Things seemed so much simpler when this picture was taken. My brother and I didn’t have a care in the world, and were just itching to get back to play time. Times have certainly changed. We both have grown up, and sometimes I wish I could go back to being this little girl in the picture, especially when I think of some difficult moments from this year.
Oh boy, has this year been different. When my brother and I sang Micah Tyler’s song “Different” after New Year’s, I had no idea just how different 2020 was about to be.
I prayed for Him to move the hearts of Christians this year, and we were tested. We were forced to change our worship services. We had to change the way we go out and about. A lot has been thrown at us. It has been a long time since I have cried for a good part of a year, and I believe many of you have probably cried right along with me this year.
This week was particularly hard.
After work, I went and cried to my fiancé for maybe what had seemed like the millionth time this week. Through my sobs, I choked out that I didn’t know why I was where I’m at, and that maybe I’m not cut out to be a teacher. I didn’t feel like I was making a difference. I didn’t feel like I was reaching any of my students. I actually felt foolish. I often feel like I have no idea what I am doing.
I was also angry. The kids had let me down this week. I let them know how deeply they hurt me too. My co-workers encouraged me to not feel discouraged, but I still drove home with a heavy heart like I often have since this school year has started. It has been hard on me. Very hard.
But as soon as the words come out of my mouth, I decided to check my e-mail. In my inbox was a message from one of my students who sent me a very sweet message to let me know how much she appreciated me as a teacher, how much she loved me, and how much God loved me.
I started crying even harder, y’all! God answered my prayer right then and there. While it has not gotten easier, God sent me encouragement to keep going because there is a reason I am exactly where He has sent me. I’m just waiting for Him to reveal His plan for me.
I have gone through so many different challenges this year, including many life changes. Sometimes I feel like I’m playing catch-up with my thoughts and emotions after I finally get a chance to breathe and process all that has happened. When I think about it too much, I have to lie down on my couch because I feel like my knees are about to give out from just the pure mental exhaustion.
This year has looked so much different than I thought it would be, but God has opened my eyes and heart to many things that I originally did not think were possible.
In this year alone, God has changed me from an exhausted student to a graduate with a degree. He changed me from being unemployed to a teacher. He changed me from a girlfriend to a fiancé. He changed me from living off my parents to living on my own for the first time. He changed me from a babysitter of two wonderful children to an educator of over 40 children. He changed me from an in-person Vacation Bible School teacher to one who could reach anyone who was led to click the play button for virtual VBS.
This year has changed many things for everyone. God has changed my circumstances for the better, even in the midst of this crazy year. Jeremiah 1:5 reminds us that God knew us before we even breathed life on this temporary home we call earth.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appoint you a prophet of nations.”
God was not surprised about the events of this year. He also knew who was going to pray and call out to Him during this time. He knew my brother and I were going to sing together for the first time in a long time in front of my church. He knew His people needed a change. We needed a cleansing of our hearts and our minds.
God knew who my future husband would be all those times I cried out to Him to send the right person. God knew what job I would receive after graduating college as I searched and searched for possible career paths with a stressed mind. He had it all laid out before I was even formed in my mother’s womb. God was not surprised and is just waiting for us to run to Him with our prayer requests and songs of praise. He wants our hearts and He wants our trust.
Let’s do something different and lay our burdens down. He will carry us because He knows the path. He sent His son to be our truth, our way, and our life. His holy word lights our path.
If you are struggling in the dark, especially during the turbulent times of 2020, and you want something different, give it all up for Jesus. He will transform your life in ways you cannot even fathom. It may not be the way you planned out for yourself, but it will be for the better. If you invite Jesus into your heart, you will have unfathomable peace and reassurance. If you let go and let God work in your life and use you as His instrument, this world and its desires will fall away for an everlasting life that is way different and way better than any reward this world can ever offer. Anyone who tells you any different is a direct lie from the enemy.
Even though God has called me to be a teacher at this point in my life, I am not a perfect teacher. I do my best and He gives me the strength to keep going. He sends me encouragement through co-workers and my students.
I’m definitely not the best singer, but when He calls me to stand up in front of my church and sing for Him, I’ll do it. At the end of this post is the link to me and my brother singing Micah Tyler’s song, “Different.” We are not amazing at performing it, but the song itself is amazing because it calls us to call on God to change us, transform us, and be different for Him. I pray you want to make a change and let God transform your life for the better.
If you wish to hear us sing for our Heavenly Father, please click the following link: