“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18 ).”
Is there a trick to acceptance? It’s taken me five years. When my multiple sclerosis (MS) was diagnosed, I was teaching second graders. It became too hard. All the multitasking, standing on my feet, grading papers, preparing lessons, planning trips and parties. . .
God, allow me to keep teaching children.
The administrators provided me with an assistant in the classroom and released me from the responsibilities of bus and lunch duty. Each day still felt like a marathon.
God, help me find a teaching job that requires less standing.
A Christian university hired me to teach two courses each semester. Much to my dismay, even that became too hard. The required energy exceeded my waning endurance.
God, let me still be an educator. I know I could handle one course.
Sadly, even one course proved too difficult. My weakened condition limited the time I could spend preparing PowerPoint presentations, doing research, grading papers. . .
God, make a way for me to continue training young teachers.
The dean of education offered to make several accommodations to lighten my load. But, even with help, I couldn’t manage the responsibilities easily. The cognitive demands of grading papers caused brain drain.
God, if only I could teach without grading. I’m sure I could manage that.
God granted that bold and outlandish request. The dean scheduled me to co-teach with another professor. I’d do the teaching. He’s do the grading. But, you guessed it. . . even the weekly class sessions exhausted me.
Now what, God? What’s next?
Was I in denial? Or rebellion? Is it wrong to try and hold onto a valued profession? Finally, I’m ready to accept whatever comes. My prayer has changed.
Oh Father, I’m grieving my loss. Renew my thinking.
Is there a phrase that can transform thinking? Can anyone just “get over it?” Is it possible to simply “snap out of it?”
Several phrases help me. “God’s still on the throne.” “In all of eternity. . . ”
Others had their own. The Psalmist said, “But God. . . ” Nehemiah said, “Yet. . . ” (Nehemiah b9:19, 28, 30).
It’s no secret. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses (Romans 8:26).
Prayer: Dear Father, Thank You for heroes in the Bible that inspire me to renew my thinking when it goes off track. Help me, like Daniel’s friends, to accept whatever You do with my life. I know You’re able to use me as a teacher. But if not, I will serve You and worship only You (and not my profession). In Jesus’ name, Amen.
About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness. http://mentalillnessmom2mom.net/
Is there a phrase that helps you regain a godly focus? If someone asked you, “What is the secret to finding God’s will?” how would you respond?
I know it is frustrating to not feel like God is telling you His plan for your life right now! Hold on though! God is working with you, on you, and yes–through you–even now. I hope you enjoy this song, “I Smile” with Russ Lee. It’s upbeat and a nice reminder that we can still smile–and be joyful–that God is working on us right now, even if we don’t see the stage and the spotlights. -Lisa