October 10, 2008

your song {woah}

today's had to be one of the most intense and emotionally exhausting lessons i've ever taught. it was supposed to be pretty straight forward: "why was Christ rejected by His own people?"

every class, after the devotional, i have my students listen to a song {usually something from an efy cd} and write in their journals. this gives them a chance to unwind and prepare for a more reverent part of their day. i selected a beautiful piece by jenny phillips entitled "your song" that i would tie into the lesson by asking what their song was, then what Christ's song was. that would lead us straight into how His 'song' was opposed and rejected by His own people. here are the lyrics:

He put a light inside you to remind you you're part of His plan.
and you may not see what He's shaping you to be by the power of His hands.
He has written beautiful things in your life, you're a masterpiece in His eyes.

there is a song inside you, He wrote a melody only you can sing.
He's leading you by faith to find your voice, so sing it strong.
He's seen it all along. it's your song.

you have His love to guide you. you carry a purpose divine.
He draws you near and the music that you hear whispers of your heavenly design.
He has blessed you and given you so many gifts. you're an instrument for Him.

there is a song inside you, He wrote a melody only you can sing.
He's leading you by faith to find your voice, so sing it strong.
He's seen it all along. it's your song.

so sing it strong He's seen it all along. it's your song.

when the song ended i asked what the artist meant by "your song" to which a few students replied with perfect answers. i then asked if there was anyone who would like to share with the class what they felt their 'song' was. after a little discussion, a girl in the front row shot back, "well, sister peterson, what's your song?" ... i thought for a second on whether i wanted to answer honestly. i quickly decided that was the best plan and answered, "i think my song is to help others come to Christ. throughout jr. high and high school, i dealt with a trial and some amazing 'angels' in my life helped me find Christ. they taught me that He is the only one who can heal you, making you whole. because of that, i decided i wanted to be an instrument in God's hands and help others come to Christ." i was quite proud of myself, foolishly thinking i'd given an answer that was brief, to the point, and only a tiny bit vague all on my own. but it didn't stop there. the same little girl on the front row asked, loudly and pointedly, "but sister peterson, what was your trial?" ...

this was a moment most teachers dread. how much do you tell your students? when they ask you pointed questions, when can you hide and when should you just come out with your hands above your head? as i thought this out in my head, more students asked, "... yeah, sister peterson, what was your trial?" before i knew what i was doing, i felt inspired words of explanation flow from my heart. i believe Heavenly Father helped me out during this discussion - He knows my students and their needs. i expect them to willingly, honestly, and courageously share their true thoughts and feelings with the class every single period. how could i do that with out being expected to do the same? nothing earth-shattering, but to open up and be vulnerable for a moment.

the spirit, of course, was in-charge and eloquently tied my 'trial' into the lesson and how Christ loves each of us; that we have a loving Heavenly Father who knows His children. for some of us, our song is to endure a trial, learn from it, then spend our lives lovingly helping those around us overcome similar trials. we covenant with the Lord that we will do our best to "bear one another's burdens" as part of our baptismal covenants, so that must be a pretty important principle to Him.

the rest of the period was just as intense as the beginning. of the twenty-eight students in attendance, each one of them had a question about the spirit world or the plan of salvation or the temple or Heavenly Father or something like that. scary. s c a r y !! i'm twenty years old! i've never gone on a mission! i don't know the scriptures that well! i don't know anything! i'm barely qualified {if at all} to be a seminary teacher: i have a testimony of the gospel and i love my students. that's it. when it comes to answers, i've got just as many questions as my students! ha! as the class period ended and my students left, i was singing the "hallelujah chorus" in my head. i told them to go home and ask their parents any other questions they had and we'd talk about the answers next week.

i have no idea how i survived today's class. oh wait, yes i do. my Savior picked me up and carried me a few feet before setting me down again and letting me walk on my own. i am so grateful to know i am not alone. i'm so grateful for these growing experiences that i have every single day. i'm grateful that the Lord knows what He's doing so i don't have to worry. i just leave it up to Him. He's got it covered ... and there's nothing i can do about that. i love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. i love my job. i love my life.