Jesus: The Monster Under My Bed (a condensed version of my testimony )

Jesus was the monster hiding under my bed. For many years I feared the dark and the unknown voice that whispered ” stay ” whenever I dared tiptoe out of my bedroom. I would lay awake until midnight, too energized to go to sleep. As a child when I awoke, that voice would call out to me again ” stay “.
For years I was terrified of that voice, not brave enough to venture out of my room, scared if I moved an inch a shadowy figure would reveal itself. I realize now that voice had been right. When I did brave the dark, it was to my dad’s hand shoved down my moms throat as she tried to commit suicide, I awoke to my family screaming at the top of their lungs while new holes were punched through our walls, and to the sounds of my siblings crying out. Mostly I awoke from nightmares only to be denied the comfort of a loving embrace when I curled into my parents’ sides. Had I listened to the monster under my bed I would have never found the real monsters lurking beyond my room.
During my junior year, I had forgotten about the monsters. It had been so long since I had heard that whisper,”Stay”. I accepted the existence of the evil things that plagued my life, never once thought about religion.  Why would a loving God let me live in such a toxic environment ,and why would he take 16 years to show himself? I never got the answer to those questions, but it stopped mattering. Nothing mattered to me then. It is fair to say that I was not the best of teenagers and found myself not only a rebellious teen, but a regretful one. I regretted every mistake, from letting sexual harassment slide, to drugging myself daily just to feel something. I didn’t realize it then, but every mistake was driving me into deeper depression. Even today, I still make mistakes, but now I know better. I know that life does not have to be lived this way. I was angry with the world and the prospect of there even being a God because of the situation that I grew up in and the choices I found myself being forced to make; I was bitter.
But God found me.  I never could have predicted that I would be a Christian coming from a secular family, but that was not in God’s plan for me.  In the past eight months, my selfish heart has been softened into a compassionate and loving soul, and my faith is strong.
It was not until my AP English Literature teacher prompted us to do Bible projects that I even held an interest in Christianity . While I started out completely uninterested in the project, I found myself going to my teacher to ask about more than just Jonah, my assigned book. Every time I asked him a question I was scared. Until one day I stopped being scared to ask about original sin or to email about Christian beliefs. I began to consider the possibility that I was like him, and that I shared this same faith. For the first time in my life, I was doing something for me. One of the most meaningful moments of my high school experience came from me asking how to navigate the books of the Bible. Not only was I given links to online versions that would be easier to work through, He gave me a Bible. I vividly remember how my sweaty hands shook as I asked ,” Are you sure ? Is this for me ?” before taking the Bible from his hands.
I am convinced that it was in that moment that my life changed forever. This was the moment I realized the monster under my bed was never truly a monster at all. It was God protecting me from the things I was better off not knowing. Had I not been scared of the voice that said ,”Stay”, I would have been victim to my parent’s abuse much earlier in life. It was not a monster that whispered stay, It was God that had always been whispering ” Be still ,because I am “.

A Disturbing Thought

I am headed to college August 3rd. I haven’t thought much about the adjustments that are going to take place in my life, but suddenly it has hit me hard. In just a week and a half, I will be on my own. I will be surrounded by people much smarter and more talented then me. I will no longer get to pride myself on being the best writer in the class or having book knowledge because other people will without a doubt be better at that then me.

I am beginning to question if I am cut out for college life. I don’t have the skill to be a writer and I definitely do not feel as though I have the qualities of someone capable of being a good educator. I feel as though I am going to fail at the one thing I hope to be good at.

I have all kinds of what if questions and all of them are self destructive in many ways. Maybe it is time for me to reconsider what it is that I am truly equipt to spend the rest of my life doing.

Required Reading and Its Relevance

Required reading is often seen as the end to creative thought. After all, what do a bunch of old white men have to say that is relevant to todays society? As it turns out, a lot. I would have never thought to pick up and read F451, The Great Gatsby, or The Handmaids Tale without taking an AP English literature class my junior year of high school. The most important tool a reader can have is diversity in their selection of books. I believe that it is best to know a little bit about a lot of things, instead of knowing everything under the sun about one topic. I never cease to be surprised by how often I can mention a Classic to someone and surprise them with its relevancy to the world today.

I would highly recommend anyone hoping to pursue teaching English to read this article. It reminded me of a truth about required reading that is far too easily forgotten.

The topic of required reading in high schools often comes up for criticism and intense debate. Why must students all read the same books? Why must they all read those books (those old, musty classics by dead white men?) Isn’t reading supposed to be about enjoyment? the critics ask. Shouldn’t we be simply encouraging students […]

via 5 Reasons I’m in Favor of Required (Classic) Reading — Pages Unbound

Healthy Student- Teacher Relationships Drive Classroom Success

There are many factors that go into receiving a good education; one of the most important and overlooked factors is the importance of a healthy student-teacher relationship. Without a mutual respect for one another, students and teachers are unable properly communicate hindering students ability to receive the best education possible. In a kindness campaign by Oak Parks high schools, teacher recognize the one of kind students who make the classroom a good place to be. Here I have linked this amazing video, and a analysis that verifies the truth that classroom success can be driven by a healthy student-teacher relationship.

Teachers Tell Students How Special They Are (Video)

Continue reading “Healthy Student- Teacher Relationships Drive Classroom Success”