June 28, 2018
Sunburn on my skin like a stain. Noises buzzing my ears like bumbling bees. Thoughts running, running, running… gone.
I wish I was good in crowds. I wish I was good at being loud. I wish I was good at basic communication. I wish my face didn’t look like I hate everything. I wish I was bursting with fun ideas. I wish I had a laugh that lit up the room.
Somewhere across the parking lot, past the pavilion, a boy is flying a kite. Back in the building on the first floor someone is upset. On the jungle gym I am sitting, watching the world.
What are three things you are thankful for today?
I try to ask myself this question at least once a day, especially when the anxiety is rising and the heat on my face is persistent.
Number one: This job. This wonderful job that stretches me every day and brings me face to face with my Creator, reminding me that I am loved the way that I am. Reminding me that I’m here on this playground for a reason. Moments lost in worship where every child’s voice is singing. Devotional time that fixes my crooked spine each morning. That mid-day prayer time when our knees feel weak, but God always restores us.
Number two: The kids. The kids that are trying their best in every moment possible. The kids that love it when I tell them I’m happy to see them. The kids that love to sing and dance along to No Other Love. The kids that break me in one moment, but fix me in another.
Number three: Today, number three is reserved for The Struggle. I’m thankful for the struggle to get up in the mornings, because once I get to that building that exhaustion from the day before fades to the background. I’m thankful for the struggle to get the kids’ attention, because they’re telling me about video games, their favorite songs, and what they ate for dinner and it’s wonderful. I’m thankful for the struggle to speak, because sometimes my sentences are choppy and I use the wrong words, but they still get it — and every word is practice for the next. I’m thankful that my toenail fell off, providing rest and a fresh perspective that brought new struggles. I’m thankful for the struggle that makes me weak.
Next, Tell me what is true.
I am loved unconditionally by the One who created the Heavens. I am saved by the man who bled on the cross. This day is not going to last forever. This bad moment will be insignificant in an hour, maybe less. My feelings do not define me or the people around me. In my weakness, I am strong.
Sometimes the days are hard. Sometimes my brain doesn’t want to focus on the good. I’m learning to rest in His grace and know that He created me for a reason, gave me this job for a reason, and that I am His prized possession — even on the hard days when I feel like a speck of dirt among the mud. There is nothing stronger than the Father’s love.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10: Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.