Several years ago I found some books by Christy Barritt. The first series I read was called Squeaky Clean Mysteries. They are the perfect mix of suspense and hilarity. Barritt has written a handful of other series; her most recent is the Lantern Beach series. These books follow Seattle detective Cady Matthews who is forced off the grid. There is a price on her head from her undercover work. She killed a drug lord. His followers are out for revenge so she has to disappear.
She disappears to a small town in North Carolina where she takes on Cassidy Livingston for a name and owning an ice cream truck for an occupation. Cassidy has a complicated and sad past, one that doesn’t get less so with a new identity or residence. One of the few ties she has to life in Seattle and life before going undercover is a day-at-a-glance calendar from her deceased best friend. When Cassidy needs to bear up her resolve, she takes note of the day’s conventional wisdom and clings to it.
Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake (the world’s greatest pair of best friends) were part of an SNL sketch that had Timberlake impersonating Fallon with recurring “so good” comments. It’s hilarious, and the comedic duo’s “so good” perfectly captures our culture of opinions. In the vernacular, things we like are “good.” When people ask how we are, we respond with “good.” When we confirm that nothing is wrong, we say “it’s all good.”
The Apostle Paul was an eager man and writes about his eagerness throughout his epistles. He is eager to remember the poor when he writes to the Galatians. He has an eager expectation and hope as he exhorts the Philippians. He urges the Ephesians to be eager to maintain unity. Being eager can apply to all types of situations, but the believer will find himself eager to do the things of the Lord and to honor him. Such eagerness is placed on our hearts by God to do his will and further his kingdom.
This eagerness infiltrates all areas of my life. One such eager desire of mine is to love my students well through all their needs and wants, hopes, aspirations, and education. I often pray that I will love them well. Loving them requires that I be more than teacher sometimes. The role stretches to mother and father and doctor and counselor and referee.
Earlier this year I took up a challenging position at an elementary school here in town, while in the throes of graduate school. I learned very quickly that, while I loved what I did and was made for what I was doing, I was in over my head. I knew the job would be fraught with difficulties and hard situations, but I never knew there could be so many and in just one classroom.
My kryptonite, my undoing, has always been children who are suffering and in need (be those needs physical or emotional), and I met plenty of them. The job was tough but the emotional pull was tougher. My heart could break several times in one day. What I saw, what I heard left me distraught. I would pray for these kids and I would cry for these kids. The smart thing to do and the easy way out would have been to quit. But I knew that the Lord placed me there, and because he placed me there, he would sustain me.
I clung to that truth as I prayed for strength, wisdom, and love. God, in his grace, mercy and faithfulness strengthened, gave wisdom, and helped me love. The tagline for this blog—March on, my soul, with might!—comes from Judges 5, which I read one Saturday morning during those difficult months. Judges 5 is the song of Deborah after Sisera’s crushing demise. Tucked at the end of verse 21, amid acclamations of praise and victory, Deborah’s words call us to action. Her six words cut right to my heart. I didn’t need to quit or try to suppress the myriad emotions. I needed to take all that God had given me and all that God had allowed me to feel and march on, with might. So this became my anthem. Etched into my heart was the hope that God would sustain me and deliver me as he had Deborah. There would be a time for Kait to sing after the turmoil ended. But until then, I needed to march on, with the strength God provided.
School has been out for over a month now and I finished my last graduate class one week ago. Summer has been full of peace and rest—refreshing for this wearied soul. Though my internship in the fall is at another school and will have different difficulties, my anthem remains. My anthem will always remain but not because the career I have chosen is hard and I am passionate. My anthem will remain because the Christian life is hard, because believing in Jesus puts me at odds with the world I live in. I am always fighting against the world, the flesh, and the devil. This requires might. This requires marching. I do not get to saunter or skip. I march with singleness of heart and purpose: God’s glory. As I traverse a world wrecked by sin, I go in the strength God provides. That is how I march. God is my might.