Tomorrow, I return to work. I'll be honest... tomorrow is a day I have been dreading.
Thinking about that has my heart racing and my stomach literally in knots. Please don't misunderstand; I genuinely enjoy my job. Yes, perhaps I am a little crazy, but I really do enjoy teaching in a middle school.
Right now, though, I can't stand the thought of going back. I don't know how I am going to manage dealing with the needs of so many people, mustering the energy to even put a smile on my face and have some level of enthusiasm when interacting with students, or having the wherewithall to be able to mentally juggle everything that I need to. I worry about how the students and the staff members will respond to me upon my return. And I worry about feeling so far behind with everything and not really having the energy to catch up.
But I don't think those are the real reasons I am dreading it.
Truthfully, I don't want to move forward. Moving forward to me means moving farther away from the time that Isaac was born, and I don't like that very much. Our lives returning to how they looked before Isaac came is just excruciating, because it is a very vivid reminder of his absence and how much we so wish that he was still here.
Right now, I have the freedom of being able to feel and just be however I need to be in each moment, and I really like that. I love being able to think about him whenever I want, to pull out my photo album and just re-live the morning of October 7 so that those memories stay fresh. Being at work all day doesn't really allow that. I enjoy having the time at home to work on his baby book, to read, to meet up with friends for lunch or for coffee or for a walk. This time has been safe... life has been a little slower and I have been able to focus my attention on whatever it is I would like. Again, being at work all day doesn't really allow that, either.
I could really use your prayers for my return to work tomorrow. I am terrified by the fact that I am not really sure I can make it through a whole work day. I am terrified that as I become re-engaged with work and all of its demands, that my memories of Isaac won't be as fresh... and I want to remember... vividly. I am terrified of things going back to "normal"... because nothing about this feels normal. Nothing about it feels as it should.
Over the last several months, I have come back to the passage in 2 Corinthians 12 where Paul pleads with the Lord three times to take away his thorn in the flesh. Much like Paul, I also remember pleading with the Lord (on countless occasions, not just three) to take away the pain and the torment and to heal Isaac. But instead of heeding Paul's request, the Lord replied,
So I suppose that would be what I would ask you to please pray for... for grace. That God would grant me just enough grace for each moment... grace to even be able to walk through the doors in the morning, grace to interact with my students kindly, grace to be forgiving of people who say the things I just don't need to hear or who act like nothing has happened, grace to be able to have moments in my day where my thoughts can rest on Isaac, grace to be forgiving of myself if everything isn't "just so"... you get the idea. God's power and grace really are going to have to do the work; I just can't.
Thank you for praying... thank you for your encouragement... thank you for continuing to uphold us as we continue to pick up the pieces.