Called to Give it to the Youth- By Sharon Johnson
2nd Timothy 3:14 – 17 NIV says, “14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
In 2018, I was at a women’s retreat in Texas with my mother and a few other women from our church. The morning of our second day I found myself silently complaining about not being prophesied to like others the night before. I wanted to know where I was supposed to go in life but, I didn’t want to ask. It felt like it wouldn’t be a genuine calling if I had to. Later, that afternoon I got what I wanted. I was told simply to, “give it to the youth.” I knew in my spirit those words meant the field of education.
Fast forward to 2020 where I was hired at a school where I’d previously been a substitute teacher. I’d never taken an education class but there I was because it is what I was called to do. Though, I knew I would have challenges. Yet, I also knew the word of God said I was equipped for every good work (2nd Tim 3).
I asked myself the question many times: What does it look like when God strengthens me? I would soon find out it was a process. First, I had to take the steps to get hired. Then, I had to learn to teach online. Finally, I realized it means we do our part in equipping ourselves, but He gives you the tools needed to get the job done.
As we go through this period of a “new normal,” I’ve noticed how tough it is on my students. We are no longer in the classroom each day. Some children don’t have the most conducive environments to learn in. A few are dealing with the real impacts of this virus. They now realize this isn’t about staying home and playing on the computer, it’s about getting an education in a different way.
The question I’ve struggled with lately is: How do I keep my students engaged, motivated, and uplifted? I can’t give them the hugs and treats that they used to receive freely. I can’t share the scriptures that give me daily encouragement. But I can give them what God gave me. I can give them the tools they need to get through the rest of the school year. I can teach them and remind them of the skills and strategies that we’ve already reviewed. I can be there for them as a guide or a listening ear. I can help them access the tools they need to accomplish tasks on their own. I can be a “servant of God thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Prayer: Father God I thank you for your love and guidance. I thank you for your signs and wonders that you have given your people in this world. I ask that you continue to lead and guide your people to build upon the gifts you give them to help others along the way. In your son Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Sharon Yolanda Johnson
A Third Grade Teacher in Jacksonville, FL Duval County. The oldest of (3) girls to Minister Crystal Johnson and the late Elder Ja Johnson. I am a self-taught seamstress and a devoted Woman of God.