I love watching inspirational "teacher movies" like Mr. Holland's Opus, Music of the Heart, and Freedom Writers. For years now when I've been in a difficult season in teaching, I have found myself watching one of these movies, having a good cry, and coming out with a renewed passion and motivation to make a real difference in my students' lives.
A couple days ago my wise mother reminded me of these movies that I love so much in the midst of some of the current challenges we are facing in the boarding house. She reminded me how in each of these stories the beginning held such great challenges, but the end result was by far worth every one of those challenges.
Last week was pretty insane and this week didn't start out too much better, but God really turned things around in my heart Tuesday evening, and provided for me a renewed passion and brokenness for these teenagers and the role He's called me to play in their lives. It's so easy when facing times of challenge to be overcome with the obstacles and to be kind of "short-sighted" instead of focusing on the big picture. That is definitely where I've been the past couple of weeks. However, on Tuesday afternoon I escaped to Audi Camp, my happy place in Maun, for a yummy cafe mocha and dinner, along with some much-needed time in the Word and prayer, not to mention a huge need for a God-given perspective change. God opened my eyes and heart to all kinds of things and I left there feeling a million times lighter than when I arrived.
Without going into more detail than is needed, I just ask you to continue joining in prayer with me for all of these precious teenagers God has put in my life. I pray for His wisdom, discernment, unconditional love, patience, and joy in fulfilling this calling. I pray that I will not be "short-sighted" but will keep in mind the big picture and the hoped-for end result, just like in all those teaching stories I love so much. I pray that I would deal with the boarding challenges in a godly way, always intent on reflecting Christ through every circumstance. Problems and challenges can be big, but God is so much bigger! And going through times of trial brings great growth.
I've been thinking a lot lately about one of the verses God has used to encourage me so many times, "Ah, Lord God! It is you who has made the heavens and the earth. Nothing is too hard for you!" (Jeremiah 32:17) Thankfully it is this same Lord who is working with and through me here in Botswana and will not give up pursuing each of these kids' hearts. Nothing is too hard for Him!