Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

Some thoughts as we end another year of school. This is adapted from various prayers this week in my journal. I hope you don’t mind me sharing.

Dear Lord,

This year has been so hard, so wonderful and so full of defeats and triumphs all mixed together. Please forgive me for all the times I’ve responded to students with anger instead of patience. Please forgive me for the times I’ve let a hurtful email stick with me all day, affecting my ability to love the least ones you’ve entrusted to my care. Please forgive me for the times I’ve gossiped about coworkers instead of working together to build your kingdom at our school.

Forgive me for the times I’ve said this is too hard Lord, I’m not enough. I can’t hold all the hurt and the heartache you’ve given me. Forgive me for the days I thought I had to hold it all together instead of relying on you and the amazing friends who walk this road with me, the parents who love their children more than I ever could, and the children themselves. Forgive me.

Thank you for the thousands of ways you’ve shared your love with me this year- from the friends who cooked for us and picked up the baby when my husband changed jobs and we didn’t know how to make it all work. Thank you for the many ways you taught me to trust- from an anonymous Christmas gift that exactly covered an unforeseen medical bill that of course our insurance didn’t cover, to the random text from a friend- I’m praying for you. Thank you for showing me over and over again that I am not, nor was I ever, alone in this amazing work.

Thank you for the wonderful women and men who showed up to pray with me every day before school. Thank you for the students who begged me to spend more time with you in adoration each week. Thank you for leading me to scriptural meditation with my most rambunctious group, and helping them to love meeting you in that time of quiet reflection. Thank you for deepening my faith this year, and the faith of my students.

Thank you for all the silly moments- the dorky dance moves, the hilarious miscommunications over a book character whose name often sounded like a word we shouldn’t say in a Catholic school, to the invention of new class words like si-da-knot-ay, which is spelled exactly like sidenote.

Please bless my students Lord, as we part ways; some for a very long time and others until next year. Keep them safe through the summer, safe through high school, and always walk with them the way you walk with me. Help them to know your loving kindness and eternal mercy. Let them always know they have a home in my classroom and a woman storming heaven for them daily.

Let this summer be a time of renewal, both spiritual and physical. Give me your grace to grow closer to you every day, so in turn, I can help others do the same. Amen.

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