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Reopening schools: A Believer’s Perspective

By August 12, 2020September 16th, 2020SavED by Grace

Reopening schools: A Believer’s Perspective

By Kylee Wray Mitchell

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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.

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  • Susan Cole says:

    Thank you so much for this article.
    I teach kindergarten in a Christian school but all the feelings are the same. I am hoping to share your article with the other teachers at my school.
    God bless you!

  • Loriann says:

    Thanks for this beautiful encouraging post. I am an education assistant in Vancouver BC Canada ??. I have been vacillating between peace and panic too. God has been and will use us to spread His seeds of love and truth.

  • Tim Joye says:

    Beautiful truth.
    Great confirmation. Many of the Scriptures you shared are Truths that God has been putting on my heart.
    I had a Zoom meeting with our School improvement team yesterday. I was very discouraged at first, but I felt God tell me , in His strength, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, be salt and light. Be an encouragement. Be a peacemaker. Even though we have different opinions on many things, have a heart of unity, not division.
    Your blog brought confirmation.
    Praise God.
    Thank you and God bless.

  • Jackie Leonard says:

    I’m so proud of you!

  • Kim says:

    Such a perfect word for a time like this, thank you for beautiful reminder to look up, and look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

  • Karen says:

    I also have been struggling but on the other side. I do not have fear, and I feel the pros of children being back face to face override the “what if’s” with a virus that has a recovery rate of 99%— those are very good numbers. Our board approved our reopening plan that allowed parents to choose face to face, remote or our virtual academy. Sadly, there is a meeting tonight which may shift that to all remote learning because teachers don’t feel safe. I don’t understand that mindset. I am very glad that your friend reminded you of. I pray that your school year is blessed beyond measure!

  • Lisa Disbrow says:

    We are resting, walking, waring, feeling, rooted and grounded in God our Father.
    Satan is the liar, tormentor, deceiver.
    God is the Truth, the Light, the Almighty Father who leads us.
    Amazon prime offers the 2019 animated movie of Pilgrims Progress. Written in the 1600’s by John Bunyon this story is the 2nd most read book after the Bible.
    Watch n let God speak to you on how we are to live.
    – a kindergarten teacher

  • Leslie says:

    THANK YOU — I needed to read this — that up and down is exactly how I’ve been feeling….

  • So real and so encouraging. Thank you Kylee.

  • Patti Pelletier says:

    Your article was exactly what I needed to hear. I am an 18 year veteran teacher of 6th graders in Maine. This year I want to let my light shine before my colleagues and students. I want them to see the peace in me that passes all understanding. But I find it difficult sometimes to push the anxiety down that I feel. The verses you chose are perfect, especially the one from Esther. I have always felt that each and every student that lands in my classroom was put with me for a purpose. I pray that this year, as we all navigate through the unknown, that I will be an example to all who God puts in my path. Thank you for your encouraging words.