August.  It is a month of new beginnings.  Students move on to a new grade level.  Many individuals embark on their first semester of college.  Teachers and professors anticipate a new school year with new challenges, new successes, and a new opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their students.  Still, there are others who do not find all of this “newness” to be quite so glorious.  Some students are fearful of moving to a new school, making new friends, and meeting new teachers.  And I am sure some college students much prefer the comforts of home to an initially barren dorm room.  Parents and grandparents suffer from the ill effects of an “empty nest.”  And while they may love teaching, many of those teachers likely long for the lazy days of summer when they could read a good book, go on vacation, or do absolutely nothing at all!  Even so, a new beginning can be a positive one, despite the many hiccups we may encounter along the way.

Personally, I have found that the new school year has brought about a lot of positive changes for me as a teacher.  I am most excited about having a new classroom, which is the biggest change I have encountered this school year.  I am so blessed and I thank God for this amazing environment in which to teach my students.  I know the resources I have been given will enable me to help them achieve their goals.  I have an awesome group of students this year and I am enjoying the addition of a new course that I will be teaching, Digital Design.  God has truly shown me favor and I know that this school year will be blessed beyond measure!  Of course, it still seems like the alarm clock goes off way too early in the morning and there are never enough hours in the day!  But I know the weekends and holidays throughout the year will provide us with the chance to rejuvenate ourselves and before we know it, summer vacation will return once again.

While I am enjoying a good year, I have several friends who began the school year with illnesses, financial crises, and even the loss of loved ones.  My heart hurts for them and I pray that God will give them strength to face each new day ahead.  Having lost my mom at the beginning of August five years ago, I know what it’s like to have your heart broken and then be expected to continue teaching as if nothing had changed.  The meaning of life gets construed and things that once mattered seem to dwindle and things that never mattered seem to escalate out of proportion.  But through it all, I know that God is faithful.  While I still miss my mom greatly and I know that life will never be the same again, I have the calm assurance that I will see her again.  And I strive to enjoy each and every moment to the fullest.  Life is fragile and I know how important it is to cherish the ones we love every single day.  Even in the darkest nights of life’s journey, the Son of God shines bright.  He lights our path and gives us strength when we are weary.  He gives us joy when we feel no joy can be found.

Perhaps you are going through a personal struggle this month.  No matter what is bothering you at this very moment, Jesus Christ knows exactly what you are going through.  Call on His precious name.  Ask Him for a new beginning.  Not one that will be frightening, as it may be for students finding their way around a new campus, but a new beginning that will renew your strength, restore your joy, and bring you hope everlasting.  Jesus is the friend who will stand by your side forever.  He loves you so much that He gave His life for you.  Don’t sit there drowning in your sorrows.  Stand tall and reach out to Jesus.  Grab on to that new life that He is holding out for you!  2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  Ask Jesus Christ to guide you through all of the hard times and the good ones too.  If you put your trust in Him, you will not only experience a new beginning, but you will receive a new life as well!

In Christ’s Love,