Monday, February 7, 2011

Dear God

Dear God,

It's me. Kelli.

I know we spoke this morning, but I really felt compelled to write you and start up the conversation again.

After listening to the sermon on Sunday about how we shouldn't compare ourselves or our lives to others I feel awkward writing to you. I know previous sermons were about the need to quit complaining (I haven't heard those yet). And I'm not complaining. Well, maybe I am, but honestly, I need help here.

If this is where I am truly supposed to be in life, then I am begging you to give me the tools I need to be successful. As it is, I am thoroughly exhausted by about 10:15am every morning. My head throbs, my brow furrows in frustration and it takes every ounce of my professionalism to not walk out and let someone else deal with it all.

How do you expect me to be of service and be effective as a teacher when I can't seem to get the attention of the students or help them to actually care about their education? How am I supposed to raise the test scores of students who are not the least bit interested in Math or Reading, but by golly Miss Molly, if they see a box of crackers on the counter they're highly interested! If they get to go send a pencil-gram for Valentine's Day, they are all over it! How can I establish any rhythm in the curriculum with the continual interruptions in our day? How can I implement successful teaching when it seems no one knows what to do to be effective teachers anymore?

I'm tired, God, I'm so tired. Doing the right thing over the years has led me to feel as if doing right doesn't pay. I have been far from perfect, but I've always done my best. I've tried to be fair, honest, hard-working, loyal, and dedicated. Even in the midst of all my personal turmoils, I tried everything in my power to find the way, to find the answers. I worked so hard to instill good morals and values in my students and my own children. There were attacks against me personally and professionally that I never understood. But I stayed and tried to figure it all out, tried to make it all better.

But I have withstood everything that you've thrown at me, and for that I am grateful. My children are happy, healthy, and out of the toxic environment of their father's home. For that I am grateful. I have family and friends who love me very much. For that I am grateful. I have so many things to be so very grateful for. The list could go on and on.

What I need help with is my career. I won't make my list of "complaints" here. You've heard them all. Just know that I am so grateful to have a full time job and a part time job in this shaky economy. Having a monthly paycheck that will pay for the food and shelter for my kids and me is huge. And while we don't live extravagantly, we do have money for our basic needs.

But God, daily, I am so stressed and so overwhelmed. I never feel successful. I never feel as if I am making a difference, serving as I should. The opportunity to make a difference is why I pursued teaching in the first place. And I know that I accomplish that sometimes, I do. But in the process, I am dying inside. I am at a breaking point and have reached full burn-out. The stress is eating me alive. The lack of fulfillment is sucking out my soul.

I know that I have talents that could be used in a way that I can help myself and others by expressing myself through my creativity. I want to be a good example for my own kids by showing them that pursuing your passion in life will lead to happiness. It isn't about the money, but about being useful and living with purpose and passion. It's about using the talents you gave us.

For years now I have tried to find the answers. I have tried to find joy in teaching, but each year there is less and less. Talking to you hasn't been exactly productive either. I thought maybe I was going about it the wrong way. I studied, I asked questions, I listened. But I am still here, with few answers, feeling lost.

I know there has to be a purpose for my still being here and I am wanting to be patient to find out what that purpose is. But I am worried for my health and sanity in the meantime. It is said that you won't give me more than I can handle, but God, are you almost done? Because I've had an awful lot to deal with in the last ten years or so. It seems as if you are making up for lost time or something.

There is a purpose to all this, I know. Please just help me find the way to be of service and to feel joy doing it. I've never asked to live an extravagant life, but a full life that is rewarding. A life that is rich and abundant with happiness and joy....is that really too much to ask?

I know I haven't been the most religious person over the years, with good reason. You know my reasons. There is a part of me that feels uneasy talking to you in a forum that I know I am going to put out into the Universe for all to see, but it also feels right.

But God, I do know this....I have talents that are within me, talents you gave me, just waiting to be brought to light. Help me to find the right door to open to living a complete, joyful life. I know it's there, just waiting for me. I know that everything I have been through has prepared me for this. I think I'm ready. Do you?

Love,

Kelli

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