Last spring, as you know, I agreed to do something I never thought I would do again: teach.
Believe me, when the word “Yes” came out of my mouth I was probably the most surprised person in the room. I still am.
Last summer, while sitting on the sabbatical dock, I asked B why he thought God would have me go back to teaching because going back to work in any way, shape, or form was not in my Life Plan. I didn’t need the money (although I’m not complaining about getting a paycheck!), I didn’t need to get up early (most mornings when my alarm goes of at 5:45 a.m. I curse myself for that decision), and I certainly didn’t need the hassle.
B, being the ever-wise-one that he is, just quietly reflected for a moment. And then he said, “You are so much more confident as a mom now. Maybe someone in your class just needs a mom figure.”
I’ve mulled that over so many times this semester. And I really thought he was right when a girl came up to me after class one day and said to me, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but sometimes your mannerisms and the way you talk about your family remind me so much of my mom, and I miss my mom so much right now.”
And I agreed in my heart that B was right when two girls from my classes at different times asked me to have lunch with them. What fun to hear their stories and to share a bit of mine!
So, O.K., if God wants me to be a “mom figure” to some college girls, I’m good with that.
But I still felt there was something more. Some hard work He had me to do. But I didn’t know what that could be.
Until last week when I had one-on-one meetings with each of my students, all 40 of them, and during one of those meetings I had a conversation I never expected to have at my Christian college. One of my students told me he was struggling with his faith.
Struggling is one thing. It’s normal, expected almost, but calling oneself an atheist at a Christian college is another thing entirely.
I loved talking with my student last week; I appreciated his openness and his sincerity. I asked a lot of questions, just trying to get a sense of how this happened, this loss of faith, and whether he felt he could, or even wanted to, get it back. And the entire time I felt the Holy Spirit telling me not to worry about this boy—that God had His hand on him and He would take care of the outcome.
As he left, I told him there was a book I really wanted him to read—Carolyn Weber’s Surprised by Oxford. I don’t know why, but I thought it might resonate with him somehow.
I loaned him my copy last Friday. On Sunday he was waiting for me at the back of my church (um, yes, church!), smiling, and telling me how much he enjoyed the book. The 400 page book that he had devoured in two days!
As God would have it, I had actually cooked a decent lunch yesterday, so I asked if he had any plans and would he like to come over to our house? He agreed. Now, on any other Sunday I would have offered him a bowl of cereal, but yesterday I had made a pork roast because Kate was home for Fall Break. (God thing? I think yes.)
While my girls were getting lunch ready, my student and I sat on the couch in our family room and talked about the book. He said to me that what he has started to realize, and what he took from Carolyn Weber’s book, is that Christianity isn’t so much about our seeking God, but it’s more about God seeking us.
We chatted about the parts of the book that we really liked and what it meant to us, and then he told me that he is planning to take next semester off to study in . . . get this! . . . Oxford! I had no idea that this was his plan when I gave him the book.
God thing? I think yes.
We enjoyed a great lunch, great conversation, and a great day. And I received great confirmation that I am exactly where God needs me to be right now.
Someday I’ll have time to blog consistently again, but I’ll be honest, my blog is taking a back seat right now. Teaching has to be first because it’s where God has called me to be for this season, and I can’t wait to see what He confirms for me next.
And also? This weekend I met an author who also spoke some truth into my life (I’ll tell you more about that later), and so my other writing is taking second place starting today.
Blogging? Third place for now. But that’s O.K. I have the confirmation I need that I’m doing what I need to be doing. And that is so sweet.
How about you? How has God confirmed your steps lately? I’d love to hear about it!
I'm linking up with my sweet friend, Richella's, "Grace Imparted" series today.
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