The girl pointed her finger at me, her brows knit together in scorn, then to the “Angry” icon on her assistive technology device. Though she spoke no words, I could feel the distrust emanating from her. I was there in the place of her regular teacher, and she did not know why.
I voiced the words that she could not, saying to the paraprofessional that was helping her, “Her teacher is not here and she does not know me.” The woman’s eyebrows raised, and she said to the girl, “You are sad because your teacher is not here.” The girl stopped pointing at me, found the “Sad” icon, and was able to move on.
Later, as we sat together and watched a video book presentation, the girl reached her hand over to mine and held is softly. I put mine on top of hers, and together we watched in silence. There was no need for words to express the poignant feelings shared. I could tell. She trusted me!
I had prayed that morning that my first day on the job substitute teaching would be a successful one, that I would feel God’s love for the students, and that I could share his love with them. It had happened in a way I never thought possible.
At the end of the class period, the girl gave me a hug, and we walked hand in hand to the door. Still, no words were spoken, but I knew that I was in the right place at the right time. My purpose had been fulfilled in that small moment.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” This was my theme song when I left the mental health unit years ago. Now, it has become my lifeline.
When I decided to leave my employment as an office manager, I felt that God was directing me to go and serve his children as a substitute teacher in the public school system. At first I was frightened. So many things had happened in my past that had taken me from that realm of the world.
Now, here I was, stepping back into it, having the very experiences that called me in that direction in the first place. Surely, a way will be provided, and I can go forward with faith, trusting that all will be well!
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