This afternoon, a friendly and caring colleague walked into my classroom with a big smile on his face while my kiddos were at lunch. "Deckard! How's it going?? You seem to be having such a great semester- what's going on with you?" It was no secret on my elementary campus that last fall semester put me through the ringer, but this spring has truthfully been a different story.
I chuckled and blushed at my coworker's compliment, reflecting on the comfortable and joyful place Room 8 has become since ringing in the New Year. "I think our class is just really hitting a stride. I know I'm loving it!"
And then the question I saw coming from a million miles away (the question I'd been doing such a great job at dodging in my professional life): "So how's that long-distance relationship going?"
Nearly choking on my words, I expected to hear myself mutter some vague and cliche response about things not working out...going separate ways...for the best.... but what came out of my mouth instead was the truth. "He decided he didn't want to be together anymore. I was really caught off guard, but it's been incredible how I've been able to invest in my kids since then. I guess that's the change you've been noticing!"
There is blessing, there is grace. Even here, even here.
I moved to Arkansas to love and serve and teach kids. And during the fall semester, I spent my time loving a boy instead. Praise God for second chances in the spring, and a few months to do really well what I came here to do for much longer of a time.
Promises that this isn't going to turn into a relationship or lifestyle blog, but I've gotta document the insight my brother shared while helping me process this breakup-
"The fact that you now understand how a boy can negatively affect your ability to be present and influential in your work is very important. When you're in the right relationship, it will ebb and flow with your life more than that. The right relationship will make you better at your work, not worse (though it may lead to wine flu at work more)."
I've come to school teary-eyed and empty and weary-hearted for the past month, but I've left daily with a soul overflowing with inspiration and child-like, heaven-ready love.
For this is what the Lord says-- he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited-- he says: "I am the Lord and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob's descendants, 'Seek me in vain.' I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right." (Isaiah 45:18-19)
Here's to buying my own damn self some flowers, making a cup of tea, and getting back to work.