The past two weeks have been hard. Really hard. The level of anxiety and stress I have felt have been more than normal due to work. Do I say this to get sympathy? No. I want you to know that is life no where near perfect or people you may see in church never have sin issues and things they are dealing with. This is not the case. The last blog post I told you to be complete transparent with your sin and be totally real with God who already knows all that about you.
Now, I am going to tell you that there is strength in sharing these things with others. God did not create us to share this life experience with no one. We were made to support each other and to live together in our struggles to hold each other accountable and lift each other up. So here is my next step in being totally honest with God and the people around me.
I have been really mad at God this week. I have felt completely abandoned and overlooked in many ways of my life including my relationship with Jesus. Each year, students take an end of the year test that shows if they do not meet, approach, meet, or exceed state testing standards. Last year, I started off with a class that was not where they needed to be to say the least. My scores returned at the end of that year as a fail even with all the hard work I put into the year. Since that meeting to discuss those scores I have prayed each day for God to validate my path as the right one. I have asked for "wisdom to do my job, and scores to reflect it." EVERY DAY of this year.
Fast forward to this week. My class was #1, the very best, with the best scores in Winter. I was proud of my kids and what they were doing and for once I felt like I was validated in my choice to be a teacher. ("If it's not on paper, does it even count?" rings through my head constantly in this job.) Now to the spring test, my students did not stay #1 or #2 or even #3. It was a total miss from my standpoint and I was a total mess. I went through all the stages of grief in 24 hours. I was angry. I was depressed. I bargained with myself about certain scores. I cried. A LOT. But most of all, I just kept asking, "God why did you forsake me in this? Where are you right now?" I was mad. I was very hurt. I was shocked.
Before the test, I told a friend, "if it doesn't go the way I want and have prayed for, He is still good." But in the aftermath when it did not go the way I thought or wanted, I was mad. I was very hurt. I was shocked. If I really believed that then I wouldn't be so upset, would I? I had to go back to the verses in scripture that this is found and gain some perspective. In Daniel 3, the story is of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and we know how that goes. They refuse to bow down to the King and they are sent into the fire. When asked why they do not bow they answer and say that "16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
As I walk through this most recent fire in my life, do I have the faith like these three men? Do I really believe that or am I just saying that? Here's the bottom line; I have been so upset with the lack of answer to my prayers I have been so upset with God. I am dealing with the feeling of guilt for feeling that way towards such a good Father, I am dealing with anxiety of next steps in my job and depression over if I am equipped to be a teacher which I felt was a calling from the beginning of my life. I have to have faith to believe that in the midst of all of this, HE IS STILL GOOD.
I also say all of that to say, no one is perfect. NO ONE and in the midst of your fire (depression, issues with relationships, high school fears, worry from next steps in your life after high school, your lack of relationship with Jesus, etc.) do you believe that HE IS STILL GOOD? He is. He is so good even when it doesn't go the way I want. Even if not, HE IS STILL GOOD.