I remember my first year in teaching private school. My hair was tied up in a perfect ponytail, and I had remembered to wear some earrings on my ears. My outfit was neat and freshly-ironed, and every bit of it was perfect.
My co-teacher and I had spent most of the week getting each area ready. We had hit some stores to get some themed decorations for our room. We wanted the children to feel welcome and enjoy every day with the new toys and activities we had planned for the first few weeks.
Two weeks into the school year, and one fine day, our classroom looked like a hurricane had run smack into the middle of the classroom, two kids were having an argument, and another child was crying because she needed a hug.
It was a struggle, and it was stressful.
I worried we would look unprepared to other teachers.
I worried we weren’t building enough rapport with the parents.
I worried we weren’t reaching each child in our care.
I worried we weren’t looking perfect.
Then I realized my folly, I wasn’t a perfect person, or a perfect teacher. I’m not called to be Mary Poppins with enough songs to entertain a crown. My calling was from the Lord. The realization that when I surrender my definition of perfect to God, ask Him to give me the grace as He sanctifies me and continues His perfecting work in me day by day, was ultimately humbling and freeing. This realization is powerful, because only He is the strong refuge that I can run to and be safe.
Wouldn’t you know? Surrendering perfection to God, the Perfect One is changing my daily life.
I can enjoy my friendships without worrying too much about what I wear and say, which makes our friendship more real and focused on the One who truly matters.
I can enjoy my students without worrying about having every inch of the classroom in place, or every lesson plan perfectly carried out, which makes teaching a really fulfilling and joyful calling.
I can enjoy my love, my life, knowing that it is God who is achieving perfection in us through Christ Jesus.
My Refuge and Stronghold.
His ways are perfect. And praise be to Him!
2 Corinthians 3:18 – And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.