What a Beautiful Mess

My alarm went off at 7am.

“I can’t do it” *hits snooze*

7:15 am *hits snooze*

7:30 am *literally rolls out of bed*

I sit on the floor leaning against my bed questioning if its even possible for me to move.

“Its not possible. There is no way. Too tired.” I mumble to myself.

I feel like the walking dead. I think I forgot what sleep feels like at this point. I can’t teach another class I think to myself. I have no idea what I am doing. Then it begins, the lies. I am inadequate, the students are learning nothing, I don’t know what I’m doing (this one might be a little true but do we ever really know what we are doing), etc. Nonetheless, I convince myself to shower and grade my students journals.

I dig around for my red pen mumbling about how disorganized I am. I finally find it, grading time. The journals warm my heart but I was still wondering how I was even going to make sense out of the little bit I had planned for my morning lessons.

I down my fourth cup of espresso, rush to find my bag, and dash off to class as the bell rings behind me. I explain to the students that we are reading a national geographic article *cue disapproving glares*, learning our 16 new vocabulary words, and writing sentences with the words. As the students are doing their readings I can’t shut my mind off. What am I even doing here? They are learning nothing from me. Do they even like me? I don’t know.

“Shut up mind” I tell myself.

The bell ringings, class is over. I sigh, somehow I managed to teach another lesson successfully (I think). I was packing up my things, not able to shake all the negative thoughts, and one of my students turns to me and smiles.

“I feel like you’re my soulmate” she says as she hugs me.  DAY. MADE. For the first time I thought to myself, you got this. You can do this.

Smiling as big as my face allows I begin to skip up the stairs. I swing the door to my room open excitedly. I stand in the doorway realizing I walked in on a semi-serious conversation. I quietly sit on the bed asking if I can join. A few minutes later the three of us are sharing about all the walks of life we come from. I’ll keep it simple, tears were shed. Realizing we are late for the meal we rush out quickly hugging and hoping we could sneak our way into meal time.

So many emotions run through my head. I kept just telling myself is this real life? Is this real life that I am here living in Lviv, Ukraine for the summer teaching English to university students? Is this real life that I am surrounded by people who love me? Is this real life that his whole thing is part of God’s greater plan?

Yes. The simple answer is, yes.

This is real life. I am here in Ukraine teaching English to the most beautiful group of university students. I am here surrounded by people who love me. This is all part of God’s greater plan and today he was everywhere. He was in each of my students, especially showing through when he knew I needed that pick-me-up. He was there in the beauty of us sharing our stories. He was and always is everywhere.

Friends, life is messy. We are pushed out of our comfort zone. We are urged to try new things. We find ourselves in unfamiliar places. In each of these moments we are met with love. It is in the mess that we see the face of God and it is in the unfamiliar places that we see beauty.

This week as been kind of a mess, but it has been one BEAUTIFUL mess.

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