One of the things I love about being a teacher is getting to see my students every day. What makes this so special is that at key times in the year, I usually get opportunities to speak truth over them; these moments I absolutely relish, as they can only happen if I see students often.

However, last year was such a rough year that, at the end of it, it dawned on me that I hadn’t really conveyed I loved them. Most of the year was spent critiquing them, getting frustrated and managing their behavior, so I barely had any chances to say encouraging or praiseworthy things to them.

But near the end of the spring, God began to help me soften toward them. While there were no major turning points or radical changes that happened, he started giving me a bit more patience, a bit more grit, and a desire to communicate how much I loved them. So, several weeks before the school year ended, I wrote my students a letter. I poured my heart and soul into, and was not only brutally honest about how much they’d hurt me, but also told them, despite how hurt I was, I still loved them, and would never stop rooting for them. Beforehand, I prayed and prayed that God would use me to show them his love despite all my mistakes that year.

When I read the letter on the last day of school, you could hear a pin drop. Afterward, their shining eyes said it all. My hope and prayer is when they look back at that day and remember that class period they think, “Something she said hit differently. Something so good and lovely it seems too good to be true.”

This is similar to what Paul says people new to the church should think when attending a church service. When the believers in attendance seek to meet God there and speak truth authentically in love during their worship, these newcomers can’t help but walk away encouraged, convinced that what they experienced was God doing something powerful and real because it hit differently. And they will want more.

Ashley Carr
High School Teacher

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