Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Past, Present, and Future

While technology has played a significant role in my career as an educator, there was a time I was a pretty decent Language Arts teacher.  I loved teaching writing, even with the state test looming on the horizon.  Even with the resistance of struggling, hesitant writers.  There's something about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and telling a story, sharing a piece of your heart.

It seemed like many of my students struggled with verb tense--that whole past, present, and future thing.  They would start writing about something that had happened and shift tenses midway through the essay.  Sometimes it worked, but other times it simply muddled what could be a fantastic story.  Today marks three years since Paige's original diagnosis.  Three years.  Cancer cut short a phenomenal life.  Lately I'm struggling with verb tense myself.  Past.  Present.  Future.  What do these look like on this new road we are traveling?

Was.  It's a simple 3-letter word.  We use it all the time to tell about events that have previously taken place.  Things that have passed.  Things in the past.  I was out of groceries, so I went to the store.  He was the loudest kid in the class.  Never in a million years did I think I would be using that word to describe my daughter.  As of October 24, 2016, everything about her story, her spunk--her amazing life in general--became linked to that word.  She was a beautiful soul with a strong faith in God.  She was incredibly smart and determined to help kids in situations like hers.  She was simply amazing.

Is.  Another simple word used to talk about the present.  Someone's current situation.  She is watching television.  The moon is bright tonight.  My situation seems to change at the drop of a hat these days.  This momma's heart is broken.  She knows her sweet girl is with her Savior, but she is struggling on this day.  Enough said.

Will.  Of these 'simple' verbs, I think this one is the strongest.  The most determined.  It shares hopes and sets goals.  It tells of things to come.  God will heal our hearts.  We will continue to shine Paige's light and build her legacy.  Our family will be reunited one day.  What a glorious moment that will be!

These seemingly simple verbs are stronger than they appear.  I think I'm kind of the opposite in that I appear stronger than my heart feels--but that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.  What matters is I know God is my strength and my hope.  He is guiding my steps, leading the way.  I always try to write what is on my heart, but I'm so incredibly thankful God is in my heart.