And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV
The “once-in-a-career” year.
That is what everyone called it. That year, things happened in our school that had never happened before—double-digit snow days, the bells either not working or ringing incessantly throughout the day, student behavioral incidents that you couldn’t make up—you name it and it probably happened that year.
As an educator, you will probably run into a “once-in-a-career” year—it may have already happened, or you might be in it right now. And even though it’s easy to get upset, question why something is happening to you, or place blame, have you considered that this could be a “once-in-a-career” opportunity to grow closer to God?
The following practices are ways to grow closer to God, especially during challenging times:
- Supplication: Instead of running to the staff lounge to complain when something happens, try running to God. You can submit a passionate, humble plea for God to supply what you are lacking.
- Service: As a Christian educator, you can view handling a difficult situation with mercy and grace as a way to further your commitment to your calling. For example, when a challenging student continues to disrupt your classroom, you can see it as an opportunity to serve God by responding with love, kindness, and care.
- Support: Building a network of support will allow you to have people of faith to lean on when you are struggling in your own circumstances. You can establish prayer or Bible study groups with other like-minded educators in your school, or find community in your church through serving or joining a small/home group.
That “once-in-a-career” year is now three full years in my rearview mirror. To this day, staff members share stories from that year. Looking back, instead of seeing everything that went wrong (and, oh, it did), I can see how God was with me all along and all of the ways in which He provided safety, strength, and support. And while the outcomes might not always have been what I desired, they ended up being what God desired—and that is always better!
Are you in a “once-in-a-career” season? If so, what have you found to be helpful ways to get closer to God during these hard times? Please drop a note in the comments or engage with us on Facebook!