Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Teaching my last class...

Cleaned up. Went in to turn off the lights. A student helped me carry in a table, and we just stood there for a moment. I saw her look and gave her a hug, then we went out and I flicked off the lights. My last class as Miss Anna - complete.

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

13 comments:

  1. So very happy for you Miss Anna...but so very very sad at the same time..my girls ARE forever changed by your loving influence in their lives. You gave them what I could not, in a way I could not and for that I am eternally grateful! I love you!

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  2. I am so happy that your life has moved along so well. I have been following your story for a long time now. 7 years? I don't remember exactly but we were both teenagers interested in a certain path to adulthood. Since then, we both went to school, read a lot of books, made friendships that shaped our lives, spent time with family. You taught dance, I worked with developmentally disabled adults. We both met amazing men who will hold our hands as we walk into the future. I married mine last November and now have an amazing 4 month old baby girl. You are marrying yours in 53 days?! I am so excited for you. I am sad though that your writing is not moving to a new home. When you closed your old blog, I started following this one because I was interested to see where life took you next. I am still interested. If you ever decide you feel like making a new blog I would love to hear about it, even if it is updated only rarely. I guess it may feel strange to hear this from someone you don't really know, but I guess I almost feel like I do know you a bit. Anyway. My email is lestamore at gmail dot com. If you feel comfortable writing, or if you blog somewhere else I would love to hear from you. Otherwise, I wish you a very happy life and a magical wedding.

    -Laura C.

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  3. So thankful that my Olivia was able to be in your presence, and learn from you, even if it was just a short period. God is so good!

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  4. God reminded me last night to seek the Giver, not the gift. He was the one who "gave" you to us for the last several years, and though His plan now means that my "big sister" moves away, I'm learning to trust that His plan is always good, and that His best is always ahead. Love you, Anna!
    -Natalie

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  5. Anna I know for certain that you will be deeply and truly missed. You are a true lady. In this day and time it's so rare to find a young lady so grounded in God's will. Seasons change. You will be a dancer forever and soon a wife and a wonderful mom. All in God's perfect time. We are so happy for you.God bless Tina, Rose, and Olivia

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  6. What a sweet blog! I'm sorry I found it just as you are finishing teaching. I have been a professional ballet teacher for 9 years and have choreographed a lot of liturgies/praise ballets-- your "On Choreography" post made me smile because I could identify with everything on the list.

    I should mention that I stopped teaching when I was going to get married, and was a stay-at-home wife for that first year (and I loved it!)...but then my husband said he needed help with the income, and teaching/choreographing is something I can do part-time (and still fulfill my duties at home) and still make money. Maybe something like that will happen for you-- God gave you a gift, He may give you more opportunities to use it :) Bless you an have a wonderful wedding!
    -M. Butterfly

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    1. The blog and the King's Praise Ballet will be continuing... Anna is turning it over to several of us, her oldest students. A challenge... but a good one! -Natalie

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  7. Sandra (Moriah and Keziah's Mom)December 10, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Anna, I want to thank you for allowing God to use you to bless my family! You know my story. Your ministry has not only deepened my children's faith in God, but it has touched the heart of their father to see his little girls dancing for the Lord. I have been humbled and tremendously blessed as well. I don't see you as a nice girl. I see you as a woman of God proclaiming the Gospel to the Glory of God. Powerful young lady! I pray for a blessed marriage and many years of joy to you and Ryan! You have brought us much of the same. Love you and will always be thankful for your life!

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  8. Thank you all for your encouragement! It is a true blessing to follow the Lord and see His many blessings abound!

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  9. God bless you, Anna. I have quietly followed your blog since the early days and rejoice in your devotion to the Lord, your industrious spirit, and your upcoming marriage. All the best to you and your future husband.

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  10. Anna, I have followed your blog for many, many years. You have been such a great encouragement for me as a mom of 1 daughter (so far). You have given me such hope that a girl can live a godly, pure, productive,teenage/young adult life in a fallen world. You will have so many joys as a wife and a mother. I pray that you will continue to blog somewhere, please look me up if you do.

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