As I've gone through life, there have been an innumerable times when I've wondered about what I should be doing with my life....or if I am in the right career.....or how nice it would be to be able to support myself doing something I enjoy on a daily basis....although I know without any doubt, I cannot be paid for sitting around drinking coffee or wine with friends while we discuss favorite books or movies or the state of the world in which we live. For the past sixteen years, I've been in a job which I love or hate depending on the state of affairs....and there have been times when I've asked God why am I here?
Its no secret that I have tried to get a job as a teacher of English/Language Arts....have interviewed for countless positions, not only here in the town in which I live....but further afield. And I've come home from most feeling as if I might actually be hired.....then wasn't. So I've continued as an "instructional paraprofessional" read teacher's aide at the same elementary school. Those are the times I'd wonder if I'm in the right profession.....at times I've even wondered if I had myself fooled and I wasn't that good at what I do. But no matter, I've always tried to do it to the best of my abilities and to always put the needs of my students at the forefront..........even when I feel the most negative about myself and my capabilities.
Of course, that is when God steps in and helps me realign my thinking, my perceptions, my attitude to be more in tune with how, I think, He wants me to see my self and my place in His Plan. This week was a perfect example. My schedule had been changed....yet again....and I'd been moved into a different classroom. Mixed feelings about the transition because I felt I was beginning to make some real progress with the students in the other class and wasn't sure exactly what my role would be in the new class...and I began to think, "have I been moved because I'm not doing a good job?"...yes, I still struggle with self-esteem issues. Anyway.......
The new class is a third grade reading class filled with 8 and 9 year olds, most of whom I've worked with at some time or another during my tenure at PES. Like all children, some are sweethearts and others can be real stinkers at times....but each one is unique. On the day in question, the students were a bit lively but basically well-behaved. The teacher was leading a discussion on their vocabulary words for the week with the word in question being, "talent." I was seated at a table working on some assessments, not really listening, my mind wandering.
At the beginning, the class felt that a 'talent' must be something to do with singing, dancing, drawing, etc. They were made aware that a talent encompasses so much more and were then asked could one help others by using their individual talent and if so, give an example.
This is when God stepped in and humbled me and reminded me how He uses those who love Him.....using the words and thoughts of a bunch of rowdy third graders. From my seat at the work table, I began to hear:
"Ms. Thompson uses her readin' talent to make books come alive for us.....Ms. Thompson draws good so she can help us know what stuff looks like if we ain't seen it.....When Ms. Thompson sings I feel like I want to sing with her......" and it went on and on as I sat there with my mouth hanging open and tears in my eyes. When had this become a discussion about Ms. Thompson? Probably about the same time God decided to show me I am exactly where I need to be, where He wants me to be......
One final child raised her hand and spoke, "Yeah Ms. Thompson does that stuff but her real talent is making us all feel loved no matter what." Frankly, if I could only do one thing reasonably well.....then making someone feel loved is the talent I'd want.
That's the comment that meant the most because that's how I feel about God, He finds a way to make me feel loved.....no matter what.