stretched, wrecked, and waiting …


It’s the heart stuff that concerns me most … both theirs and mine.

Growing pains.

A soul stretch.

A sacred wrecking … reckoning.

We’re in this together, and (at this point in the journey) we’re standing at a crossroads. Either we’re going deeper into this holy cleansing or we’re going to settle for a duct tape finish—a patching and pasting to hold us together for a good enough ending that will send us on our separate ways at the end of May … unaffected and unchanged … hearts hardened by the process instead of hearts beautifully shaped because of it.

I know what I want, but I cannot make that choice for them. They will have to decide if our temporary union is worth it … worth the pain, the stretching, the wrecking, and the reckoning.

And there’s the rub.

Nine weeks in, and we’re standing at a crossroads. I can feel it in my spirit, and I suppose that’s why I’ve spent the last hour gathering my tears into my lap. I think a couple of my students have already made up their minds about “us” – choosing less instead of best.

So I beat my heart up a little tonight, wondering how I can change their minds … how I can persuade them to stay with me on the path a while longer until the stretching and the wrecking reckons into beauty—a touchable, tangible splendor that affirms and validates the hard work of relationship.

Isn’t that what we all need? Want? Affirmation that our hearts are growing rather than shrinking? Don’t we want to get past duct tape and good enough so that we might take hold of healing and holiness?

To be fair, when I was their age, I didn’t know I wanted to be holy. I suppose I spent the first three decades of my life settling for duct tape finishes. But then God offered me something better, something lasting—a relationship that went beyond holding me together to a relationship that grew me up on the inside … that made me a better me … that changed my way of thinking and my way of doing. And this was and is the beautiful splendor that speaks strength to my soul each day. It keeps me coming to the table of grace and offering my fifteen students a choice for a similar portion.

If only they could understand what’s at stake—what’s to be loss and all that’s to be gained from their being genuinely loved by this grace-veteran who boasts enough battle scars to give me some street-cred. If only they would take my word on it … that we’re worth it and that, by the end of May, we’re going to be better versions of ourselves because of the time we’ve given to one another.

But they might not see things my way. They may choose a lesser path.

And so, on this night when I have more questions than answers, less control rather than more, I will allow my tears to soften the hardness that’s creeping in to my heart, and I will pray for my fifteen and their deliberations as they stand with me at this crossroads. Come tomorrow morning, I’ll lean in a little closer to the wrecking that’s taking place near our hearts, and I’ll offer them the choice to join me on the holiness road.

God will be with us, and he will be faithful to complete in us that which we cannot yet see in us.

A glorious reckoning. A splendor of his making.

This I believe in.

This I will fight for.

All the way through ‘til May.

PS: Sarah is the winner of Laura’s book, Playdates with God. Congrats! It will be coming to you via Amazon.

8 Responses to stretched, wrecked, and waiting …

  1. “If only”…..and there’s the rub. It has to be their choice. As much as we want it for others, as much as it pains us to see what they will be missing, it has to come from them. I hurt for you Elaine! Just keep sowing those seeds! They will never,ever get away from what they’re learning and being exposed to this year through your teaching no matter how they act outwardly in the here and now. So let that knowledge turn your mourning into joy. You’ve been God’s hands and voice to these children. I know you will continue to be this. But please don’t beat yourself up and wear yourself out with the ”If onlys”.
    Love you MUCH my faithful friend Elaine!!

  2. Elaine, I’m going to try leaving a comment one more time. I’ve been having a great deal of trouble with comments not posting on WordPress blogs. One friend I contacted by email informed me that I had been flagged as spam. Not sure why. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I agree with Marilyn – you must not beat yourself up.

    God has all this in His hands.

    Sometimes we just don’t get a chance to see immediately the ripples that we have caused in other peoples’ lives. But trust me, you are definitely leaving ripples…


  3. Pray diligently for them, my friend, then leave the process and results to the Holy Spirit. Only eternity will reveal the full measure of your impact in their little lives. Your young congregation is likely soaking up more love, more Jesus than you even realize. Often the hardest hearts are the ones that experience the most impact. You are amazing, Elaine. You are wonderful.

  4. “Stretches” and “Extensions” have been a major part of the last four weeks of my life, too–just in a different dimension. Sometimes, even for this 65 year old woman, it’s tempting to choose less rather than best. Reading of YOUR challenge, I pray for you and your “fifteen” and myself. The Holiness Road calls all of us. We can only answer for ourselves. Me? I’m choosing healing and holiness…

  5. Your students are blessed to have a teacher who is willing to fight for them all the way to May, Elaine. You are making a difference whether you can see it all or not. God bless and strengthen you and give you wisdom for each day!

  6. Elaine, I’ve so missed reading your posts. I don’t know how I got separated from you. I’ve been doing lots of growing up in the past 1 1/2 years. This I know; God is in control. He “is” The Pilot. We’re along for the ride. I’m certain HE will use you in a mighty way with these students. I will make sure to subscribe to your blog and keep an eye out for updates about your students.

    On a side note: I believe that games person who commented is spam. You might want to delete that comment. Just a suggestion.

  7. They have had so much ungodly influence and input from the world around them, you are probably coming across as a UFO. But what you do not know is that there is a handful among the fifteen who are secretly wishing you are for real. Because this handful, this remnant, is actually hungry and longing for life to be infused into their love starved hearts. It is probably easy for me to say this since I am not in your shoes, but Elaine, you can take it from me. I was head of a school (Kindergarten to Grade 8) of around 180 children and 25 academic and admin staff… and each day I would wake up before dawn, go down on my knees for all of them… and it was the only thing that held me (and us) together. Despite what I saw around me, I held on to that lifeline. My season at that school lasted 18 years, and it ended in 2004, ten years ago. I never will know the true impact of my 18 year tenure with them. Many of the young ones that I taught how to read are now professionals in various fields. Successful and passionate for Jesus. No credit goes to me – it was the lifeline that saved their lives. Be encouraged. You are on the right track. I am praying for you that your faith will not fail. A verse that spoke so much to me then, and even now: Luke 12:32 Do not fear little flock it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

error: Content is protected !!