Today is my last day with my marriage and family class. It's sort of a two-part goodbye because I had one section yesterday and the other will be today. So I've really been saying goodbye for two days. And while I will be back in January to teach a two week J-term on biblical womanhood, I won't teach Marriage and Family again.
It's a bittersweet moment for me. I have loved this experience, but cannot wait to be a mom to these boys even more. And it's hard to believe that I didn't really want to do it at first.
When we moved to Arkansas we decided I wouldn't look for full-time work. We were really hoping to get pregnant and wanted to eliminate as much pressure as possible. So I substitute taught, and did freelance writing and part-time work from home. Because Daniel's job requires him to travel, I was able to go with him on his work trips. Even though we wanted children desperately, it was a good season for us.
When the teaching job was offered to me I initially thought I wouldn't take it. But after realizing I needed some additional treatment that would postpone our ability to get pregnant, we started reconsidering the teaching position. All I wanted was to have children at home with me, but instead I was going to teach other people's children every day. I thought it would be like every other job I had held the past couple of years.
Boy, was I wrong.
While I was initially less than enthusiastic about it, the idea grew on me. This experience was exactly what I needed. Of all the jobs I have had (and I have had many), it has been my favorite. In fact, many days it doesn't even feel like a job. A few weeks into the semester last year it struck me that God was giving me my hearts desire, just in a different way. I wanted so badly to pour into my own children. I felt like I had all of these nurturing desires that were unmet, and suddenly I was spending every day investing in the next generation.
And I learned a lot, too. Teaching a marriage and family class makes you examine your own marriage. I was exposing my students (and myself) to godly older men and women who had a lot to say about marriage. And in turn, I was convicted and changed. I distinctly remember having a fight with Daniel the night before I was supposed to teach on conflict and communication. Through tears I said, "I can't teach them about this tomorrow when I can't even do it myself!" But the gospel of Jesus Christ was a balm of grace for me in fresh ways as I tried to point them to the One to whom our marriages are designed to model.
God met me in the classroom in ways I never could have imagined when I said "yes" to the job. While I went in with a bad attitude, I am leaving with a plethora of memories, a full heart, and excitement over what God will do in the lives of these students.
What I learned in this past year is that God always knows what he is doing. I loved every minute of this past year of teaching. While I am excited to start this new chapter of my life, I will miss my students. They were an encouragement to me in ways I never anticipated. They welcomed me into their lives. And they rejoiced with me about the new additions in my life.
So on my last day of teaching (sort of), I am thankful to God for the work he did in my life this past year. It's a reminder that even when we don't get what we expect or hope, God is working a thousand details behind the scenes for our good and our joy.