"Walk on Earth full of pain: What a difference belief in God makes" by: Betsy Monico

   We wrapped up another interesting week. Who am I kidding? 
   Every week since March 2020 has been one of a kind. I constantly find myself laughing over our new normal, accepting the craziness, and striving more than ever to look for blessings. 
   My oldest two came home to visit. One left me a note on my desk at school. 
   It didn’t cost her a penny, but meant the world to me. I got another surprise from a co-worker Friday thanking me for being her light. 
   She also gave me a Coke and Snickers - two of my all-time favs. Little things can be big! 
   Teaching “this year” is big and requires big dedication. I study and review daily. 
   I must confess too that I am smarter than ever from being forced to learn and think. 
   We finished the 13 colonies last week, had a Boston Tea Party, and dive into The American Revolution this week.
   Wednesday seemed “wacky” like Dr. Seuss claimed in the book, but only warmed us up for Thursday. 
   Our wonderful counselor teaches guidance lessons once a month. The kids love her! I do too! She demands that classroom teachers leave and enjoy the catch-up time. 
   I did just that during my first three classes. The 4th one caught us both off guard. 
   I was in the office when she called and begged for my speedy return. 
   My automatic mom, because they are like my own kids, kicked in. 
   My classroom manager role really kicked in though. I walked swiftly and aggressively down the hallway. 
   I expected to discover a few particular kiddos in trouble. What I found upon busting through the door, hands on hips, was quite the opposite.
   She barely began her guidance lesson and something unexpected occurred. One student started crying. 
   When he pulled out the plug, so to speak, others did too. Fifth graders fall to peer pressure often, but this was not “monkey see, monkey do.” 
   The room was full of hurting kids. They willing bared their souls.
   When I first walked in, prepared to pounce, I knew immediately the kiddos needed me and Mrs. Pate did too. 
   I found myself in the midst of one of my most meaningful days as an educator. 
   The kids openly and transparently shared their troubles, losses, concerns, fears, and worries. 
   The authentic compassion for each other was nothing short of a miracle.
   The common theme revealed was dealing with the death of a loved one. Well, I lost my Mom at eight. 
   I recited my cousin’s wisdom regarding my puppy’s death only a few months before I had to deal with Mom’s absence. 
   Yes, I grieved over Domino, but learned what sorrow really felt like when Mom moved to heaven. 
   The imagery Tracie suggested, so I would stop crying, about my puppy was this: His room was ready in heaven. 
   God began building it when he was born. It was full of bones, old shoes, and dirt to play in. 
   I missed my pet, but imagined him joyfully making a mess in his new room. 
   Little did we know that imagining Mom’s room would be next. God knew though. 
   He also knows when your heavenly room, my perfect room, will be complete. 
   The Lord will bring His children home to reside with Him in peace forever. 
   Our walk on this earth is full of pain.  
   However, what a difference it makes when we personally know, trust, and believe that God is the orchestrator, finisher of it all. 
   Psalm 27:8 says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart has trusted in him, and I am helped.” 

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