Where is your hope?

This year has been one of my most challenging years as an educator.  I still can’t quite put my finger on it.  My students are great. My administration is great. My colleagues are great. But something just isn’t quite sitting right with me.

Most days I leave school with a tension headache and knots in my neck and shoulders.  I feel like the weight of the world is literally weighing me down.  I have a hard time getting things accomplished, and my to-do list seems to be never-ending.  I’m warring within myself because I know I’m doing my best, yet I still feel inadequate.  Sometimes I feel like I’m in the middle of the ocean treading water with an all-to-distant shoreline taunting me, just out of reach.

I have been doing all I know to do to try to center myself. I pray constantly.  I literally invite Jesus into my classroom every day.  I blast my “Jesus music” during my planning period in an attempt to keep my heart pointed to the cross.   But some days, I still feel like I’m fighting a losing battle.  I’ve started feeling hopeless, and with that hopelessness comes frustration.  Where’s my help?  Is this going to get better?  Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing? 

One day this week I left school completely discouraged.  Tears were dripping down my face and onto my shirt and my heart was heavier than it’s been in a while.  I was thinking about test scores and data and constructed response writing prompts and Lexile levels and beating myself up for not being what I deem as good enough.  All of the sudden the Holy Spirit gave me a good little nudge.  Where is your hope, Carrie Beth?  And then it hit me.

My hope does not lie in test scores. My hope is not found in data analysis or percentages or growth bubbles or stretch bands or the teacher evaluation system.

My hope is in Christ alone.

This is what I must remember when I feel defeated like I did that day, when I want to throw my hands up and walk away.

My hope is in Christ, and he has placed a calling on my life to love kids. My current assignment may require me to administer state mandated tests and analyze data, but my hope is not in these things.  My hope is in Christ.  He is my Hope.

Be encouraged today.  Step back and remember in whom your hope lies.

As for me?

My hope is in Christ alone.

16 thoughts on “Where is your hope?

  1. Darci says:

    The educational nonsense data war – I fall asleep for a few minutes at night and wake up thinking that I taught my entire last unit incorrectly. And the devil has a foothold in anxiety and insomnia. All going back to time and data and testing schedules. And numbers in a grid. Ugh.

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  2. Donya says:

    Thanks Carrie Beth. What you wrote applies to everyone, not just educators. Many of us (non-educators) don’t know how growth bubbles and stretch bands apply to education, or even what they are. At some point, we all feel inadequate and frustrated about things. Whether our frustration lies in our career, relationships, spiritually, or just life…we don’t need to loose sight of the big picture. We all try to stay centered on earthly things more than “our hope”.

    You are an amazing person. Everything you touch, from students lives to the projects you do are transformed to wonderful sparks of creativity. We are all better people because you are in our life! My first thought when I look at you is, This is who I want to be when I grow up! I am intrigued by your dedication and sacrifice in all that you do.

    I pray that you see the things you do, don’t go unseen or unappreciated. As a parent, I am blessed to have you influencing my child and as a friend, I’m blessed to know you.

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  3. Sharon Ellis says:

    Thank you Carrie Beth for this beautiful post. There have been so many days that I have left the school feeling exactly how you felt. I, too, have felt discouraged and somewhat defeated. Thank you most of all for reminding what is really most important and that is putting my hope in my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

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  4. Ashley says:

    Absolutely beautiful!!! This is exactly how I have felt this year. I know that it will get easier, but when you are in the midst of it all, it gets so overwhelming!

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  5. Whitney Erwin says:

    Thanks CB for sharing! You have no idea how good it feels to know I’m not alone in these feelings. Many days I wonder what other profession I should do but this is exactly what I needed to read!!

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    • carriebethdavis says:

      It’s hard. HARD. I’m still leaning in and praying about whether or not this is where I’ll stay… but for now, in the midst of uncertainty, it helps me to remember my primary calling – loving kids – and where my hope lies. Glad you were encouraged! Praying for you!

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