Dear Beginning Teacher,

I’m writing from that one day in November– do you remember it? When you got a cavity precariously filled and once the anesthetic had worn off, you were in tears from the searing pain? And the tears kept coming because the anesthetic of procrastination and fear had worn off, too. No longer could you avoid the mound of dirty laundry– those pending, hard decisions that needed to be made like don’t try to move house yet because you finally faced how much schoolwork you actually needed to do before you graduated. As the Paracetmol kicked in, you Facetimed with your mum and she prayed for you– she helped you face the truth– the hard part of it and the good. 

I want you to remember this day. Because, you will have faced harder days than this already, as a beginning teacher. However, I want you to remember me, collapsed underneath the duvet on the old bed in Sabana Place, surrounded with damp tissues. I don’t want you to forget spooning in warm, melt-in-your-mouth stir-fry cooked by Michaela or her hugs, the smiles of Bruce and Bev, emails from Anna answering questions about a reading, texts from Kelcie offering to do any errands so you could focus on your schoolwork. Please remember this day, its good.

Because no matter how hard it gets, there will be joy unthinkable creeping up your sleeves, slobbered like lemon curd and cream all over your face, swishing like a new polka-dot skirt you found at the Bethlehem op shop. Joy will always be there. Yes, I know you’ve had hard days as a teacher with your own class, with tissues probably double the amount I’ve had today. I know the workload has strained you and your balance of life alarmingly off-kilter. Yet remember this day. The art gallery trip, the echoing laughter in Johannah’s car, the tiny kittens mewing up a storm as they clambered out of their basket. Oh please, please– remember the good that’s with you now.

I’m writing from the fourth of November– oh, remember, remember the fourth of November! No, parliament wasn’t almost-bombed today (as the infamous British holiday celebrates tomorrow)… but wait a moment, I feel like it almost-was. I throw my own grenades at myself but thankfully someone a little wiser holds the pins. I’m like– here’s my self-destruction! I can’t do it anymore! I’m over this! Who cares if I’m a week from over! Then I know you will remember this: Jesus laughing, giggling as He holds up the pins that stop those bombs from exploding. You tried to give up. It didn’t work. Because I know, in your heart of hearts, you trust Him and He’s promised to bring you through. Therefore, you will not fail. He’s brought you this far? Oh, you know He won’t leave you now.

Year 3 Student Teacher

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”

-1 Samuel 7:12 (NIV)