God's big picture

The first day of 10th grade, I walked into my 1st hour English class. There I found that a mistake had been made on my schedule and that the AP English class I had registered for was right next door to the class my schedule had me in. The teacher in this classroom was Mrs. Groves. Wanting her to know this misunderstanding, I walked up to her, explained that I was actually supposed to be in the AP class next door but because the office wouldn’t do any schedule changes until the following week, I would just be in her class for a week.

She began class by telling us of how she was currently living at her in-laws because there were bats in their house. She told us this news by acting out what bats look like when they waddle around your bedroom floor. She was freaked out by these things, and laughed hard as she explained how she and her husband tried to fight these things for a while, but finally just had to call a batman. The lesson for that first day was comparing an Elie Wiesel poem to a song by Sting, with the words written side by side on the overhead.

I was spellbound. This woman could tell a story. She loved words. She loved searching for meaning in life. She was smart, articulate and hysterical. The bell rang for first hour to be over, and she announced that we needed to be back in the room by the time the second hour bell rang. I checked my schedule. This was a block class…English and history for two periods with Mrs. Groves.

By the time the next Monday rolled around, when I could finally straighten out the whole scheduling mistake, I had decided to stay in Mrs. Groves class and drop out of AP English and AP American studies. All because of Mrs. Groves.

She told stories using her entire body, acting out scenes and using sound effects. I’ve always been a storyteller, but that year, it was like I was in English class with an emphasis on oral communication. And not just through class speeches, but by watching this teacher captivate her entire class bringing books and authors and American history to life.

That spring, my mom was diagnosed with a rare cancer, and I often would stay after school just to talk with Mrs. Groves about how I was feeling and we’d pray for my mom and for the doctors. And we’d get into long conversations about the church and how I saw God at work. We came from very different church backgrounds, but our conversation was equally passionate and excited about what God is doing through the whole body here on earth. She talked about how she was about to begin recording a few songs for a CD, and I was so excited to hear what her music would sound like.

I thought about all of this at her concert on Thursday night…how amazing our friendship is, starting the first day of 10th grade as a teacher and a student. After college Troy (Sara’s husband) asked me to join their ministry as the assistant, road manager, and babysitter. During that year I met Troy’s brother, Rory, and fell in love fast. Rory and I were married a year and a half later, making my 10th grade English and History teacher my sister-in-law.

Don’t you just wonder what God must be thinking when he watches us walk through life, knowing all, everything that happens from the beginning to the end of time? I just wonder how big God was smiling, watching me on the first day of 10th grade, explaining to Mrs. Groves that there had been some sort of mistake.


Elsa said...

What a wonderful story!!! I am sitting here by my Christmas tree, looking at my two month old and reading your blog, thinking "God is amazing!" I hadn't heard any of that before (I don't think) but I love the way you told it. YOU are a gifted story teller too and my heart and mind feel very blessed to have heard another way in which God guided someone(s) to make His plan come together.

Beth said...

Aww... Love it. A good reminder for me today as well - God sees the big picture!

Lisa Groves said...

You really put a good perspective on the importance or lack of importance on the AP world! hahaha..If Maddie only knew this BEFORE last years AP she would have nixed it for sure cause Auntie Becca graduated just fine!

Unknown said...

I didn't know this story. How cool :) We serve an awesome God!