Originally published Tuesday, 12 April 2022.
I was going through school to become a teacher, I remember expressing delight in having chosen a career in which I could embrace change each school year. Change was plausible, whether it be a change in students or a change in grade level. And now, in my tenth year of teaching, I detest September. With the start of each new school year, melancholy begins to loom. I miss my old students, I experience an inner lament for the children from the year before. Together we were a well-oiled machine. They know how I operate. They know the routines. They know my expectations. They get my sarcasm. They know me. The fresh faces of September, however, are haphazard and helter-skelter. Starting anew is just plain hard.
This past year, September’s song of starting anew brought distraught outside the classroom as well. I had just said goodbye to a relationship that I felt with certainty, for the first time ever, would lead to marriage, to a family. I loved deeper than ever before and at many levels. The man I had been in a relationship with had come with children that I embraced, loved, and cherished. It felt very much as though we were already a family, but we weren’t. And I wrestled with the truth that we would not be. Sitting in the midst of hopes not realized, left me discombobulated. As I faced what looked like a desolate frontier in front of me, I had my feet in the mud, not wanting to start anew.
I must hold fast to the assurance that The Lord has purpose in what He is doing. He is still sovereign each time He puts uncharted waters before me. He knows what is best and does what is best. As His servant, I am to humble myself before Him, in seeking to live in accordance with His will. My feet in the mud demeanor just won’t do, if I truly trust in Him. My ever-present prayer is that The Lord increase my trust in Him. I meditate on who I know Him to be. My hope. My rock. My salvation. My refuge.
Perspective shifts when we put our eyes on The Lord and properly esteem Him. No longer do things look desolate or devoid of ever receiving oil. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8) Much joy is found in the midst of deep waters, because it’s in the midst of those deep waters that we see Him. We see Him to be our one and only constant. Through it all, He remains. We see His steadfast love in the innumerable blessings He pours out into today. But we miss this opportunity, if we’re lost in yesterday or tomorrow. Seek Him and see the love and grace He has for you.
We are all errant people, and forget His goodness in a split second. This is true of me in September and other times throughout the year when things seem to be steered in unwanted directions. To diminish the frequency of such, I seek to talk to Him always, to faithfully read His Word, and to surround myself with a community of believers that will point me towards him again and again.
I know I am not alone in this. May we all move forward confidently, trusting His ways, and rest in the knowledge that He writes each of our stories beautifully—flawlessly. We may feel like we’re starting anew, but it’s just simply a new chapter in His book where more of His heroic nature is evident. As rescued people, we can rest in knowing that He is at the helm. With Jesus cast as the hero, hope is written on every page.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
Readers, What new thing is God asking you to trust Him with? How can we pray for you this week?
Kate Franken is an educator, a lover of books, and a coffee connoisseur. She enjoys good conversation, chases after her beautiful dogs, and serves as the volunteer coordinator at her church in Oregon.