A New Hope

I can’t believe I’m writing this post! I mean, the work of the Holy Spirit in my life to get me to the point where I can write it is just incredible to me. It’s all internal, so it is hard to take a picture of or pinpoint the pivotal moment, but it has happened:

I am not extremely depressed and filled with dread on August 1.

For the past several years, I’ve hated August. It’s kind of sad, really – I remember as a child, it was my favorite time of year! Going school supply shopping in elementary school, buying a new fall wardrobe in high school, organizing my schedule, auditioning for U Choir in college – it was all so exciting. A new start – a chance to do things again, meet new people – everything felt fresh in August (except the weather – I grew up in Mississippi in 1000% humidity in August every year!).

Then I had a child, and August 1 meant the school year was starting, and I was leaving again. I would drop off the face of the earth during August because there was so much to do to prepare for the school year. In fall 2014, I remember crying every morning as I got ready for school. I would fall into a deep hole of depression every Sunday night that I had to do it all again on Monday. I would hold Jared’s cute little 9-month self, bawling that someone else was raising him because I had to raise everybody else’s children. I ached to be home.

Then in fall of 2015, I LOVED August, because that was the year I was home with the kids. I remember the great joy I felt each morning that I wasn’t in the rush of school beginning. My house was so clean and I cuddled by babies every day. It’s my hope for everyone who wants to that they should get to stay home with their babies for a time, because it was a wonderful year of growth for me.

But falls of 2016 and 2017, I felt that ache again. That insanely busy time where I had no time to pursue relationships with my own family, much less any other humans. That time when I spent money way out of budget to try to outfit my classroom. That deep dread of what I had to deal with in such needy children. That incredible sadness and jealousy that someone else was getting to raise my kid. That hopelessness that it just wouldn’t ever be different.

In May of this year, those feelings started again. I was very pregnant, and I knew I’d have to go back to school when my Grace was only 8 weeks old. I dreaded it already – that lack of sleep, trying to teach, the great fear because my job is very high pressure and my mind being less than 100% guarantees that I’ll mess up and tick off a lot of people. Missing snuggles with my girl and seeing her be 10X bigger every day when I got home, her baby-hood fleeting away while I try to help middle schoolers be good humans. It ached my heart!

But the Lord has done some amazing work in my heart this year during July and August. He has given me a peace that can only come straight from Him. I feel prepared and hopeful about this year. I feel ready and able to face it. I don’t feel guilty or ashamed or jealous. And these feelings cannot possibly be from me.

I’m okay, and it’s because of Jesus. I am sitting with him each day, and it really, really shows – maybe not necessarily on the outside, but definitely in my heart attitude as I look to each day’s gifts. Oh, that we all should be able to prioritize our relationship with Jesus. Being Christlike makes everything joyful and hopeful and better.

This post isn’t really going anywhere – it’s just a joyful statement. I feel the Lord with me, softening my heart, preparing me for this extremely busy season, and he is giving me the gift of peace in it. I pray the same for you. Seek him, and all else will be added.