Today, I sat in a room with professionals who all work with young people learning about the sad subject of child protection. We were reminded that we not only have a responsibility but a duty of care for the young people we are in contact with. My heart started to race, the proverbial walls started to close in. Fear and panic gripped me. The weight of that responsibility is heavy. The consequences of decisions I can make are huge. As we looked at case studies, I realised that, in some cases, it is life or death. To say I felt under qualified is an under statement.
In my role, I mostly feel like I am juggling students. Picking up the ones that need some extra care and attention. But it often feels like I am dropping them or don't have enough hands to hold them all. I deeply care for a lot of these students. Don't get me wrong, they also infuriate me and frustrate me. But I care. I carry them with me. Sometimes they weigh heavily on me. And sometimes I feel like I drop them because it all gets a bit much. I snap. I lose focus. I fail at being who I wanted to be in this school.
Today as we were hearing more about legislation and practice when dealing with child protection issues, I was mentally preparing for picking up even more burdens. Seeing more sadness. Facing even more darkness. And then I stopped.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day. ”
I find that place "under his wings" when I spend time in His presence. Time in nature. In beauty. In prayer. That is when I can willingly give over the burdens. Entrust Him with those I carry. That is where I learn to share. To put down what is heavy and pick up *LOVE*. If I carry what is not mine, I end up tired. Impatient. Stressed. Worn out. And weighed down. But with picking up what God has given me I will have the strength to face each day. Each situation. With grace. With compassion. With love. I will have the resources I need to care long term. To help. To stand with each individual. To be able to know that it will be ok in the end.
God has got it.