time again

Yes, it’s time for a post. The stresses of my new job are tying me in knots, but I hope soon to settle into a healthier routine. I’m told that the first year of teaching is often like this. So I’m grateful that my job is only part-time, and that I know it’s not uncommon to feel so challenged and, well, frustrated.

I am still in the midst of transition. I must daily remind myself of that, because it explains a multitude of challenging emotions: emotions that would otherwise be crippling. But I know the stress, the sadness, the resistence to opening up to a new set of people, the disillusionment with America, the frustrations of re-adjusting to a culture that used to be all I’d known…all of these things fall under the column of transition. It’s a person’s reactions, in both mind and body, to a major life change. And I’ve definitely undergone a major life change this year.

There are many good things. I’m grateful for my job, challenging though it is at the moment. I’m grateful for my family, who welcomed me back and is gracious to me as I fudge my way through the readjustment process. I’m grateful for the priceless experiences I had in Europe: for the places I traveled, the skills I learned, and the people I met. I am most grateful for the people I met – for the relationships that grew so deep and beautiful. The wounds I have from ripping myself away from that community and those relationships are equally deep. The pain is searing, but it’s bittersweet. You’ve heard the cliché, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I’m living it, and it’s true.

And now I understand. For the first time, I have a clearer picture of what the MK life is like: the transient life. The life of too many painful “goodbyes” and not enough friendly “hellos.” Now I know. And now I, too, am having some trouble opening up to friends old and new; there’s an instinct that experience forms in your gut – it tells you to stop; wait; don’t say too much. If you get close to someone new, you’ll lose them and it will hurt – all over again. It’s an instinct that seems to take tangible force and control sometimes. It’s hard to fight it, but I must, and as I do, I remember my girls and all the students at BFA. I sympathize with them in a way I previously could not.

This is where I am. Wounded but healing. Exhausted from last school year and already drained after the first few weeks of this one. Facing the new challenges of teaching and disciplining in a classroom. I am II Corinthians 4:9 – “hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

So in the center of the swirling turmoil I find the eye of the hurricane and rest on the promise Paul did. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Amen.

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2 Responses

  1. You are doing great Jessica, just hang in there. Be neat, behave, be NAVY.

  2. Do press on with new relationships. Having moved 16 times (that’s big moves, not neighborhood to neighborhood) in my life, has taught me to open up, look for other newcomers, be more bold than I’m comfortable being (REALLY – I’m shy inside!), think of how others are feeling, feel sorry for people who are not open to “new” people, look for new sights and experiences, etc. – a wealth of good training over the years. If I do not appear shy to you, it’s because I’ve learned to overcome my shyness through my 16 moves; I’ve learned to reach out and embrace others; and I’ve definitely learned to have empathy for the “new” person and developed a desire to include them in something. Press on!

    Hugs!
    Laura

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