I went to church last night struggling with emotions for a variety of reasons:
- I was overwhelmed with a never-ending to do list.
- I felt let down by some people I was counting on for a project.
- Liam seems to be getting a cold and I wondered how I knew whether it was that horrible virus.
- I’m the co-chair of canvassing for our referendum and I feel like I’m making my co-chair do most of the work.
- I’m worried about getting enough volunteers for canvassing and I don’t know what to do.
- I’m worried that the community is focusing on the wrong issues for our referendum.
- I’m worried about teachers who seem overwhelmed.
- I’m worried about kids that are as well.
And as I sat in mass, watching Luke trying to remember the jobs as Alter Server and smiled. I began to feel at peace. The realization that I really cannot control everything and I just need to let go began to worm its way into my brain. I relaxed and knew that I was working as hard as I can, but the only person I can truly control is me. I cannot control the choices others make and I need to let go of that and focus on my own actions. What a relief. It was as if God had taken some of my burden for me.
Mass ended and I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and saw the grandparents of one of my students from last year. They shared how much she missed me and said she’d do anything to be in my class again. I smiled and told them to tell her I love her and miss her too. Walking out, I spoke to a few other parents as I grabbed a bulletin and stood in the aisle to wait for Luke. Looking at the bulletin, I saw the CCD teachers for the year listed. Next to sixth grade – Luke’s grade, the grade of that former student who missed me and wanted to be in my class again – next to them there was a blank.
I paused. My brain raced. I don’t have free time. I can’t do this. Or maybe I can. I stood, silent, and waited. Tears sprang to my eyes, I knew this was a sign. I walked up to father standing outside and asked if they were struggling to get a sixth grade teacher for that class. He shared that as of Wednesday night he knew they still didn’t have anyone. He asked if I was willing to step in and I said I felt I needed to.
Luke came out and I thought about it the whole way home. I knew what I had to do. I called and talked to the woman in charge of our religious education program and volunteered myself. I cannot teach this week – I have to go through some sort of training before I can be in the classroom, but if all goes well, I’m teaching on Sundays now too.
Chris, the boys, and I headed out for dinner after that. I sat at dinner, a bit quiet, and reflected. Going to church I had been a mess. Angry, worried, irritated, overwhelmed. Two hours later I have one more plate to spin, but I felt lighter and at peace. It is such a good feeling to be on the right path, to know you are doing all you can – and for the right reasons as well. Deep breath, a new journey is beginning.