I am changed.

Anxiety once had me down. An eating disorder once controlled me. Depression once kept me from allowing me to see my self-worth.

I am changed.

I’ve seen pain in people’s eyes who have lost everything from the hurricane. I’ve seen people in despair, desperate to feed and clothe their children. I’ve seen people who have lost hope and do not allow themselves to be fully loved by God, choosing instead to live on the streets rather than accept help. I have helped these people, fed these people, clothed these people, spoken to these people, hugged these people…

I am changed.

I am fortunate, but I have still lost, just like the rest of those living within this city and throughout our great state. My school is gone. My classroom that I worked so hard to get ready… gone. My students have lost more than me though. Their homes, cars, belongings… gone.

I am changed.

I don’t know what this new adventure will bring. I don’t know if I can look at my students in the face and bring them hope. I don’t know if I will even be able to teach them anything this year. I don’t know how much longer I can stay strong.

But I am changed.

My heart is different.

I will not accept failure anymore. I won’t stand for anything that doesn’t bring goodness and hope. I won’t allow my spirit to be brought down anymore. I will try my best to remain positive. Above all, I will trust God and know that his will is greater than any other plan I had for myself.

I am changed. And I won’t go back to the way I was before.

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