I haven't written in a while because my life has gone crazy over these past few weeks with progress reports going out and many community events taking place. All good things but still things that require more energy than any one person can have.
I have found myself these days expecting more; of myself, of my sisters, my students, my fellow teachers, and basically of everyone I meet. I have this problem of being a perfectionist and I never think I'm being hard on other people, even when I am, because anything I criticize about someone else is just a fraction of the criticism I give myself all the time. It is definitely a problem and definitely a sin. I know all of this in my head but my heart gets all caught up with the "should have" statements of my life. I don't trust God enough to know that He will always take care of me and that my worth is dependent upon Him... not me.
Today I found myself confronted in a big way with this attitude. In an email from a parent I felt that I was being accused of not doing what I should be doing because her son didn't bring home a certain paper. It really wasn't a big deal but right away I felt defensive after a long and exhausting week. I just wanted to say, "Your son is the reason you didn't get the paper... not me." Now I would never say that but I was still going through this imaginary conversation with myself in my head. While I was getting all steamed up about it I realized how ridiculous I was being. I don't serve mom and dad. I'm a teacher. I serve children and families.
As I was thinking about how unfair it was that she was blaming me for something her son lost or forgot or blew up like sixth grade boys always do, I realized that there must be a reason God had this plan in store for me. Because I'm new in this parish, convent, and school I don't get all the background sometimes right away on all the students.
One of the sisters in the house commented, without knowing about the email or anything else, that this student gets hit when he does something wrong. Well, I felt terrible then that I ever wanted to say it was his fault and I realized how providential it was that God would have mom assume it was my fault and be angry with me. If I really believe in dedicating myself to God's most abandoned poor it is going to cost me. For me the hardest cost to pay is that of being insecure and of allowing myself to mean less than someone else. I wish I were more confident but I'm not. It bothers me when I think that others think of me as incapable or not good enough. I care too much about what people think of me. However, here is an opportunity for me to allow God to love me as I am and allow myself to be hurt instead of one of His little ones.
I still don't know what I'm going to email back, but I know it won't be that her son is the problem. Because he isn't the problem. He is a normal, forgetful and irresponsible, sixth grade boy. I am a sister to all so why shouldn't I share in the sufferings of all? And that is my answer. I should. So, if I say I'm willing to sacrifice, how much better is it for her to be angry with me than for him to get smacked around for forgetting a paper? I am certain it is the better way.
So now I'm still expecting more from myself but I'm also expecting it all to come from God. Lord, help me to sacrifice my own self confidence, capability, and reputation for the good of Your little ones and for the coming of Your Kingdom. Amen.