I’m a dreamer. I dream in color. I love to dream about the future and what God has in store for me. But I mostly live my dreams.
Seven and a half years ago, I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. I was an Early Childhood Education major at a prestigious private university, attempting for the third straight year to learn to love teaching and failing miserably. But my professor, noting my lack of enthusiasm, drew me aside after an weekly evaluation on our benchmarks and asked me, quite bluntly, “Karen, what are your passions? I can see that it’s not teaching. We don’t need any more impassionate teachers in our school system.” I don’t cry easily, but the waterworks definitely came. What were my passions? I’d built my entire future on being a teacher and now, if I were to abandon this, what would I do? “You don’t have to answer me now, Karen. I know you are gifted in writing, so take a few days, pray, and email me your answers.”
I have a lot to thank that teacher for. I found the email I wrote on my old xanga (remember those things? crazy!)
So as i’ve been praying and thinking about my passions and exactly how they relate to children, I’ve realized that my passions are not with teaching them necessarily, at least not in a school room setting. I want to be open with my faith and teach them through example, love on them, play with them, nurture them as a big sister, or as a motherly person. I like to read to them, and with them, and seeing them say “Aha!!!! that’s what So-and-so meant when they said (insert quote here)!” I enjoy teaching my second grade small group on Sundays, or my fifth grade lifegroup on fridays what the Bible says and how it relates to them. I enjoy acting as an overgrown kid. I want to be able to mentor children on a personal level, and I’m not sure if I could do that with a classroom of kids. I enjoy kids of all ages. I love people. I love making them laugh, and laughing with them, or crying with them, providing a shoulder to cry on. I love listening to the stories from today’s grandparents and great-grandparents about what life was like when they were my age, or how men always opened doors for women, or any of the near forgotten customs from the early/middle part of the 19th century. I love other cultures, and trying their food, and learning about their history. I have always been interested in how other religions compare to Christianity. I love to serve people, and I don’t like being served. This weekend, a roommate decided she’d make me breakfast, but it was hard for me to sit still and let her. I felt I should be helping, doing something at least! Or when another roommate decides to give me part of her coffee, it’s hard for me not to pour it when she insists on doing so. I love giving of myself sacrificially. I’m passionate about building relationships with people, and seeing them grow to know Christ and to love Him. I enjoy doing any kind of mission work. I enjoy reading. I love to read anything! Classics, children’s literature, biographies, historical fiction, fantasies, some philosophy… I enjoy writing and journaling. I love to write anything from devotionals to short stories to poetry. I love creative writing, and sometimes essays if i find a topic that I enjoy and can put details into a way that is creative. I love music, though I’m not always that great at making it. I enjoy listening to it, almost any kind. I’m currently attempting to teach myself how to play guitar using what I’ve learned from when I took music classes.
I realized after pouring my heart out to God that I admire teachers, and when I see teachers acknowledged by their students, sometimes I desire to be like that, but it’s not my passion to teach a large group of students. I’m not even sure where I’d begin.
But the hard thing in admitting that isn’t my passion is going back to where I started. I don’t know what I could major in or where I could work after school. I’m clueless at what to do next, but I cling desperately to the promise in Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” As I poured my heart out to God this past weekend, I kept on thinking about how everything works together for the good of those who seek Him, and I was reminded that Jesus has overcome the world. I’ve done a lot of learning since coming [here], and every day I realize how much more there is for me to learn, and that the best is yet to come. I learned a lot about who I am in Him who has made me, He who doesn’t make mistakes. And as I delve deeper and deeper into His Word, I fall more and more in love with Him.
Thank you, [Doctor W] for having me search for answers to questions I’d kept pushing back in my mind. I really have no clue about what to do now as far as school is concerned, but i know that God does have a plan, even if I had to beat it in my head (not that I would literally….) and I know His plan is good. He is my strength. He is my portion. He is eternal.
What would life be like if we didn’t have teachers who cared about their student’s welfare as you do? It would be a terrible place, full of hatred, but each teacher who sows a seed of love in their students’ lives will surely gain many crowns in eternity, for it is a true gifting, a true calling to teach hundreds of students. For each seed of love will grow in to a fruit bearing tree that will also sow love into others.