Sunday, May 04, 2008

We are more than conquerors

Last September I started teaching Sunday School. The class was made up of a mixture of four and five-year olds, some of whom could read and some just learning their colors and shapes. It was a fairly small class, just the right size, actually.

Some Sunday mornings my helper and I would teach a max of about 8 kids. I thought that was huge. But, for the most part, Sundays were pretty peaceful and joyful and all of the things Sunday School should be for children with tender hearts- open to the message of Jesus.

Then something happened.

Our church was making changes. Big changes. And before I knew it, the class size had more than doubled. To make room for a larger nursery, our class was moved to a smaller room. Plus, our class time increased.

Larger class, longer time, smaller room.

Overwhelmed. Yep, that was me.

I prayed for guidance from God and from leadership. Many Sundays I came home exhausted. "Growing Pains" is what we were and still are going through and I was feeling the stretch.

In addition to prayer, I also napped a lot. A whole lot. And I came up with new projects, new crafts, new ways to fill the time in class.

And thank you, Jesus, for snack.

But something in me felt defeated. My Spirit was broken and tired and weak, and to tell you the truth, my heart just wasn't in teaching anymore. As much as I loved the kids, my frustration and fatigue were stronger than my desire to keep teaching.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak...

So I quit. It was a shock to some around me, but not to others. I honestly felt all prayed out, all napped out, all snacked out and I just couldn't do it anymore.

To God's Glory, after my resignation (which was quickly withdrawn), helpers stepped up and some changes were made. Because of the proposed changes, I decided to stick it out. To hang in there.

Today was the very first day of those changes and I feel refreshed and renewed as a teacher. But most of all, my faith in fellow believers is renewed, along with God's Faithfulness to complete in me the work He has begun.

The awesome part of it all is that the children will be blessed. More attention is now being given to them in smaller, age-appropriate groups, and I am still able to teach them. But I am not sharing this with you to share the logistics of our new Sunday School.

I want you to know that whatever you are facing today, no matter how overwhelmed you are, that God's Hand is in it all. Just when you think no one cares, God will show you that He does and sometimes He shows you through the people around you.

Strive to honor God in all that you do and He will honor you. Sometimes it means dividing a classroom of 18 kids. Sometimes it means hugging your spouse when he or she isn't huggable. Sometimes it means getting up and going to work for a boss who is anything but respectable.

No matter what it is, you can conquer it, through His strength and His strength alone.

And, of course, snack always helps.


Jeanne robinson said...

Mel Of all days I NEEDED to hear this I feel like I aM NOT DOING MY BEST, AND YES I AM OVERWELMED. But through your words from God I can do all things through Him Thank you for reminding me. love Jeanne

Kelli said...

Amen sister.

Susanne said...

Thank you for this Melanie. It really ministered to me.

Alicia said...

Wow. Both Melanie's are preaching to me this morning. Thanks for being obedient.

Gotta GROW with it said...

My hubby's the Kids Pastor at our church....I just want to say:
THANK YOU JESUS FOR VOLUNTEERS! Sounds like you made a difference and change is always good. I'm sure the kids are happier too! And that's what is most important.

Love your blog!

Pam said...

Hi Thank you for this post. I also teach that age group and our church recently made some changes. My kids are in children's church for 1.5 hours before I get them and I have been so frustrated with what to do to get them to calm down. I have really been thinking about quitting to. Maybe I need to ask for help.