The Beautiful Gift of Preparation

One of my favorite seasons in life is when I worked in the Public School System as a Paraprofessional, which is a fancy word for Teacher’s Assistant. I worked with children who had special needs. I got to work alongside them and help guide them in their work and in their day.

One of the things that I did often was help prepare the children for the schedule for the day. For some I had a board with pictures on it, and others I gave verbal preparation for each next step. I struggle with transition and change when I don’t know it is coming, and I have had to work on strategies to deal with those changes and transitions, when they have been unexpected or taken me by surprise. For some children with special needs not being prepared ahead of time can cause great anxiety and stress.

So part of my job was to help prepare them for those transitions.

As we all know, life is full of change and transitions. Here in New England we are experiencing the drastic change from Summer to Fall, and Winter will follow. We experience a change of season every few months around here.

Those transitions are not always easy. God knows this and there are many times that I realize sooner or later, that God had been preparing me for that transition and change, even though I didn’t always know it at the time.

Between Covid and the Political Season, it has been a trying one and we are not done yet.

Over that last few years, God has drawn me closer to Him and really revealed my lack of surrender and trust for Him. As He has taught me He is truly Trustworthy and that is is safe to surrender to Him, He has prepared me to draw closer to Him in these very uncertain and anxious times.

My mind can easily focus on the realities of what is going on around me. If am not careful my eyes come off of Jesus and on to the storm. My heart can be full of anxiety and depression, if I focus on all I can’t fix or change. God is teaching me how to truly keep my eyes fixed on Him.

He has beautifully prepared my heart to trust Him deeper than I ever have and to be able to let go of all I can’t change, and surrender them to Him. He is teaching me to stop trying to fix, and bring it to Him, the only One who can.

He is calling me to put aside social media, news, opinions, and just draw close to Him. He is calling me to fast and bring those specific people, situations, and circumstances to His feet and surrender them there. He is calling me to trust Him to help me know what I need to know, and to let go of the rest. He is calling me to a place where His voice is above all others in my life.

Take a moment to look back over your life. Are there Seasons where God was teaching you things that you needed for the next Season? Are there things God is bringing you through now that He might be using to prepare you for the future?

I encourage you to pay attention to those things.

When those children came into school, sometimes they were very anxious about their day. When they saw me coming, they knew I would have what they needed to help get them through that day. I would show them their schedule and go over the pictures. We would talk about things, they would ask questions, and I would answer what I could. On the days when we would have unexpected fire drills, they would look to me to understand what was going on and because I was there and consistent, they trusted me to walk them through that experience with them. It was a beautiful thing! I loved watching them do it successfully with a little help.

God has beautifully and gracefully prepared me for many things over the years. I didn’t always realize it until years later. He is always there for me and because He has been steady and consistent, I know that even when the unexpected comes, He will be there to walk me through it, and help me have victory in it.

There is such love in that. Just as I loved those children so much and wanted to comfort them and guide them in their anxiousness and fear, God wants to do that for us. He loves us more than we could ever imagine. He is steady and consistent, and He will walk us to victory.