Well, in just a few short days I will be celebrating aging. My birthday is just around the corner! And although I'm excited about all the plans I've arranged for myself, I can't help but remember that I'm approaching closer to 30...what an ominous number! :o)
But this is not the purpose of this post. I want to tell you about how God has been growing and maturing me in the last few weeks. It's been a painful process, but I can tell it's working.
There have been two main "fertilizers," if you will:
One has been a recent struggle with finances. Since my roommate moved out as I mentioned in an earlier post, life has been much more expensive. However, that has not been the most difficult part. What has taken a normal stress to the next level is the fact that there are now arguments about how to finalize the finances from when she did live her. There are a few outstanding bills and of course the deposit which is the main source of contention. Both girls are being stubborn and unreasonable in their own way, and I'm in the middle. I'm friends with them both and get along with them both--they do not get along that well. I'm trying to act wisely and find compromises, but it hasn't been easy. I've asked some friends I highly trust for help and advice, so I'm not completely alone, but I honestly feel that I'm in over my head at times. Normally in this situation I would remove myself and let my friends take care of their problem themselves after I realized that my help wasn't effective. However, I'm directly involved in this debacle because I pay too...It involves my money as much as anyone else. I'm praying for wisdom for me and reasonable-ness for them. We'll see where God takes this!
The other "fertilizer" has been a girl (or two) in my class who has severe attitude problems. She's very rebellious right now to pretty much all authority figures. (There are a couple of the young guy teachers she's ok with, but that's because they're more friends than authority.) So I'm forced to compensate and be strict with her. And she does not like it. She complains all the time, and I have to stop her. She has excuses for missing assignments, and I have to know when to punish her anyway. She's unhappy with me and the school in general, thinks we're unfair and unreasonable, and automatically assumes that we're out to make life more difficult for her and teenagers in general.
Basically with this behavior she's begging for me to be exactly what she thinks she hates: uber-strict! :o)
So in a way, it's been good for me. Handing out punishments and trying not to be too lenient has been one of my main weaknesses as a teacher. This girl is single-handedly helping me to fix that problem! God has given me a thorn in my side so I'll have tough skin, I suppose. :o) Pray that I can remain consistent with her and not let my anger and frustration get in the way. Pray that she sees that I love her and am actually acting in her best interest. Pray for her spiritual condition as well, as that's obviously the root of her problem. Ah, teenagers!
So, I suppose it's very fitting to call these growing processes "fertilizer." They're messy and stink everything up, but in the end they also accelerate growth!