Ambiguous loss is the loss of something that you can’t quite put your finger on. An internet meme attempted to describe this idea with a picture of a 2020 day planner with the caption: “Worst purchase of the year.” We all had expectations, plans and dreams for last year that were not met, and that is hard. Ambiguous loss is losing things that are not finite, or easily explainable. In 2020, educators and students lost many things, most especially the loss of being carefree. Recently, I was listening to a Christian radio show when a mother called in asking when her daughter would be carefree again, as she was pre-covid. The host said, “She won’t be. We have experienced a before and after; things will never go back to how they were before.” This hit me hard. Is it true? Will there always be a little more stress? A little more distrust? A little more fear? A little more darkness? A definite before and after?
A favourite quote of mine that has run through my mind since this pandemic states, “When the darkness is deepest, the light of a Godlike character will shine the brightest. When every other trust fails, then it will be seen who have an abiding trust in Jehovah” (Ellen White, AA 431).
In this changing and increasingly dark world, how can I as an educator be a light? I want to have the light of a Godlike character that she speaks of in the above quote. Here are five ways I’m learning to shine to those in my school by reflecting the light of Jesus.
- Ask God for Wisdom. Read James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Ask God to correct our misconceptions and show us the light.
- Read the Bible. The Bible is full of stories of hardships that we can relate to, prophecies that are fulfilling around us, and promises that God will be with us. Ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read, and to give you understanding.
- Believe and trust in a power greater than yourself: GOD, your Creator. Practice the first three steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. In place of the word alcohol, substitute fear, anxiety, or loss.
- Have a teachable spirit. “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn” (Alvin Toffler). Look up Psalm 143:10 and Psalm 86:11 to learn about having a teachable spirit.
- Start your day with God. I read through Proverbs each month as part of my devotions. There are 31 chapters. Read the one that corresponds with the date of the month. Don’t get overwhelmed if you miss a day or two, just start again where you are. There is always something new to learn.
What are you to doing to let God shine through you?