This is the last week of school in Huntsville, Alabama. It marks the end of our family’s first year involved in the public school system. I feel myself breathing a huge sigh of relief. We made it! We did it! I’m certain I’m not the only parent (or teacher) breathing such a sigh.
However, the end of the school year has caused me to reflect on where we’ve come. As I mentioned, this year was the first year to have a child in public school. As a mom of any child, during any period of time, there is some anxiety about sending your child to a strange place with strange people you don’t know (or at least there probably should be). I watch the news, I see what’s happening in our education system and my anxiety level was heightened. So, in preparation for my precious first-born daughter walking through the halls of our neighborhood elementary school last August, I spent a considerable amount of time on my knees.
I prayed very specific prayers for her teacher–the person that would influence my child throughout the course of the year in more ways than academically. I didn’t know her name, I didn’t know if she was a she. I didn’t know how she spent her weekends or in what condition her marriage was in. I didn’t know how much experience she had or if she was the kind of influence I wanted on my child at all. So, I prayed. I asked God for what I wanted. I asked for a teacher that would challenge my child. I asked for her to have a restful summer. I asked for her to be the perfect fit for my child.
Do you know what happened? God answered in a big way. My daughter was assigned a teacher beyond my wildest imagination. I wasn’t sure they even still made this kind of teacher anymore! She was kind and firm and encouraging. She loves Jesus, has a healthy marriage and influenced my child in every way I could have hoped or dreamed.
It was amazing. I couldn’t believe we could have such an amazing teacher. Kati Ann has grown academically and socially. She has been challenged and uplifted. But the year is coming to an end. Our first grade teacher isn’t moving up to second grade and the questions are already beginning to form in my mind.
Who will teach my child? Who is this person that will challenge her? Will they love Jesus? Will they be harsh? Will they live a lifestyle that is foreign from the truths we’ve taught our daughter?
And I find myself praying again. But this time I’m praying a different prayer. I’m not praying for the perfect fit for my daughter. Already that sounds crazy. Why would I not pray for exactly what I want? Because my wants have changed. I’m asking for more. I don’t want only the perfect fit for Kati Ann this year. God answered last time and gave me far beyond what I could have dreamed for a teacher. So, am I asking too much?
No I don’t believe so. However, I am raising my expectations. I raising them for myself, for Kati Ann and for God. If I only pray for the perfect fit for Kati Ann, I’m allowing myself to look at the world through a pin sized hole. I’m only seeing the effects of God’s hand on her life. However, I want to see something bigger. I want to see God’s Kingdom work through my child’s life. So, instead of asking for the perfect fit for Kati Ann, I’m praying for the perfect fit for God’s Kingdom work.
I’m praying for the teacher, no matter his/her lifestyle, level of experience or attitude. I’m praying for the children that will sit beside my child and walk alongside her in the hallways. I’m praying for the God’s Kingdom to come down in the classrooms and hallways of Farley Elementary. Am I concerned about Kati Ann’s education or the influences on her life? Concerned in the sense that I care? For sure. However, I pray that
if when the time comes she encounters a teacher whose attitude toward teaching falls short, we’ll recognize the divine invitation for God’s glory to be shown.
I’m going to continue to pray for Kati Ann’s teacher’s summer, her relationships and her personal life. I’m going to pray for energy, health and wisdom. But, instead of praying for what is best only for my child, I’m going to pray a bigger prayer. I’m praying for the perfect teacher to challenge Kati Ann spiritually. My prayer is that she will not be challenged only academically but she will be trained to be a light shining God’s love on those around her.
Would you join me in praying BIG prayers for our teachers this summer? I’m talking the scary kind of prayers that puts Jesus in the driver’s seat where He belongs. Will you pray for God’s glory to show up in the halls of our schools? Will you pray these prayers for your own children, grandchildren, and neighbor kids? Will you commit to praying this summer for those teachers that are carrying His light into their classrooms? Will you pray for the teachers that so desperately need a touch from Him?
Will you join me?
If you would join me in committing to pray for our schools this summer will you tweet from the link below, pin this blog, or post this image on your Facebook page?