How to hold my heart
‘Cause I don’t wanna let go, let go, let go too soon
I wanna tell you so before the sun goes dark
How to hold my heart
‘Cause I don’t wanna let go, let go, let go of you
Last night I got the chance to see Sara Bareilles perform at Wake Forest – it was so great. I found out Monday night she would be there on Tuesday and so I quickly found someone to cover my shift at Salem, got my friend Linda to buy a ticket with me and Tuesday night we found ourselves in the presence of good music. Sara is so talented with this powerhouse voice and so much of me wants her life. How awesome to be on stage, playing the piano and guitar, interacting with the audience and sharing your heart. Too bad my calling seems to be with middle schoolers instead!
The song above was probably my favorite of the night. It kind of has this melancholy feel to it and I’m always a sucker for bittersweet songs. I love the lyrics because they so clearly reveal how I feel at this stage of my life. As a single woman, I often wonder if there’s anyone who will truly get to know me and know what to do with my heart. It’s a fragile precious thing and letting someone have a part of it is risky. For Christians, peace comes in knowing that our hearts are in complete safety in the arms of our Father and so I am comforted knowing that no matter what, He knows how to hold my heart. Oh how I wish everyone in the world knew this. Let’s tell them.
But back to life lately. Like I said before, it seems my calling for now is to spend my days with middle school kids. This week I just had to laugh because I bet if we compared our work days, you would not encounter the following: seeing a 14-year-old boy’s hind-quarters in the hallway because one of his friends pulled his pants down; having to confiscate boxing gloves after one of the students brought them for the culture fair and everyone wanted to be Rocky; hearing burps and farts on a regular basis; constantly having to tell people not to touch each other, especially members of the opposite sex. See what I mean? Never a dull moment. Bet you wish you didn’t have to sit and stare at a computer all day, huh? Spend a day with me and you’ll probably want to go running for the hills, but you might also see some cool things that make me come back for more. Like talking to kids at lunch about their weekend plans and what they want to be when they grow up. Like having kids tell me I look beautiful today. Like having kids come up to me, say “Guess what?” and start rattling off the latest news in their lives. Like watching some boys try to complete a Rubik’s cube with a step-by-step guide and laughing with them when they just can’t get it. These and many more moments keep me coming back for more.
Looking at that, I can’t believe how far I’ve come this year. I hope I never have to repeat the first three months of this experience again because nothing else in my life has brought me to my knees more dramatically. I know what it’s like to be ridiculed and disrespected and sometimes even despised. But I also know what happens when you push through and come out the other side when these kids finally trust you and maybe let you in a little bit. And I’ve gotten to know Jesus in a whole new way and understand what He calls us to as disciples (Matthew 10).
A while back I wanted to be on Young Life staff more than anything. I was convinced that full-time ministry was my calling, but it just never seemed to be the right time. I had so many conversations with God about it and kept asking why it wasn’t happening. I prayed for Him to either change my heart or change my circumstances. I asked Him to give me a heart for teaching if that’s what He wanted me to do. Well, He did. He provided this job for me and has carried me the whole way. And somewhere along the line, I fell in love. With all of it, even the frustrating parts. I really think I’m where I need to be right now. I’ve also learned to live in the present and not worry so much about what’s too come. He’ll take care of that. Instead of searching for the “perfect” job (which doesn’t exist), I need to buckle down and do the hard work of being a young teacher. Then maybe cool opportunities will come along someday. Or maybe I’ll just be a teacher for 30 years and know that I’ve touched a few lives along the way.
But for now, I will keep going back to Ferndale Middle School and attempt to bring some light into the darkness. I will keep going for the kids and for Jesus. Because I’ve learned to trust Him more and He’s the one who really knows how to hold my heart.