Reopening schools: A Believer’s Perspective
By Kylee Wray Mitchell
Let me start with a frequently stated phrase: Christians aren’t perfect.
I love my job as an educator more than most people love anything. It only takes 5 seconds on my social media to see that. I miss it.
This year, however, the start of school seems to loom on the horizon as opposed to shine expectantly in the future.
We all know why: COVID-19 and the uncertainty.
I’m going to be really raw with you for a minute: My emotions and thoughts about going back to work amid a pandemic are something I am not exceptionally proud of—especially as a Christian.
One minute I’m panicking: Will I have to use all my sick days if I have to quarantine? What if my kindergartener gets exposed, and I have to stay home with her?
One minute I’m frustrated: Why isn’t anyone asking me what I feel comfortable with? How are we EVER going to do this? Why even try?
One minute I’m afraid: What if…? What if…? What. If.
Then, I’m ashamed.
“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Well, I’ve thrown all of that out the window in the midst of my spectrum of meltdowns. I’ve been afraid, weak, and an absolute mess. No “sound mind” to be seen.
Today, I picked up the phone and called a mentor and fellow believer. I was expecting to hear the same panic that I was feeling, but instead, I was met with peace that surpasses all understanding.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11).
I was very quickly reminded that my eyes were on the storm. Everything I was feeling wasn’t of God. It was all of the enemy and of the world.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
And my peace was currently being served up on a silver platter.
My friend reminded me that this fight is not our own. As believers, we don’t have to be afraid. We can give it all to God, and we can be held in perfect peace with what is to come. We can, in the midst of it all, have life abundant. We can choose to lay it down. His mercies are new every…single…morning. We are called to live one day at a time because each day has enough trouble of its own. His goodness and mercy are promised to follow us.
“I lift my eyes unto the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2).
It’s all about our eyes. Our focus. My eyes weren’t on God. They were on everything else. Everything I thought I had to solve. Everything I thought was on teachers, schools, administrators. Everything I was worried about. Literally everything BUT Jesus.
It took one phone call to shift my eyes back to where they belong: The Prince of Peace.
“…perhaps you were made for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
I believe teaching is a calling on our lives. And I believe God wants His people in the classroom for a reason. We have such an opportunity to display His love and grace.
Fellow Christian teachers, we can’t lose this opportunity now.
We have a chance to be God on display. We can encourage. We can be peace. We can give hope. We can show the world that in the midst of such uncertainty, God is holding us.
What a beautiful way to be set apart, to be a witness, to testify of the One we serve.
What an opportunity to reach the lost.
So, fellow Christian teachers, let’s be encouraged. Let’s run this race. No matter what happens this month, let’s use it to show our colleagues and our students who God is and what it means to be His child.
In the middle of chaos, God can be the stillness, and He can show it to everyone through our actions.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
My love to you all. ❤️
I am a high school English teacher in southern central Alabama. I am originally from a small town in north Alabama called Arab, but after meeting my husband in college, I never moved back. We have been married for 8 years and have 3 children—Luke, Caroline, and Lincoln. I have been teaching for 5 years now, and it is one of the greatest joys in my life.