Starting a new semester or getting ready on a Sunday night used to bring a lot of anxiety to my heart. It felt like I was plagued by teaching nightmares each night of the week. Fridays and Saturdays allowed for a brief reprieve from the tightness in my heart and mind.
As a Christian, I knew there had to be something else than this vicious cycle of anxiety. No amount of journaling or “positive” thinking could pull me out of this. I desperately needed to let go of the tight grip that I had on teaching and control but felt paralyzed by fear each time I tried to make a change.
Jon Guerra’s song Illness of the Heart speaks to the struggle of letting go and allowing God to reframe our hearts and minds:
When I am afraid
There is not a word my friends can say
I am in a sinking ship of worry; I am in a Petri dish of living
Father, would you override my body, soul, and mind and the illness of the heart
I know You can make me well…
Beauty is a kind of medicine, but there is no physician like repentance; there is no condition past forgiveness
There is not a healing like the holy love that leads to the stillness of the heart
If you find yourself in a similar situation, may the truths of John 14 and 15 penetrate to your very marrow and prompt you toward prayers of repentance and heart change:
“The Advocate, the Holy Spirit (true wisdom), whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid…As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” –John 14:26-27 and 15:9-11
The beauty of being one with the Lord is that He provides the healing grace and peace that our hearts desperately need. We can loosen our grip on teaching, opening our hands to give and receive.
Dear teacher, may you rest knowing that your worth is not in your job performance or teaching abilities.
Rather, your worth in Christ and peace are eternal: nothing can separate you from the Lord.
We get to be with God, think with God, love with God, and be changed moment-by-moment and day-by-day.