I still get first-day jitters. I’m always excited to meet a new group of students and I love
the revitalizing fresh start that a new semester brings. I prepare, organize, and double-check my
syllabus. Still, every first day back, as I drive to campus extra early to make sure nothing keeps
me from arriving late, this sneaky little voice of self-doubt always finds a way to whisper in my
ear: “You’re not ready for this.” As a new professor (just two years in) I still struggle with feeling
adequate. I wonder if I’m qualified enough. I want my students to feel comfortable, but at the
same time I don’t want to become too informal. I want to remain professional while also being
approachable. And above all, as I attempt to attain this remarkable balance, I think to myself,
“How will they know I love Jesus? How will I stand out?”
Over the past semester, I put forth a more consistent effort of praying for my students.
Sometimes it would be in the car before I walked in. Oftentimes it was during the silence as
they all hunkered over an exam. I would scan the room and pause on each face, asking God,
“Lord, let them know You love them. Let them know You are real. And please make a way for
me speak Your truth to them.” God has been teaching me lately that all He really desires of me
is to be a willing participant in whatever He has planned. I find that it is much easier to say,
“Lord, use me however you see fit today,” than to try to analyze my interactions with my
students to determine if I seemed “Christian enough” to them.
God has provided opportunities for me to share my faith in a small way with my
students. Just one example from last semester: one student shared with me how he was
dealing with a lot of change in his life and he asked me to send him “good thoughts” so as to
help his situation improve. It was so strange, like God literally put the words in my mouth,
because before I even thought through it, I was saying, “Well, my thoughts won’t do much for
you, but I do believe in prayer. And I will be praying.” A spark of recognition registered on his
face, and I left campus that day confident that God would work in his life.
In Proverbs 3 we are instructed to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely
on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right
paths” (v. 5-6, HCSB). I’m relying on my own understanding when I focus on how I appear to my
students, and in the process I’m distracting myself from God’s purpose for me as a professor.
God uses us most in our classrooms when we acknowledge Him in all we do, and trust Him with
Amateur beach volleyball, tactical laser tag, watching Netflix with my husband
Fantasy dinner guests
Johnny Depp or Defense Secretary Mattis
Best advice I ever received
Stop worrying about every moment, and just live. Enjoy the time you have with the people around you, because God has put them in your life at this point in time for a reason.
My worst subject in school
If I weren't a professor, I would
join the military or be a translator in the Criminal Justice system
Top Dog by Maria Goodavage, Three by Ted Dekker
The entire PIrates of the Caribbean series, Hacksaw Ridge, The Case for Christ, I Can Only Imagine
Literally any form of coffee is my favorite.
Nobody knows I
love playing laser tag in my free time.
My latest accomplishment
Some friends of mine started a beach volleyball league in the summer, and with minimal skill we played through the season. On the day of the championship tournament, our team placed second overall and only lost by two points, so for me, that was a big accomplishment.
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