I haven’t posted ANYTHING since August. For that I apologize. I wanted to, but I got caught up in my job, grad school, and of course I had to get some traveling in. Not to mention, I ran my first half marathon.
A lot has changed in the 6 months or so. I got to travel back to my two favorite cities, Prague and LA, I saw friends get married, have babies, and I had a mid life crisis.
Well maybe it wasn’t a mid life crisis, more like a self actualization.
I’ve been so busy, I stopped taking care of myself. I was sick A LOT these last few months. I mean I had everything from a horrible stomach virus that put me in the hospital, to strep throat and a stomach ulcer.
Sure these things are practically expected when you’re a teacher, especially an elementary teacher. But I was also gaining weight from stress, and my chronic migraines were more frequent than they had been in years.
Something wasn’t right.
I started realizing how unhappy I was. Almost everyday I was crying as I drove to work. Everyday.
At work, I broke down so many times. And things were just getting harder. It wasn’t my kids, sure they weren’t easy. But there was more to this than just them.
I realized that the work environment I was in, was hurting me. My work environment was making me more sick than my students germs.
So for months. I prayed aloud. I asked for guidance. And as I’m doing this I realized how far I had strayed from my faith and my God. In 2017, I had missed so many Sundays. I stopped surrounding myself with people who LOVE Jesus.
I realized what I was missing.
So I prayed. And I prayed. I prayed for my students, my coworkers, my principal. I prayed for myself.
*Notice that I put myself last.*
Then one day, I’m sitting in my Servant Leadership class, and we are talking about how servant leaders are often used, walked all over, and in so many ways sacrifice themselves for others. And as a room full of teachers, we asked ourselves, “where do we draw the line? When do we draw the line?”
And I realized, that a servant leader can only do as much good for others, when he/she is taking care of themselves.
We’ve all heard it before, put your face mask on before you help someone else.
Proverbs 11:14 says this:
Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory
How can I truly be a leader in my classroom when I have lost my guidance? My way.
I realized just how lost I was. How much harm I was actually doing. These kids needed someone who could lead them in education and in life.
And right now that’s not where I am.
And my work environment wasn’t helping me to see that. It was keeping me in this dark, negative space, that I felt suffocated in.
So I knew I had to make a tough decision.
And with that, I handed in my resignation to both my school district and Teach for America. I realized I had to take time for myself, or I would burnout completely. I wouldn’t make it to may without completely destroying myself.
I realized that I’m 26 years old, and that I’m completely unhappy, lost, and my health was going downhill fast. I couldn’t keep doing this. Not right now.
I have to find my way again first.
And with that, a rush of peace came over me. I knew that my God was going to take care of me. It was ok to walk away.
Someone told me while I was making this decision, that “commitment looks different when you are obeying our God”.
And she was right. It does. Sure I made a commitment on a piece of paper that I would teach in this classroom. But I also know that the Lord’s plans are not always the same as my own. That what He wants from me, isn’t what I thought it was going to be or look like.
So I said ok, God I’m trusting you. Lead me. Show me the way. I’m following in His steps in order to find myself again. In order to trust again. So that I can lead again.
I think as teachers, or anyone in a profession where it requires so much sacrifice of ourselves, we do just that. We sacrifice ourselves to the point of burnout, exhaustion. And then what good are we anymore? We forget to take care of ourselves. Unfortunately I’ve always been this way, and I struggle with finding the balance.
Maybe you do to. That’s why I’m writing this. Because I think it’s ok to walk away. Sometimes you have to take a step back to see what it is that your missing. It’s ok to want to take care of yourself. It’s ok. Just trust in the Lord, and in prayer. Trust that He will lead you to where you need to be.
So for me? I’m focusing on my faith and health. I’m focusing on how to trust God’s word and how He can lead me to become a better leader for others. A servant leader is just that.
I’m making a commitment this year to my writing, and faith. Which means I will be posting on here weekly. Help hold me accountable. Feel free to reach out to me, I’m by no means a professional-just another 20something year old trying to find purpose.
Until next time, here’s a verse that the Lord literally just put on my heart as I was writing this post. (I think he’s telling me something)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.