It has been a long day, but it has gone by fast. Sort of ironic. I'm sitting at home trying to get some rest from this cold that's clinging to me like a crawfish...?? I know I've been at work too long when I start sounding out words in my head that I see--like the word, Th-i-n-k-ing. Or I start saying the words that way to adults when they ask me a question.
This 2016-17 school year I am a LITERACY TUTOR in AmeriCorps. It sounds kind of fancy when you put it that way. I spend my days working one-on-one with about 16 different students on various reading interventions. We work on short reading passages or blending together small words. This also includes a lot of paperwork, data entry, prep work, bribing and coaxing via small toys, candy, and cracker items. It should involve a lot more praise than scolding, more high-fives than head-shaking, and you get the picture. The work is often rewarding, but also where I want to bang my head against the wall kind of frustrating... in a good way. I don't think I'm allowed to say anything negative about AmeriCorps. No worries, this is on my own time... anyway.
It has been difficult to adjust from the college atmosphere of soaking in information and following schedules, to making a schedule, and trying to influence the youngin's to follow directions. I am also often very physically drained by the end of the day. Lately my saving grace (not literally) has been lime popsicles and naps. I am growing a greater appreciation for the many years of effort other teachers have sown into me.
I have also been adjusting in my personal life. The past few months I have hardly been able to think straight or slow down. I didn't feel I could really journal or process much, but only keep going. I still end up doing this. I don't want to stop to really feel the loss that I feel or process my emotions.
Again another heartbreak. It really shouldn't surprise me, that's the way these things go. But each time I am let down and the pain is still raw. This time a bit more traumatic. I missed a week of work from a weekend road trip gone awry. Let's just say I'm glad the car didn't crash. It was like all the dysfunction in our relationship and other factors built up to cause one epic breakdown on that trip. There was a lot of fear and that is what I struggle with most. I keep reliving those moments. I wasn't hurt that bad physically, but I still don't know how to move forward. I had to leave and it was probably the hardest thing I've ever done because I felt I needed him so much.
I still struggle with feeling alone and guilty, like maybe I caused this to happen. I know that is unreasonable, but I still struggle. I have a hard time with vulnerability also. So much of my life and my striving is consumed by work and fostering a strong appearance. I don't feel very strong. I don't want to become a robotic, unfeeling type of strong. I want to be strong from letting myself feel and becoming newer through it. I pray for God to give me grace so that I can.
It is so good to see the snow melting away and again feel the warmth of rays of sunshine on my face. Maybe this is happening to my heart as well. It is starting to soften and trust again, although maybe with a wary shell. If I have not seemed myself these past several months, this is why. * PLEASE do not come up to me and think it's a joke to scare me or put your hands in my face. It triggers that same fear that I felt then and I have a hard time with that.
I am hoping that where the old limb has been cut off, new branches will sprout. God has pruned me and it hurts, but I hope that I will become an even more beautiful creation. I grieve that life will never again be those carefree childhood summers of listening to chickadees and bathing in little washtubs outside. It'll be so long, so long until I hear my grandmother calling me, "Hey there Monkey-Shine," again. But I press on still. Life is hard, but it can be so good.
Lord, keep moving in me to become all that you wish for me. Let me be made new and made whole by the work of your hands. I am so far from what could be, yet I am Becoming. Keep me close in those lonely time when I am wishing for a Person to fill what only you can. Thank you for your steadfast presence and sense of humor over me that keeps me going. Watch over my family, and this world. Thank you Jesus, Amen.