let me be full, let me be empty

Today, I just feel frozen.

There are days when, professionally, I feel like utter failure is just around the corner.  I think every person in the world who’s ever been a first year teacher understands that feeling.  And despite the fact that I’m not a first year teacher, I feel like one right now.  This is my first year in a new district.  First year at a public school.  First year teaching choir at a school who actually expects something from their choir program.  First year doing competitions.  First year at a school with multiple schools in the district, which means it’s my first chance to have other programs to compare myself to.

It’s just short of laughable to me how much a roller coaster the experience is.  How there are days when I feel like I’m on top of the world.  And then there are days like yesterday and today, when the reality of how much there is to be done settles in, and the mountain of doing seems absolutely insurmountable.  I find myself in a place where it’s hard to know what to do first, because there’s just so much.  There’s classroom discipline to be handled, there are lessons to plan, there are parent phone calls to make, there is music to order, there is repertoire to be chosen, there are auditions to prepare students for, there are field trips to plan, there is fundraising to do, there are deadlines, there is paperwork, there are expectations.  And then, there are the 40 hours a week I actually spend with my kids.  And some days it just feels like so. damn. much.

And so I freeze.  I find myself frustrated and afraid and taking myself far too seriously, like the world around me is actually going to begin and end with all this nonsense.  I feel like I’m constantly emptying myself out, over and over, for something that rarely fills me back up.

And then comes the reminder that my job was never meant to fill me up in the first place.  I am here to be filled up by Jesus, and then poured out for Him.

I am no longer my own, but Yours. 
Use me as You choose;
rank me alongside whoever You choose;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for You, or laid aside for You,
raised up for You, or brought down low for You;
let me be full, let me be empty;
let me have all things, let me have nothing;
with my whole heart, I freely choose to yield 
all things to Your ordering and approval.

So now, God of glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 
You are mine, and I am Your own.

I just want to remember why I’m here, you know? When all of the little things come crashing in so hard,  I just want to be able to hang on to the fact that I’m here to be something like Jesus to my babies.  I just want to be able to hang on to the fact that the profession itself is secondary to that, always secondary.  I just want to rest in the knowledge that my personal success was never something I was promised, or even something I was told to strive for by anyone but the culture I live in.  I was just promised that if I offer it all up, it will all be used according to God’s reality.

Let me be full or let me be empty.

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