For a girl who thought she was too shy to ever teach, God has brought me a long way. From my first classes with 15 students total at age 16, to my last class of many, full of 20 girls (since classes were combined this week)... Wow. And how fitting that many in that very last class I taught today were also in that first class years ago...
I walked through the church building to make sure doors were locked and lights turned off , thinking I was alone. But when I came back, my student - my friend - was still there. We hugged more, shed some tears, spoke some... But what do you say in moments like that? Change is hard. Letting go is hard.
I will miss my girls. The scrapbook Ballet IV gave me, with pictures of them and letters is something I 'll cherish. It will go with me as I become Mrs. Wolfe, will be a wonderful reminder to pray for these girls that have been so much more than students - much more like younger sisters and friends. True friends. There haven't been many friends my age in the area, but my students have welcomed me at their birthday parties and in on their conversations. I've gone out for meals with them, played many games, and been encouraged as I've seen them following the Lord. And I think Jenga will be my new favorite game, with the set they gave that has notes and verses on the pieces. :)
The tears, the sweet words... bring me back to something I wrote back in 2007. I wasn't wanting to go to college, wanting instead to stay home and learn from there while continuing to teach and direct. I wrote:
"When I marry or move on, I want to leave behind a lasting impact on the lives of many. I want to bless them with God's love, and serve them in His Spirit. I don't want them to just think “Oh, she was a nice girl.” I want them to miss me when I'm gone."I did go to college, but after a year God made it clear that it was time to come back. The 3 1/2 years since have been so full, so full of being able to pour into the lives of others and be richly blessed in return. And little did I know how true those words I penned at age 17 would be so true at age 22. Only God...
People ask if it's hard to stop teaching. I'm sure it will hit me more when "Creation's Promise" is over on December 15th. But, truly, all I feel is joy in looking at the next season. I WILL miss "my girls" - so much! But I can't wait to trade my job title as "ballet teacher" to that of "wife," and if God so blesses one day, "mother."
Teaching ballet was never something I set out to do. It just "happened" as God in His sovereignty took me outside of my comfort zone to bless girls that wanted to dance. I developed a passion for seeing Him glorified through dance and providing a modest and God-honoring atmosphere for girls to learn and grow. But I always knew this was a season...
It was hard to be content in that season at times. I desired marriage. But I knew God had me here for a purpose, and I wanted to "worship in the waiting." God is SO faithful and SO good. I am glad that every time I was tempted to doubt, He always brought me back to a place of trust.
All I've done, all I've taught, has been from Him. And as I remind the girls, though I'm leaving, God is not. No, it's not the same... The sorrow is real. Tears are good. Letting go is hard, but needed...
And for many, dancing WILL still continue. God has provided in beautiful ways. I look forward to coming back and seeing "my girls" still dancing for Him, many passing on the art form - but more than that, the heart for worship - to other girls. Giving as they've been given much.
Through the tears, I am blessed by these girls that yet rejoice. They see God's hand in bringing Ryan and I together, and are able to "rejoice with those who rejoice" as my happiness - my overwhelming JOY in my man - means some sadness for them. And yet joy, to know God is faithful in creating marriages in His good time and way.
His gifts - for a season or a lifetime - are so good!
Rejoicing in Him!
*Miss* (for 53 more days!) Anna