I was struggling in my teaching career...really struggling. And not only that, but I was feeling like problems plagued every area of my life. Unfortunately, I had not chosen to turn to God during those difficult circumstances. The enemy was succeeding in making me feel powerless—without any weapons or help—to fight against the continual feeling of defeat. I had come to a place in my teaching career where I truly felt it would be best for my students, my family, and myself if I quit the profession.
Then, I was nominated for the Daniel Weekend.
Honestly, the idea of experiencing a tiny getaway from all the stress I was facing served as my main motivation for accepting this invitation. But God didn’t seem to mind my ulterior motive. He just wanted me there so that He could minister to my weary soul.
It didn’t take long for me to find myself deep within a community of loving people and the healing presence of God at the Daniel Weekend. Getting to know the attendees and the Daniel leaders was an honor. I remember thinking during one of the many meaningful dialogues, This is what life-giving fellowship feels like. This must be how God intended community.
In addition to the encouraging fellowship, participating in the thoughtfully planned activities helped me feel equipped and anointed to go back to my school and demonstrate God’s love in any way possible.
The weekend was a pivotal moment in my life. It was the moment where I went from feeling like a pitiful, tired failure to feeling empowered to live as a brave and daring modern-day Daniel! Through this experience, God began to change my heart. I received a renewed passion for teaching, a revival of love for my students and colleagues, and a strengthening of my faith and reliance on our good God.
Although I am now home and back to facing a challenging make-up of students and the many other difficulties I faced earlier, I am no longer living in defeat. I am able to cling to the higher calling and purpose for my work in my classroom. I more clearly understand who I am in Christ. I am waiting on the Lord to do big and miraculous things. I have designed plans, set goals, and dreamed big dreams that inspire me to keep going, guided by the Holy Spirit.
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Haeli Blatchley lives in Fort Atkinson with her husband and daughter. She has been teaching for five years, and currently teaches kindergarten in Edgerton, Wisconsin.
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