The Eve of Summer

What a school year it has been…I have seen joy and laughter; I have seen uncertainty and pain. Many people I know, especially teachers, have reached points of complete exhaustion along the way. I too have felt the weariness. These two-plus years of “the pandemic that won’t quite end” have taken a toll. I feel it when I sit next to a college student who is uncertain of his skills and afraid for his future. I feel it as I observe the elementary student with social anxiety who isn’t sure who her true friends are. I feel it when I see the young teacher who spent a year teaching online, and a year teaching 25 traumatized kids at 25 different levels, who is now questioning her calling. I feel it on those days when I wonder why I am so tired and yet don’t know how to process the deep emotions I feel; when the tears feel just under the surface and a few notes of a familiar song can spill them out. Sometimes they spill out in hope, after a glimpse of beauty; sometimes they spill out in sorrow, connecting with the pain of those I see or even strangers I read about that somehow don’t feel so distant because of our common humanity.

Treading Water

I am constantly moving
Managing to stay afloat.
I am determined to keep pressing on,
Yet uncertain if I am getting anywhere.

Will weariness defeat me?

I fear if I stop, I will start to sink;
Resting feels out of reach.
I am both inadequate and overconfident,

Thinking I alone must keep my people safe.
Will fear disable me?

I long for more than staying afloat,
Desiring impact, meaning, love, change.
I want to grow and help others grow,
To swim toward a peace-filled shore.
Will dependence strengthen me?

I will never give up. Yet it won’t be because of me, but as I depend on the Lord’s strength. He has loved me with a steadfast love. I always tell the girls that I mentor to “take the long-term view.” God will not leave us and he is not done loving us and transforming us for our good as we walk with Him. When I have trouble following my own advice, I need to once again fix my eyes on Jesus and trust in him! (Phil 1:6; Heb 12:2; Isaiah 26:3; Prov 3:5-6).

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