Pros and Cons

Well, it is back to the grind…I just wrapped up the first eternity full week of school with the my new kiddos.  I am currently in zombie mode trying to adjust to the schedule (i.e. setting an alarm, putting on real clothes, standing on my feet for long periods of time and talking all day).  It is quite different from my summer routine of sitting behind a computer screen while filling out paperwork in my sweatpants.  As I get back into the swing of things I have experienced some pros and cons of going back to work.

The Pros

Although I would have loved an eternal summer, I am actually really, really happy to get back to school for a number of reasons.

  •  First, I missed DMS family so much over the summer!  I am surrounded by so much love and support and positivity each day.  It is so refreshing to walk through those doors every week knowing that we all have each others’ backs when it comes to school stuff or life stuff.  For example:  About a week ago JD and I were presented with a high risk situation and could not decide if we wanted to present.  We had made the decision to proceed and as I was talking to my hall mates about the situation my friend Adrienne said- “Well, I will be praying hard for you guys…wait…no…let’s go pray NOW!”  So we did. As soon as we got done praying I called JD and he told me that about five minutes before (which was while we were praying) he began to feel very uneasy about the situation and didn’t want to present.  Prayer works, you guys!  I feel so blessed to work with a group of people who will drop everything in the middle of their own busyness and stress to pray.
  • Second, getting back to work was just the distraction I needed at just the right time.  When I was on the verge of being totally consumed by the whole adoption process, heading back to school helped me get into a routine and it put things back into perspective for me.  It has been healthy for me to have something else to focus on.  Adoption is still obviously on my mind, but now lesson plans and grading and all those school tasks provide a much needed distraction.
  • Finally, my students provide so much comic relief.  Middle schoolers are hilarious, y’all.  They can be exhausting, but I laugh more each day with my 8th graders than I did in 6 whole years of teaching high school combined.  I really do end each day with a huge smile on my face.

The Cons

The good really does outweigh the bad, but after finishing this first full week of school I have noticed a few negative things rising to the surface.

  • To start with,  I am so tired that all of my emotions are intensified.  I feel the high of happiness and joy mentioned above, but at the same time I feel my lows just as strongly.  When I get home each day and finally sit down to unwind the sadness begins to set in.  After a long day of teaching, no matter how enjoyable, I am drained physically, mentally and emotionally and do not have the strength to push away the heartache I feel.  Every night for the past week I have felt like I might burst into uncontrollable sobs.  This is pretty typical for any beginning of the school year, but is heightened with the difficulty surrounding this adoption process.  In my state of emotional frailty I feel like the empty nursery is taunting me and some days it is almost more than I can take.
  • This state of exhaustion and weakness has also allowed the enemy opportunities to attack.  He has seen my vulnerability and is constantly around every corner waiting to pounce.  I feel like I am in one of those cartoons with the devil on one shoulder and God on the other and that there is a very real, tangible fight going on between the two.  In one ear I hear the enemy telling me- “It is okay to feel sorry for yourself, you DESERVE to have everything you want.  You have every right to be angry at what has been taken from you.  That jealousy you feel for families who can have biological children is totally justified”.   It is deafening.  Then it is as the Lord softly whispers- “I am here. You know the truth.”  That truth is I deserve death for my sinful nature.  It is only by His grace and mercy and sacrifice on the cross that I have been made worthy.  The truth is also that he loves me unconditionally no matter how much I struggle and wrestle with my flesh.  Also, I am owed NOTHING… every single thing I have is a gift from Him and it is far more than I deserve.  And finally, the truth is that this is not my home.  There are greater things in store.

I know the battle will continue to rage on…but no matter what happens, in the end I have the victorious One on my side!

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