This Sunday at church, the speaker chose to talk about trials based out of the book of James. I feel like this is a subject that should be tread upon lightly. I ,generally speaking, get frustrated and bitter when people talk about trials because I feel like they miss the heart of God. When people talk about trials, I usually begin to feel a bit of resentment creep into my heart because I feel as though it's assumed that when we don't have something that we've been asking for, or when something has been taken away from us, it's automatically a punishment from God.
Jesus chastised the disciples for doing this very thing in John 9. When a blind man passed by Jesus, the disciples as Jesus, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" The disciples assumed that God was admonishing this man or his parents so the man was blind. Jesus tells his followers that neither the man nor his parents did anything wrong, but that God was going to reveal his works through this man. The he made the man whole. That is the heart of God!
If we think of the analogy of a parent, a parent doesn't take the toy of a happily playing child. She delights in watching her child's joy and only intervenes if the child is at risk of hurting themselves or other around them.
God uses our life circumstances to teach us, of course, but he is not the author of evil, and the Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father.
Today when one of my students came to be withdrawn from high school, he came to knock on my door to say goodbye to me. I was in a meeting with a princiPAL, but I couldn't help myself. I asked to be excused so that I could hug my boy goodbye. I really have a soft spot for this particular kid- he's the one who came to me after he spent a night out on the street to tell me about how the one thing he thought to bring from home was his hair spray. Midway through the year he could never keep a pencil; he lost it every day, so I tied it to his bookbag and then for a month straight, he would roll up and unroll his pencil on a string. I worked extra with this kid knowing that patience would enable him to blossom. When he struggled with his other classes and teachers, we still managed to get along quite wonderfully. So today when he knocked on my door, it wouldn't have mattered if I was meeting with the president of the WORLD, I would have needed to say goodbye.
I told him to give me a hug, and I couldn't help but tear up. Even as I write this, I can't help but cry a little.
It's hard to say goodbye to people that you love and wish all the best for.
It seems like every time I go into school in the morning, I have another email telling me that another of my precious babies has dropped out. It's hard to have put in so much effort and time into someone, to have hoped so much for someone, to have rooted for them with all your heart, only to have them quit at the end.
I just have to trust that this hasn't been in vain.
All year I have had a student that I loved dearly even though he was super difficult. He got into fights, did drugs, got in trouble at school for various reasons, wasn't overly liked by his teachers...For me, it wasn't easy to love D. I think sometimes when you decide to love someone, it makes them love you back. For that reason, we had a really good relationship. When he had trouble with other classes, he would come sit in my room.
D. has skipped a lot lately. Yesterday he came into school. He informed me that he woke up and rode the bus just to see me and that he would be leaving after first period. He told me he told his ride to pick him up right after first period ended so he could go to my class. Then his ride got there early. D. told me to do whatever I needed to do, but that he had to go. He said goodbye and walked out.
Today I got an email from his Mom. She was withdrawing him. He would finish high school at the community college to get his GED.
It dawned on me that yesterday was goodbye. He knew it; I just didn't.
I'm feel really sad about this decision even though I think it's for the best; I'm just going to miss my kid.