There’s moments in life where you separate out all the negative distractions and you fully plunge into who you are and who you are meant to be. This is a beautiful thing to see happen in someone’s life. It goes beyond someone finding their purpose, but it is seeing someone in the middle of fulfilling their purpose.
Being a teacher, I rarely get to see one of my students fulfilling their purpose, but I hope for them to keep pursuing and I hope that I have not caused them to be distracted from what they are meant to do in life. Life is fragile, I have seen my words build up and destroy students. I have made a lot of mistakes in my career, while fulfilling my purpose. I can remember many times wishing that I had not said something out of frustration. I regret not being a better support for some of my students when I first started teaching in middle school. After the first four years of teaching in middle school, I never thought I would have returned.
I had an opportunity to make the move back into middle school and I wondered if I was ready to try it again. I was nervous, not knowing if I had acquired enough wisdom to survive another round of young adolescents who appear to searching for something I used to not have, wisdom. With a decade more of teaching under my belt, I even doubted myself.
This past Thursday, I had my moment. The one I spoke about earlier. I had my after school mentoring group and it was actually an amazing time. My students found quotes that defined them as I shared quotes that have shaped my life from Mark Twain, Walt Disney, and Maya Angelou. I realized how much I have to share with them after living life a little longer and having a lot more struggles. I connect with them in a much different way than when I was in my 20’s, in my late 30’s, I am the age of some of their parents. I have learned over the course of the past eleven years of mentoring how to identify students who are on the verge of being incredible leaders. I am probably more confident of the ability to mentor students more than I am at almost anything. It is something that at my core, gives me life.
After the mentoring group, I visited another student who had recently had a four day stay in the hospital. I visited his house and brought him a gift bag with a few things I knew he would enjoy. He came out to see me, as I was meeting his mom and little sister. I used to think he was a tough kid who really did not like me, until our language arts teacher showed me a brief paragraph he wrote about me. He said something like, “I can always count on Mr. Miller. He really cares about me” That meant a lot to me, I never knew he felt that way. I know he will never forget the day I visited him, though it was such a small act in my eyes. Driving home, I fought back tears, knowing that although I know that God ordains my days, He made this day a special one. He reminded me that the hope I have flourishes because of His promises, His truth, and His life. A resurrection in me, indeed…