God’s Smack

I’m pretty sure that I hit my breaking point yesterday. If it wasn’t the breaking point, then it was definitely in the suburbs of Breaking Point, USA. I found myself in my classroom, during my lunch, crying at my desk like the wuss that I am. It wasn’t any one thing, really. The past week or so has just been a slow slide into a sludgy, gross depression.  I don’t have the gumption to do things, I can’t seem to remember things (like where I put my darn school keys), and I’m trudging through November in a continual fog. I pride myself on being a (reasonably) optimistic person, but the last few days have really bummed me out.I can’t definitively put my finger on it. It’s not any one thing, but rather the mounting stress of everything (you know, not to sound overly dramatic or anything).
But God always provides. 
During my tearfest in my classroom,  my dear friend, Fitz, walked in and gave me the kind of pep talk a friend can only give. And then, one of my (usually high-strung) students spent her lunch in my classroom and proceeded to have a really nice, polite, interesting conversation with me about ghosts, how she googles morgue and crime scene photos, and her love of Long Island Medium. In my last period class, when I asked students to reflect on their work ethic during the last marking period, I got two very sweet (and probably very brown-nosed) comments that summed up to, “You’re a good teacher.” In a world that blames teachers for many problems outside of our control, a note like that from a student means the world… even if it’s not completely sincere. My Poetry Out Loud club girls visited me after school, and each one had memorized her poem. They’re difficult poems too– by Christina Rossetti, John Donne, and Robert Graves– and I am over the moon with pride. 
And then, as if all of those things weren’t enough to make me happy on their own merit, when I opened my mailbox this afternoon– a perfectly rectangular, white envelope with  the words “Free Mail” in the corner in John’s handwriting. 
I am aware of God’s hand in my life, even when it doesn’t seem to be there. But today, God was smacking me in the back of the head, reminding me of how many wonderful people surround me and how fantastic life really is.
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