Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Confirmations and Clarity

I really love it when God gives immediate answers to barely spoken prayers.

Most of the kids in the high school are really quite enjoyable....but there are some....

I  have a table full that I can honestly say, I wish were graduating tomorrow.
Silly issues like their lunch garbage, but so much rebellion just oozing from them.
Today, I had to lay the law down with one particular young lady and received the usual scowls, defiance and general lack of respect.

This always leaves me feeling like the "bad guy" and I really hate being the bad guy.
I always tell the kids that they get to choose whether I am the bad guy or the good guy based on their personal choices. I still hate it though.

Not the best start to my second period on duty.
As the halls were clearing, I had a quick chat with a couple of girls, one of whom is always SOOOO sweet, offers to keep me company, compliments, just a real sweet smiley girl.
She did, (once again) ask me about the 'monotony' of my job. I can't even begin to count the number of kids who have offered to 'entertain', or keep me company while on my rounds. 
I have been bribed with candy, coerced by their imaginative ways of helping me keep order, their tricks and ideas.

As entertaining as most of them are, I decline; informing them that I have come to see 'boredom' as a good thing in the overall scheme of things....excitement means there is something happening, that probably should not.

As I tried not to focus on the painstakingly slow movement of the hands on the clock; I began to talk to God. I asked Him, "Why am I really here? Sure I get paid pretty well for walking laps...but surely this isn't all there is to it."

As I neared the end of my shift, my answer came. First through a young man who was the first of only 2 kids I had to send to the office and the first time I really wondered if I might be in physical danger.
We had talked after our confrontation and this guy has been nothing but respectful to me ever since. I hadn't seen him much recently, and today as he was leaving his locker, he asked me how I was. We chatted and he told me I hadn't seen him because he has been attending more classes...seems an administrative ultimatum might have had something to do with this.
I encouraged him that the best way to get out from under the rules and classes was to do his best and to graduate.

Later I ran into a couple of girls, one who is often entertaining me with her silly ways, the other I'd not yet met. We talked for quite a while, (actually, I listened to them talk), I ended up with a good part of each of their backgrounds. One had been in the CAS system since she was a little girl and was now almost 18 and thinking about her future. The other one lived at home but had been followed while in the home for a few years, also by CAS.
Both girls had goals, positive outlooks and I was able to really encourage them to work hard and to avoid the traps that they acknowledged had gotten a hold of them in the past.
I reminded them that they were really doing well, and that they could make a life for themselves without repeating history.

I walked away feeling much better about my day and smiling that God had answered my questions so clearly and quickly. I wish all His answers came so easily, but I know He is interested in far more than end results....and I can trust Him, but for today's answers, I am very thankful.


Williams Family Blog said...

I love this post, kind of reminds me of when I used to do yard duty.

You know Jen, you will probably never know the full impact that your encouragement has on those kids. It sounds like you were talking to the some of the ones that need it the most.

Shaun and Holly said...


I agree with Karen, you have a HUGE impact but you may rarely get to see that...just keep it in your heart and know that it's true.

I pray blessing on you at your job and where ever you go!

Mona said...

God is so Good.
He knows where He wants us to be and when.
1:Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not to please ourselves.
5:Now may the the God of endurance and encouragement grant you agreement with one another,according to Christ Jesus

The Lord has placed you right where He wants you I believe this and the children of today need encouragement.
You are doing Great

Amy said...

Reminds me of that song about a Sunday school teacher in heaven and a kid comes up and says I'm here because of you...know it?
You will never know the impact..

Rhonda said...

Amy - You brought me to tears when I heard you sing that song. Loved it!

Jen - It's so true what the others have said. I'm so glad that Father shared with you some of your impact that you are having on the kids.

It can be hard when we don't see a purpose.


Roxanne said...

I am amazed at how well some students do, knowing what they have had to overcome.

redeemed diva said...

I loved this post. The gift you are giving to those kids just by listening is huge.
I'm glad that you are where God wants you to be.

Jen said...

Thank you all for your encouragement, I SO appreciate it.
Walking my rounds has not seemed nearly so monotonous since that day.
It seems like a number of kids are suddenly quite chatty and pleasant...one even brought me a Subway Cookie yesterday...YUMMMY!
One young man actually offered to fight for me, (I had to break up a fight involving a friend of his, who was not AT ALL happy that I had interfered, but later apologized) ....I declined, I think he would have too!
Even the group that I do not enjoy seeing have seemed less agitated by my presence....they have also been eating and leaving to go for a drive....now if the football/basketball team would just stop trying to con me into letting them play ball in the caf!!!!
(there are worse things they could be trying to get away with)
Thanks for the prayers, I believe that is why I am seeing a difference.