Treasuring Spiritual Connections
As I reflected on Jackie’s blog on April 25, “Building a Spiritual Family,” my heart swelled with thanksgiving for the beautiful people God has placed in my path as an educator. From my first year of teaching and still to this day, God has provided me with colleagues, and even supervisors, that loved and served God.
I was hired for my first year of teaching by a Christian principal to work in a public school. We saw our work as our calling. As an early career teacher, I recall meeting in a classroom before school started to pray with fellow Christian teachers. I was blessed with a second Christian principal in that same public school. He is a Godly man who still quotes Scripture, tells jokes, and sings happy birthday to his teachers although he retired several years ago.
As a teacher at an alternative school within our public school system, I recall praying with my fellow teacher every morning before the students arrived. We came from very different religious backgrounds, but we both knew we were there to be used by God, our Creator, to make a difference in the lives of students who had struggled in traditional school. God equipped us and strengthened us daily; He gave us joy with the students and with each other.
As an assistant principal I was able to let my light shine in two public schools. The principal and I traded places each day at noon. We worked to build a positive and trusting climate in both schools, and we are still dear friends today. She retired from public schools and went on to direct her church’s daycare and early childhood program. What a blessing she has been to families in both settings!
When I became a principal, I had the privilege of praying over every hiring decision I made. God had given me excellent teachers already, and then each time one left, He sent another amazingly dedicated professional. Although I was in a public school, God still gave me opportunities to let my light shine, to pray with teachers who were weary, and to partner with a church in the neighborhood. Each student and staff member was part of my heart because God had called me to be there with them.
When I went to the district level, God showed me He was using me. I had the opportunity to serve teachers and principals as unto Him. I had the opportunity to pray with department members and to prayerfully make decisions that had many ripple effects. My dear friends from previous positions continued to be trustworthy prayer partners supporting me in this different environment.
Now, in my third year of retirement from the school district, I praise God for the opportunities I still have to coach, train, and encourage educators. I pray for fellow facilitators and for each participant with whom I have the opportunity to share a day of learning or a coaching conversation.
Through Victorious Educator Ministries I have met amazing Christian educators that I now pray for. In just the past year, I have seen God answer prayers for these friends across the nation that I’ve only met via Zoom and Facebook. Sharing our love of education and of Jesus Christ gives us a special connection!
I know that my career path may differ from yours, but my point in sharing each stage of mine is to encourage you. God is faithful! He puts people in our path at just the right times. He sees you! He has placed you where you are because He wants to use you there, and He wants you to be open to praying with and for others in your setting. Make this verse a reality in your work life.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Reflecting on my journey, I realize that by praying with those with whom I served, a special bond was created. Decades have passed and lives have changed, but our relationships with each other and with our Lord have been sustained.
I encourage you to take time to pray alone for your students and your colleagues and to find opportunities to pray together with others. It may feel awkward at first, but it is a precious opportunity! Don’t miss out on having spiritual connections to treasure.