More Than Survive

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I am a music teacher. Oversimplified, I wave my arms about like a bird, and after a tremendous amount of squeaking and tears, music is heard. Concerts are what I live for, seeing my students accomplish something that months ago they thought impossible. Right as I entered my fourth year of teaching, I thought I had it under control.  Then, just for fun, we had a pandemic.   Seemingly overnight, my choirs and bands vanished and were replaced with small, sad faces in boxes on my screen.  When allowed back, we were relegated to the outdoors where air could exchange more easily.  In between the end-less sanitizing, the hot sun, and chasing wind-swept sheet music, we squeezed in a bit of learning.

On a daily basis I would go home, slump into my chair, and cry. The tears would turn to anger as I looked up at the sky and demanded of God: “How dare You? Why would You ask this of me?” Every day God would wait patiently as I threw my tantrum, then He would remind me of my students.

My kids, my cherubs, were going through the same torture I was. They were as baffled as to how to proceed as I was in how to teach them. They put their best faces on and trudged on, doing their best whether we were stuck on Zoom, battling gusts of wind, or unable to hear ourselves over passing cars.

God guided us all through survival mode. Do not worry about standards or testing, just be there for the kids. Schedules and lesson plans were insignificant now, we were learning life lessons this year. Together, God taught my students and me endurance, empathy, and patience. Together, we did more than survive – we took care of each other.

I still do not understand why God allowed us to experience that. I may not know until we all do, but I know this – there is always a lesson to be learned. I slowly began to look for the silver lining this year – finding the lessons hidden amongst the frustration.  God will wait as we get frustrated. He is a big God and can handle that. In the end, our job is not to complain. It is to find the good in every situation. It is a challenge – but a worthwhile one.  As our world begins to rebuild itself – look for the lessons. Find the opportunities to grow closer to Him and rely on Him further. Even in the greatest of trials, we can always do more than survive.

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