Life is hard. It throws us some unexpected curves at times and we don’t get the luxury to sit it out. We get up, we move – rest if we must, but we can’t afford to quit. I have been teaching virtually since 2020. I work in adult education. Over the past few years, I have seen an overwhelming amount of heartache in the lives of my students. Often times they connect but are only in ‘listening mode’. Why? They may be in therapy with a special needs child, at the a medical facility, a parent-teachers meeting, at work, prepping for surgery, driving home from work, sick and in bed or so broken from a miscarriage – the list goes on. To be honest, they are some of my heroes. They amaze me. Why? Their ability and willingness to ‘show up’ despite the worst of situations.
Recently in class I called on ‘ Gina’ to answer a question, but she didn’t respond. A few seconds later she wrote a message to me in the chat: ‘ Teacher I’m listening but I can’t speak. I’m in the hospital with my mom’. Some days later, I called on another student – no response. A minute later she messaged me. She explained that she can’t speak but she’s listening. She shared that she was at the doctor with her son. He had surgery last month and was not doing well. She wrote, ‘ Teacher I’m worried about my son….they are doing tests for cancer.’ I could share many more stories like these. Still, they show up.
I have had days when I am teaching with my heart in pain, chaos in my own situations and storms brewing all around me. I am expected to show up because my contract indicates that. There have been days when I didn’t want to, but I had to – I needed to. This is part of being a responsible adult professional. Showing up is great, but to be effective I must also ‘be present’. Present in body and mind – my students deserve this. They fight insurmountable odds at times to be in class. They come – sometimes in tears. Tears after just losing a child in a horrific car accident. The truth is I need them as much as they need me. We need each other.
Today, I salute you. You who show up when all hell is breaking loose in your personal spaces. Moms and dads who are present for the family while they are sick, worn and tired. You face financial challenges, battles with extended family, dealing with infidelity or abuse, recovering from addictions, difficult children, personal failures, legal problems, and struggles on the job or in your career. You show up and give hope to others. You show up and serve. You show up and smile through the pain. God sees you – He sees me.
I show up not because I am strong. I show up because of the Christ in me. I need Him more than the air I breathe. He infuses me with the divine enablement to do what He has called me to do. I invite you, who have stopped showing up, to draw your strength from Him. His arms are always outstretched – waiting. ‘Weary traveler, restless soul. You were never meant to walk this road alone.’ 🎶 [Jordan St. Cyr]
I I have found much solace in scriptures that remind me of Who is greater than me. I need to be reminded when I feel undone and overwhelmed. When my greatest fears have become my reality. When the news or the report is not good. When I see nothing but darkness on the horizon. I breathe in His life giving word and I bow in His presence. I am then reminded of this:
I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] (Phil 4:13 AMP)
**Thanks for reading. Thanks for showing up. ‘Like’, share and comment.