I see that I left off on a fairly relaxed, positive note. Alas, I think I let my spirits drop in May - early July. School got hard, and I got tired. The thought of returning to the same teaching position in August was overwhelming.
Mid-July, I got to leave summer school to go serve in New Orleans with my home Church's youth group. It was refreshing, healing, reviving. Towards the end, I heard a little whisper (I paraphrase here): "Oh, Lydia - you haven't been trusting me enough. Why do you fear? I love you! No matter what happens, you will not be brought down. You are safe in my hands." Can you identify the speaker? Life isn't so black and white that my attitude switched instantly from black to white, but it was a pretty surprising transition from (approximately)
Pretty cool stuff. I spent the next four weeks chilling with the family and friends, trying to figure out how to be both honest and positive about my work. It was confusing jumbling those feelings around - I'm not sure how my situation came off. Some perspective was shed on my situation when I talked to other people who have it just as bad: A sympathetic teacher whose first year was eerily like my own, a student who is in class/work from 8a - 10p with a mere hour break for dinner, doctors, aspiring doctors...
After a month of vacation, I realized I was feeling unproductive and lazy. About three days later, I flew back down to Miami, where I have been greeted with a secure sense of belonging. Why do I feel like this is where I am supposed to be?
- I'm getting back to work. As important it has been to take time for myself and my family, I'm ready to take the focus off of myself again.
- People are happy to see me, and I'm happy to see them! Not that I don't feel loved elsewhere, but I really feel like an integral part of my community here, especially in my house. Green House Unite! (Rebekah, if you read this, know that you are missed every day).
- My hair loves Miami! So weird, but after a year growing accustomed to the humidity, it was dry and blah up North, and here it's gratefully soaking up the damp air. So bizarre.
- I've returned to a good deal of pain - some friends in difficult situations, but in spite of that, I know God is working to heal the brokenness. Dare I be presumptuous enough to think that I may be a positive presence in this time?
School starts Monday. I think I'm experiencing a great calm before a great storm (literally - Hurricane Isaac threatens to let loose on Florida). Ah, well. I shall gather my good times while I may, and refuse to let myself return to the former mindset of July:
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.2
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
-Isaiah 43:1 - 2
(funny how similar the message here is to the comforting whisper mentioned earlier!)