Ten years ago this week, I began my twenty-fifth year of teaching.
My son with undiagnosed PTSD had just moved to an Orthodox monastery.
My daughter began eighth grade.
My husband worked crazy hours as an ICU nurse and loved it.
My mother lived in her own home and was a ball of fire.
Abby the dog was finally housebroken.
Our church met in the high school auditorium and had downtown offices in the basement of a renovated horse livery.
I thought my teaching career would continue another twelve years.
But I was wrong. Because God answered a prayer uttered during the return flight from a workshop conference a week or two before school started. Please God, I had whispered, if you want me to be a writer, I need a different job. A month later, I knew the 2002 – 2003 school year turned out to be my last as a teacher.
So much has changed in my life since then.
My son, after treatment for PTSD, is a husband and will soon be a father.
My daughter is a college graduate, married, and settling into a new home.
My husband works a regular schedule in a heart cath lab and loves it.
My mother lives with my brother’s family and has Alzheimer’s.
Abby the dog died after a full and pampered life.
Our church meets in a new building constructed on a former cornfield.
Two of my books have been published, and I speak around the country.
I feel ten years younger than during my teaching years, and I’m much healthier.
But many things haven’t changed. Many of my friends are still teaching. They go back to school today, facing a host of challenges and determined to make a positive difference in their students’ lives. Their students will be blessed to spend the next nine months in my friends’ classrooms.
My friends will work incredibly hard, come home tired day after day, correct papers and plan lessons late in the night, and catch every cold and flu bug that goes around. They need our prayers. And since God answers prayer, just as he did ten years ago, I’ll be praying for them. Dear God, give these teachers and dear friends strength and wisdom, enthusiasm and compassion to meet the needs of children.
Will you join me in praying that prayer?