" Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are 'patches of godlight' in the woods of our experience."

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Trial of Humiliation

This week I have been struggling with humiliation and embarrassment. I never thought I was the type of person who would suffer so much under these conditions but I have been sick to my stomach and randomly crying.

Most of you probably know that I am a new teacher. I became certified to teach English as a second language in June of this past summer. I didn't begin teaching until the last week of August. I am teaching two classes, both from separate employers. I understand that being a teacher requires you to be scrutinized and observed occasionally. I'm OK with that as I know I still need a lot of help and improvement of my skills. Of course, it's necessary for your employer to make sure things are up to their standards.

I found out yesterday shortly before one of my classes that I would be observed. This caused me to become very nervous. I hadn't planned and prepared as thoroughly as normal and I was having technical difficulties with my printer at home. I didn't get very far into my lesson before the person observing me asked me to stop and then took over my class and began teaching. I was mortified, terribly embarrassed and humiliated. It took all my strength just to keep myself together and not run out of the room crying. After about 30 minutes of this, she then attempted to hand the class back over to me. I had no idea where to begin or what to do, which I expressed to her. She seemed upset that I mentioned this, so I tried to continue. Then at the end of the class, the woman left with only a goodbye.

I cried the entire way home while I was driving. When I got home, I knew I had to talk to her but there was no way I could speak to her on the phone or face to face so I emailed her. I tried to explain that I was very nervous about her being there. I basically bared my soul to this woman that I barely know. However, I never heard back from her. I spent the rest of the evening in a tizzy. When I reached out to her again via text today, she told me she was planning to email me back this afternoon but that was all she said. At this point, I am at a loss. I am still very upset. I am crying and praying, hoping to hear from her soon. I texted her once more to let her know that I was still very upset and I needed to hear something from her as to how she was feeling before tomorrow when I am supposed to teach again and also see her for our weekly meeting. Still I have heard nothing from her.

My emotions have been all over the place the past 24 hours. Yes, I have been praying and reading my Bible. I have received messages, phone calls and texts of encouragement with promises of prayers. I'm very appreciative of all these things. But the embarrassment and the humiliation seem to be determined to follow me around, which is why I am writing this post.

I feel like a complete and utter failure. I am humiliated and sad. I have a permanent lump in my throat and my chest hurts, not like a heart attack but like I am heart sick. My confidence is completely shredded. I don't want to face either of my classes tomorrow. I don't know how to shake these feelings. I am trying to rely on God and pray. No matter what I do, where I go, or how I try to distract myself, I can't shake my heart free of these feelings of inadequacy and humiliation.

One thing keeps coming to my mind - that song I learned many years ago when I was a kid - "He's still working on me to make me what I oughta be." I don't know why this happened or even what I'm learning or going to learn from this except that I am still a work in progress and I have to try my hardest to lean on Him and WAIT for Him. He is coming to save me, even if He's not as quick as Superman. He working on this situation and working on me. That's all I have to cling to right now. I'm hanging on for dear life because if I let go, I might drown.

Transparency

I made a decision when I turned *cough*31*cough* a few days ago. (Just pretend I said 29!) I decided that it's time to be transparent with the world. It's time to share all my struggles with my family, my friends and any others who may venture to this blog.

Life is too hard and too short to try to carry all your burdens alone. That's exactly what I've been doing for most of my 31 years. I don't know why I feel the need to always pretend like everything is OK on the outside when on the inside I am dying. I know someone else out there in the world has went through what I'm going through. If I would open up and share, then I would find help and encouragement from someone who has suffered the same way! What's that old saying? Misery loves company. So maybe someone out there is going through the exact same thing as me RIGHT NOW! Wouldn't it be great to be able to share with them? Have a little pity party and then encourage each other.

More importantly, opening up and sharing is not only helping me, but I hope it will help you too. What's the point in all this anyway if we just bottle it up inside? We are only damaging ourselves by suffering alone. Yes, I know Jesus is there. He fellowships in our sufferings but He also uses other people to speak to us and to help us, since He doesn't usually speak out loud to us! Sometimes what we need is to allow God to speak to us through other people. But how can He do that if we never share or tell anyone what we are going through?

Everyone's lives are messy and chaotic. Terrible things happen every day. We have a tendency to gloss over everything and plaster happy faced emoticons on every status update. But it's not real. I know that if my life is this messy, then yours is too. Why not join me in finding some help and some encouragement in one another?

Also I will also try to share happy things, so we can rejoice together!