This has been a difficult start to the school year (I know…what a great first blog post, Mike…but I was told vulnerability is okay). For many of us the last 18 months have been hard. There have been times when I’ve wondered if I’m the right person ACS needs during this challenging pandemic.

Last year our wonderful Abbotsford Police Department (APD) School Liaison Officer was temporarily assigned to the recruiting division and more than once we joked about me joining the APD. But there’s no way I could do the Peace Officers Physical Abilities Test! I was never seriously considering it, of course…could you imagine?! Now I’m thinking back to the Police Academy movies…haha.

No “Out” Option For Me

I think what made this year so hard were my expectations and the reality in which we find ourselves. The year was filled with promise: a new building (which is absolutely awesome!), field trips, athletics, and extracurricular activities back in full swing, and no more cohorts! I thought these wonderful things were going to unite us and bring us back to a new sense of normalcy and community.

In reality, this hasn’t always been the case. We are a diverse Christian community. This is a blessing and creates many opportunities for discussion and understanding around a whole host of topics. This diversity has also resulted in many perspectives related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’ve felt a little like Solomon and the baby this year…members of our community advocating for a perspective that personally means a lot to them, and I don’t have the “out” that Solomon had…we can’t cut the pandemic in half to find the truth.

Back To Real Life

Thursday September 16 marked the first “real educational” conversation/thing I did this school year (Thank you Dani, Patrick, Hieke, and Dan). I’ve held on to that moment tightly. After all that’s why I got into education.

Not to fantasize about joining the APD or becoming a part-time employee for Fraser Health COVID School Hub, or to be the chief officer of provincial policy interpretation (my post-pandemic resume is going to be an interesting one).

But these are realities I sometimes find myself in.

Life-giving Signs

I’m a self-proclaimed “realist”…okay…pessimist. It’s easy for me to carry, remember, and have the negative define my experiences. This has made me exhausted. I find myself praying for signs of God’s prevailing power and presence during this time.

But I’ve found a few items of encouragement that God has blessed me with:

  1. Seeing Bill Workman at work everyday.
  2. A sincere reassurance that we were regularly covered in prayer by someone who doesn’t have kids in our school.
  3. A chapel message from Koen about the good Samaritan where I was reminded that, “the Samaritan’s compassion and mercy is God’s unconditional love for us.”
  4. Even when I doubt, people have reminded me that God has appointed me for this time.
  5. A reminder at church that we are to rise up through the power of the cross and we will receive God’s peace, God’s power, and that God’s purpose will prevail.

I suspect many of us are in a similar place. I’ve prayed for signs and reminders of God’s prevailing power. We can’t do this on our own and we need Him to take us day by day.

It’s my hope and prayer that we will be reminded of God’s presence each day. That we hold on to that presence and remember that it’s what unites us, and what will carry us through the inevitable ups and downs this year.

What encouragement has God blessed you these last few weeks?