So I didn't blog like I intended last summer and I didn’t this summer either (oops). However, I did take some time this morning to reflect on the past year & spend some much needed time in the word of God.
As some of you may know, I moved to Houston, TX on July 2. I am extremely grateful and blessed for the opportunity I will have to teach in the Cypress area and experience the "big city life." I left Waco, TX with a heavy heart, knowing that I would be leaving my first set of “kids”. Yes, my students are my kids because I love and care for them as if they were my own. Needless to say, the last day of school was an emotional one. Never would I have expected some of my students to be in tears, hugging me. I was moved. Loved. Appreciated. I love those kids with all my heart, still to this day. Despite the challenges I faced in my first year, I know for a fact that I have learned SO much & am extremely grateful for the lives that touched me along the way. A new chapter has opened itself in Houston and I am ready to see what the Lord & Houston has in store for me.
Transition is a tough thing. Change is inevitable. Those of you that know me, I don’t typically enjoy either of those things. However, I’m embracing it all. Through all this time, I have struggled with spending time with my Savior. To be real with you, it was non-existent for quite some time. What did I do? I started of strong, then slowly other things began replacing my time with the Lord: grading, worksheets, etc. I got caught up in the business of life, literally. So many things, struggles, situations occurred and I found myself trying to figure things out on my own and through my friends help…not my Savior. I found myself in a real “low.” I was negative, upset often, and questioning my calling…Am I really suppose to be a teacher? Why am I enduring such struggles with a job that I knew I would love? Turns out, upon reflection this morning, I strayed away from the Lord, His purpose, His love, His desire, His will for my life this past year. Granted, I went to church, I listened to Christian music, I had devotionals every now and then. But I grew complacent, stagnant, and lukewarm.
Revelation 3: 15-16 states, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
“If you get out of the light, you become a sentimental Christian, and live only on your memories, and your testimony will have a hard metallic ring to it. Beware of trying to cover up your present refusal to “walk in the light” by recalling your past experiences when you did “walk in the light.” –Oswald Chambers.
Ouch. That was me: lukewarm, metallic ring to my testimony. Am I ashamed? No. Am I convicted? Yes. That’s a HUGE difference. One should never feel ashamed in your faith, in your present situation, your past, your journey…because the Lord does not bring guilt. He brings conviction & opens your eyes to the things of Him.
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” –Hebrews 12: 5-7.
“All Scripture is God-breathed, and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” –2 Timothy 3: 16-17
Am I being disciplined? You bet. How so? Through the Lord, through the Spirit, and through Scripture. Am I okay with this? Yes. I am being refined through the Lord. And that’s the beauty of the Lord! I am in Christ & despite by “lukewarm-ness” throughout this past season, I am still with the Lord. He is still using me, teaching me, disciplining me. I am saying this because one thing I have learned through this time & if I can provide any encouragement to anyone: you cannot make it on your own. Period. No matter what your calling, your job, your situation, you NEED the Lord’s peace, guidance, conviction, discipline, love, & support daily. Being simply “lukewarm” and a complacent Christian is NOT enough.
This morning I spent some time in 1 John and I was moved, convicted, rejuvenated. I strongly encourage you to check it out. I was moved how it talks about the truth, sin, the love of Christ, and how I, as a Christian, should be living & loving. This could not come at a more important time as I start preparing for the new school year & how I show Christ in my life as a teacher.
The greatest commandment in the bible states to LOVE the Lord with all your heart, soul & mind (Matt 22: 37) And the second, to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:39). How do we know what LOVE is? “This is LOVE: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we als0 ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:10-11).
I must first love God with all my heart, soul, and mind in order to show others the LOVE of Christ. Being lukewarm does NOT allow one to do this. Going through the motions is being complacent. It is simply, NOT ENOUGH. People don’t understand Christ’s love for them because we are living lukewarm, complacent lives. We do not love & trust God fully, completely. We do not love others as Christ would. This was me. This was my story for the past year or so. It is my deepest desire to NOT be what I was, but to use what I’ve learned in this next season of my life.
I want to be “on fire” for the Lord; love the Lord completely so others will see Him, His unending love, grace, & mercy through me. I want to show this in how I approach teaching and respond to situations in the classroom. People need to be loved and shown compassion. Granted, I am NOT perfect; I am FAR from it. 1 Timothy 1: 16 states, “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.”
I am the worst of sinners. But guess what? God has unlimited patience with me so I can be an example to others. So I can LOVE others as Christ loves me...endlessly, with grace, compassion, & mercy.
Why am I sharing this? So you know where I was and where I want to be. It is not an easy task to pick up the cross daily & follow Him. I know I will struggle. I know at some moments I WILL stumble or completely fail (because I already have many times in my life). But I have the reassurance that through the Lord’s discipline, guidance, instruction, and His word that I will be humbled, shown grace, and make it through.
I have been rejuvenated. I have found that my cup must be FILLED so I may pour out Christ’s love to others. To have JOY in life, in my job, and in all situations, God—His love, His word & the Holy Spirit must FILL me daily.
Be ENCOURAGED & be FILLED so that you may show JOY, LOVE & COMPASSION as Christ has shown in your own life.
Rediscover Jesus. Rediscover His love for you...I am doing just that! Please take a time to listen to this song.