m not careful. I was questioning why I had not got the job, why I God still had me sitting in the place I’m at, and generally feeling like I was not making a very big impact in anyone’s life. I had just received word that a student that I had been working with was going to be moved to a new school because all efforts to change his behavior have failed, and I had been given a memo from work outlining a lot of changes that were about to take place that are less than desirable.
When I got to the after school program I am assigned to, my boss there informed me that a student we had been working with had been withdrawn from school that day. This is a student who has had a history of violence in the home, some directed towards her, and who my boss had taken a personal interest in. My boss found out that her dad, the person we both suspected of many things but had no solid evidence to do anything about, was the one who checked her out and withdrew her. I found my boss almost in tears.
When you work with kids you can’t help be get attached. I think the same is universal for all kinds of students, but it is even truer when you work with elementary level kids. So my boss looks at me and asks, “Did I do enough?” And I was instantly pulled back to a situation I had at a different school just a few month before. I told her that she has to look at it from the viewpoint that all we can do is be a positive influence. Maybe in a few years that student will look back and remember the positive influences, and know that there were loved by someone at some point.
I told my boss that the only true judge of our performance is the kids we work with. And I have never worked with kids that love a person as much as they love my boss at that site. Yes, there are kids that will slip away from us before we get a chance to really show them any love. But for every one of those there are a least a hundred that we do not fall through the cracks. We do make a difference, even if we don’t feel like we do.
That is when I felt that warm sensation that starts in your shoulders and works it’s way down your back. The same one that causes all of your tension to just melt away. I really think that this was a God thing. Because I instantly thought that I need to listen to my own advise, and realize that I am where I’m supposed to be.
So I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’m impacting kids and adults around me. And I’m helping other’s carry the burden of their load. It felt good to know that, at least for now, I’m where I’m supposed to be. Even if I don’t like where I am, I’m where I’m supposed to be.