A State of Change
by Elvina McEwen
My classroom was always in a state of change. Desks rearranged, the focal point of the room updated, new visuals, and, as the seasons changed, new decorations on the wall. Change kept the classroom fresh. It helped with classroom management as you moved those who needed attention closer to the front and to me. Moving desks helped solve personality clashes or separated students who were gifted socially. ("Gifted socially" in teacher language means they talk a lot when not appropriate!) Changing the room around kept us all from being bored and kept it fresh.
I love and embrace change. Well, that’s partially true. Routine and familiarity also bring comfort and security. Every teacher and parent knows that upsetting a child’s routine can leave a child unsettled. It holds true for me too.
My husband's job had been transferred to Charlotte, NC. Constant prayers for our house to sell were lifted up so that I could join him. Friends and family joined in the petitions and God provided a buyer. We sold the house we'd lived in for 15 years and then the adventure of change began. With my teaching position resigned and my classroom packed up, I tackled boxing up our household.
I know without a doubt that it was God who sold and closed our house in less than six weeks. His hand was evident in every step of the process. But even with a heart full of gratitude, I was grieving. Moving meant saying goodbye to things and friends and a job I loved. It meant I was leaving a house where I’d grown comfortable, a place of memories. Moving meant I was leaving a small suburban community to a big city and a deluxe (better translated as tiny) apartment in the sky. In short, it meant I was in for BIG change.
It hit me that I needed to apologize to God for what I felt must look like a spoiled child pouting after she’d been given above and beyond what she’d asked. Then, in His kindness, He didn’t answer in reprimand, but in a quiet gentle whisper: “You moved desks to get students' attention, to get them to listen to you. I am doing the same to you. You changed your room with the seasons. This begins a new season for you. Your environment needs to change to match the current season of your life and to keep your perspective fresh. Trust me, this rearranging is for your good and for MY glory.”
My focal point at the moment is not a white board. Nor is it where I now look out at the small balcony that overlooks a courtyard. My focal point is on my Father and His Word. I am focused on listening for another tender, gentle whisper of my name. I plan to do my best listening, here in my rearranged classroom of life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
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