There have been so many times when I try to inspire my students, especially if they are selling themselves short and limiting their possibilities. For instance if they say “I am no good at math” or “I can’t do word problems” I leap right in. I say “you aren’t as good at math now as you will be at the end of our hour together” or “you can’t do word problems yet—but when I show you how, you will learn to be great at them”. Or if they say “they just can’t learn” I point out all the amazing things they have already learned in life and tell them I KNOW they will succeed.
Sometimes they have gotten SO discouraged, especially if they have gotten some bad grades or some negative feedback from teachers and classmates. Every time they put themselves down, I try to redirect them. I want their hearts to be surrounded by love and hope. It is SO important to change the messages their hearts and minds receive. They must be affirmed. That is the sunlight, water, and nutrients that feeds their souls.
You would think that I would affirm myself always, too. In my nervousness about the start of the school year I sold my own self short. Silly me! Of course I am ready to help my students in all their subjects. I forget that somehow God always gives me the ways into my students minds and hearts using the knowledge I have acquired. Why? Am I the most awesome teacher ever? No. BUT I have learned to become awesome at finding a path to their minds and hearts with God’s guidance. I LOVE to see that joy of learning. I LOVE to launch the kites that they are. What a privilege.
Of course, my students also launch my kite. You see—I always wanted to teach. But I wanted a cozy little one-room school house or a little home school. My tutoring gives me that. God shook me awake today. In my heart I could hear Him say–“you are ready. Fear not. You will not fail these precious students, because I am with you every step of the way. Don’t sell yourself short”.
That is what fear is, you know. Fear happens because we have sold ourselves short, often rationalizing it by past failures or disappointments. We don’t need to do that. God is always with us and He will always guide us and protect us. In my prayers I say “Lord, I am your handmaiden. Please let me know your will. I promise to follow the best I can”. So today I have tossed my fear overboard. Oddly enough, my ship can now sail straight on towards Him without listing over on its side from the ballast of fear.
Do you sell yourself short? It is hard to give that fear up. But it is oh so freeing. Today I pray that you can pitch that ballast overboard. Sail on with hope.