I was teaching 7th-grade math at Covenant Christian Academy. One of my sweet students was struggling with anxiety. How did I know? This amazing school is a small, tight community. I moved up with this group of students after teaching them the previous year in 6th grade. We had built a rapport, and I had an open-door policy. I wanted to be available to my students when they needed help (with math or anything else).
I also made an effort to partner with parents. The momma of this sweet student let me know she was struggling. She was teaching her daughter tools for diffusing an anxiety attack. She asked if the student and I could have a secret code, a symbol to let me know she felt the anxiety rising. When I saw the symbol, I let her leave the classroom to compose herself and use calming strategies.
During this conversation with the student's mom, I opened up and shared my story. I, too, had struggled with anxiety, panic attacks, and mental health. The mom teared up, hugged me, and said, "I'm so sorry that you struggle too. I was so nervous to talk to anyone about this, but the Lord obviously led me to you for a reason. You understand."
At that moment, I knew.
I knew God would use the broken pieces of me to help others.
Then this sweet momma told me about Christy Nockels' album, "Be Held: Lullabies for the Beloved." I downloaded it that very afternoon. After that, it became one of my favorite albums to listen to…for respite, for calm, for reminders of God's love for me. I began using the first two songs to wake my children for school in the mornings.
The first song, "Head to Toe," is all about the Armor of God. As I listened to it again this morning, one phrase stuck out to me.
"His Word will be the sword you keep. You're covered head to toe."
As you step into your day and maybe give this song (or album) a listen, I pray God's Word would penetrate your heart, infiltrate every thought you have, and spill out into everything you do and say. The only way this happens is if you are actively reading (or listening to) His Word.
My family signed up for Cougars in the Word, our school’s challenge to read one chapter a day from the New Testament. We make the effort to read it together after dinner in the evening. We're not perfect. There are nights we forget or become busy. Sometimes we double-up later. Sometimes, as I watch my kids' body language, it seems as if the words are going in one ear and out the other. I remind myself God is using these moments to pour His truth into our hearts. And it's a much better use of our time than Netflix could ever be.
So, back to the song and its uplifting lyrics. When we spend time in His Word, it becomes our SWORD. And I don't know about you, but there are days I really need a weapon like that on my side.
So, dive in, friends!
Let's ARMOR UP!