This time last year and the year before, I was heading for Calvary Bible School, a lively, old, little campus way back in the sticks of the Ozarks. My assignment was to teach a young ladies’ class. Two years before that, I was a ladies’ dean there.
While I’m delighted to be in Poland teaching English right now, my heart is tuned toward CBS these days, remembering, thinking, smiling.
I remember raucous laughter in the hallway, surprise parties, questions that come from girls being away from home for the first time, requests for curfew extensions. I remember quickly learning to keep boxes of tissues always within reach because you never knew when the tears would come. There were panic attacks to calm in the wee hours, and cleaning schedules to arrange, and bedtime hugs to give.
Though I loved deaning, I think I make a better teacher. I loved researching and outlining and studying, even if it took more than everything I had to give. Sometimes, in the flurry before class, I wondered why I was doing this, but after class, I always knew why. I loved the challenge of putting into words what I was wanting them to know. Sometimes I accomplished the goal, sometimes I didn’t. I loved seeing the lights go on in their eyes. I heard beautiful, grand dreams and goals, harrowing, heart-breaking stories, and broken, honest, brave prayers.
Being shepherdess to dozens of young ladies is one of the best things that happened to me. They grew me right up, and gave me much more than I could give. They have no idea how much I love them, and how I still call them ‘my girls’ in a protective, proud sort of way.
I gave them everything I had, and in the emptying, I was filled beyond measure. The girls are scattered all over the globe, doing amazing things that make me proud of them. I will always cheer for them and dream big for them. And I wish I could drive down that dusty five-mile dirt road this week to be part of their lives again.