Saying “YES!” with Joy


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God’s continuous call to us

By Denise Brickler

As a teacher, why did I choose a Catholic school? I chose to teach in Catholic school because God chose me. God called me by name, and then I said “yes.” And I keep saying “yes” with joy every day because God did not call me only once; God continues to call me every single day.

God knows what he is doing, so he must have called me for a reason; God doesn’t make mistakes. God’s plan for me is far superior than any plan that I could have made by myself and for myself. “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you … plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

With joyful trust, I know that I am on earth doing exactly what God created me to do: leading all of my students to heaven. There is beauty when we surrender and trust in the Lord and his plans for us, including calling each one of us to serve in Catholic education. What joy we can experience when we bring that to God with gratitude in prayer!

As Catholic-school educators, God has called each one of us to be the face of Christ to our students. However, God continually and lovingly calls each of us to say “yes” to our personal vocation of serving as Catholic-school educators. I find joy in knowing that God has called me, has chosen me to be a teacher in a Catholic school, and continues to call me to holiness. God knew us before he created us, and we were created in his image and likeness. God wants us to have full and abundant lives by being the best we can be — embodying the joyful person God means each one of us to be.

St. Catherine of Siena exclaimed, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” If we are meant to use our gifts of teaching to love and serve in a Catholic school, what an honor and a privilege it is to do it with joy! We may even set the world on fire and our students’ hearts on fire for Christ and his Church.

In his goodness, God bestowed gifts upon me to be the best teacher I am able to be. I absolutely and fully trust this, and I lean into God when I do not feel confident in this calling. “I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have …” (2 Timothy 1:6).

So use your gifts and talents this school year! Say “yes” to God joyfully by loving your students as Jesus loves us, without doubt, fear, or grudges. Each child in your class was placed there by God for a specific purpose that we may never know. But God knows. He is calling you to serve in your school this year. Giving glory to God, joyfully say “yes”!

Denise Brickler begins her 19th year in Catholic education in St. Louis this fall. She is studying Catholic School Leadership as an EdD student, and she loves selfies, hashtags, and Twitter.

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