I was dreading last week, but God was at work to turn it into something beautiful. I got another new student this past week. I was pretty upset and overwhelmed and even angry about the difficulty of having 33 students in my 5th grade class…until I went to counseling training Wednesday night.
We are watching an example counseling session video for a woman who has fibromyalgia – something that she cannot control. The counselor’s focus point is that God has allowed her to have fibromyalgia for her good and His glory. In this week’s session, he focused on Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit. He had the counselee read the verses and then pick out a few that she felt God might be having her develop through this circumstance that she cannot control.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
When I got home, I did the same thing. I chose patience, kindness, and gentleness. When my classroom feels like chaos and every student needs something different, I’m not very patient or kind or gentle. I have my own agenda, and it’s hard to make time for “little” things – things that are important to my students. I prayed about it Thursday morning, and God has been working the fruit of the Spirit in me – and in my students!
The new student I added to my classroom this week is autistic. He gets worked up about things and constantly needs reassurance – often at times when I don’t feel I can give it because we’re running late or we need to get going on the lesson. But I have taken the time anyway to patiently listen and to comfort and calm him with kindness and gentleness.
For the past two days I have begun to notice my students treating my new student in the same way – gently, with kindness, and SO very helpful because it takes some of the responsibility off of me. The art teacher even commented that the kids have been so good with him! WOW. I’d say that’s worth having 33 students. God is working in more ways than I know!