Talk about drama...this week has been full of it! I have officially decided that being a mom is the hardest job on earth...especially of teenagers! This week I've been totally worn out and discouraged many times. However, thanks to the prayers and encouragement of my "prayer team" and the loving faithfulness of the Lord, I am feeling much better as this week comes to a close. Here are just a few things I dealt with this week:
1. I experienced some discouragement last weekend when I held the first girls' Bible study, which is optional this year, and only six girls came. I knew not all of them would come, but it was a disappointment to have so few come, and especially to have some of last year's girls not come. (I have since been encouraged to change my perspective and rejoice that those six chose to come and to trust God that as I pour into their lives, God will grow them and will use them to help reach the other girls.)
2. We boarding parents had to have the "relationship talk" with the teenagers, drawing boundaries for boy/girl relationships. This talk was received so well...haha! Actually, in response we received rolled eyes, dirty looks, and the silent treatment. Lovely.
3. I had a falling out with one of my teenage girls that led to her not speaking to me for days. Praise the Lord that after notes written back and forth between us this week, He is working to heal things and restore that relationship.
4. There was a fight with three of the boys at one of the boarding houses, ending with all three boys falling off the porch and one of them breaking an arm, one being knocked unconscious, and one with sore ribs and back. All three boys ended up in the hospital but are thankfully ok now.
5. Two of my girls got into an argument one morning over showering schedules which led to one of my girls crying hysterically, almost hyper-ventilating, and proclaiming that she just wanted to go home. I ended up consoling her and talking things out for an hour. I was late to work and felt real empathy for the first time for all those working mothers out there.
6. We had a cell phone go missing and presumably stolen which caused a hostel-search. Fortunately the phone was found, though, and all is well.
On top of all this, I had one of my students in my class steal from another student and lie repeatedly about it, even after I found the stolen items hidden in her backpack. My response to this incident was, "Seriously?!?!?" Needless to say, this week I've been clinging to the verse, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," and the truth that He will never give me more than I can handle.
As I said before, though, once I contacted my prayer partners and unloaded things on them, God immediately encouraged and strengthened me in an amazing way through their prayers and words of wisdom. I am so happy to be able to share a praise that at today's Bible study I had fifteen girls show up! This was such an encouragement to me and we had a wonderful time together learning about the Lord and taking time to worship Him. I've also felt my spirit being renewed and refreshed and am seeing things from a new perspective. As many people have been reminding me, God has big plans for this year's teenagers and all these challenges and opposition should just encourage me that big things are to come. I cling to that truth and pray that every morning I will rejoice that His mercies are new and remember that He will give me all the strength I need for that day.
Today I am praising God that He got me through this week in one piece and just pray that next week is much smoother!
*If you are interested in being a part of my prayer team, please just email or leave me a comment and let me know. Your prayers are so important to me!