I can’t tell you how often I have leaned into the words of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV).
Most recently, while working in my role as a long-term substitute teacher, I seemed to especially need this reassurance. The circumstances I faced when the pandemic hit taught me a lot about trusting God and being flexible to reenvision and embrace His purpose for me.
Last March, when schools initially shut down for two weeks to “flatten the curve,” I thought I knew what my role in the online “classroom” would look like. But the day after my school went virtual, I was informed that my job as I knew it was literally gone.
I was stunned. I didn’t get to see my students again that year, even virtually. I never even got to say goodbye. I mourned the loss of the connection I had developed with my students. Plus, I worried that I would lose the extra income the job provided.
But, despite my disappointment, God worked the situation together for good. To my delight, the school district honored my contract, connecting me with a few select students. God not only worked all things together for my good by providing my income, but I also saw students ministered to in ways that I couldn’t have orchestrated if I was in my original, preferred position. He fulfilled His purpose, even when it didn’t align with what I wanted and what I thought my original purpose in that classroom was.
This past year has placed all educators on unsettling, difficult paths. The detours resulting from the pandemic certainly caused most of us to experience fear, doubt, and frustration. Most educators have traveled along paths we wouldn’t have chosen or even expected God to send us down.
But Christian educators, we can fulfill our purpose with renewed courage and confidence because even when we don’t see it or feel it, God is working. We may never know the full impact we are having on others as we follow our purpose, but He is always working. He may redirect us along the way, but ultimately, those of us who love God and follow the call He places on our lives can trust that He is working ALL things together for our good.
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