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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: Into the Lions' Den
By Verna Cole Mitchell


Before I left the house, said he, my spouse who loves to tease,
“I know they will be shaking, so don’t let them see your knees.
Your courage wrap around you, and be fearless from the start.
You’re older than the lot of them and maybe twice as smart.”

With such advice did I begin my challenging career.
An English teacher would I be if I could persevere.
Because I loved to read and write, this seemed the thing to do,
But now I wasn’t quite so sure that I could carry through.

Outside the classroom door I stood, prepared to go inside
And wondered if it was too late for me to run and hide,
When suddenly before my eyes some paper airplanes flew.
The noise that echoed from the room filled me with fear anew.

“Are you sure, Lord,” I asked of Him, “that this should be my life?
You know just how upset I get with any kind of strife.”
“Be still, my daughter,” came the words from Him to whom I’d prayed.
“When I am with you by your side, you need not be afraid.”

So marched I in with steady step to be the one in charge,
Though I confess, the task I faced was looming mighty large.
My heart was beating double time; my hands were sweating, too.
It seemed to me I’d come to be the keeper of a zoo.

They were so busy talking that they hardly noticed me.
They had not come to school to learn, as near as I could see,
But I was made of sterner stuff, or so I had been told.
I knew I must be confident and positive and bold.

I cleared my throat and spoke to them as firmly as I could.
I hoped that they would listen and behave the way they should.
Then suddenly their talking stopped, and everyone was still.
I stood up straight and confident and started with a will.

Now many years have come and gone since that first teaching day,
And I can witness that the Lord’s been with me all the way.
Still of the fears I had that day I never will forget.
The boldness that God gave me then is a part of me yet.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 09/06/07
Anyone who has ever taught will love this poem! I felt exactly the same way. In some ways, my fears were justified since I taught in an inner-city school and the kids knew the score. But after a time, they came to respect me, and I them. It is a calling, and only the brave need apply! I love the rhythm of your poem, as well!
Marilyn Schnepp 09/07/07
A nice poetic tribute to the One who loves us.
Janice Cartwright09/07/07
Nothing else gives confidence like knowing we have we are walking, not necessarily just in His will, but in His unique plan for us as individuals. No matter how many times we stumble, we can rise again knowing He is with us. Thankfully on the occasion of your first day as teacher He infused you and the class with His perfect peace.
Joanne Sher 09/07/07
What were you doing in my head???? This was ME, in the FLESH! (Except they never did quite quiet down LOL)

This is just wonderful and delightful. Great writing in every way.
Seema Bagai 09/07/07
This poem is so true. Wonderfully written. Kudos from a fellow educator.
Pat Guy 09/08/07
Wow! This is awesome! It's great! We all can realate and I REALLY enjoyed reading this. GREAT JOB!
Allison Egley 09/08/07
Oh my. I can relate. I remember the first day I had the kids all to myself during student teaching, because the regular teacher was home with her sick kids. Great job. I loved it.
Linda Watson Owen09/10/07
Oh, yes, you really nailed it for sure! Been there, done that! LOL! Great job, dear poet!
Jan Ackerson 09/11/07
I love this--teachers aren't particularly popular these days, and it's a noble calling!
Marilee Alvey09/11/07
This was a wonderful poem. I, too, can relate! I loved the conclusion of how neither the memory of that day nor the closeness you felt with God had disappeared. Talented writing. Great job.
Beth LaBuff 09/11/07
You've done great work on the rhyme and the meter. What a perfect example for bold.
Brenda Welc09/12/07
This was awesome. I love how you arrange the words in your writing. Great job and I had to smile throughout because I knew God was with you.
Betty Castleberry09/12/07
This is so much fun. I could feel your fear melt into boldness. This line gave me a chuckle:

"My heart was beating double time; my hands were sweating, too.
It seemed to me I’d come to be the keeper of a zoo."

You get an A. ;0)

Loren T. Lowery09/12/07
I've taught youth all the way up to college level and you captured not only the feelings I've had from time to time, but those of the students as well. This was just great!
Kristen Hester09/12/07
BRAVO. Teaching does indeed require boldness. I am so thankful for the saints who teach my kids. God bless you and thank you for this!
Patty Wysong09/12/07
Great job!! :-)
Julie Ruspoli09/13/07
What a wonderful poem. It is so fun to read and the rhythm is so special not to mention the message. Great Job!
Jan Ackerson 10/27/07
Verna, I'm going to feature this on the Front Page for the week of November 19. Look for it on the FaithWriters home page, and keep up the good work!
Beth LaBuff 11/19/07
Verna -- Congrats on being in the FW Frontpage Showcase. Love this poem!!
Sara Harricharan 11/21/07
Oooh! THis was nice. Definitely bold indeed! Great writing-congrats on making the showcase. ^_^
Linda Watson Owen11/22/07
Congratulations, dear friend! This is one of my favorites that you've so masterfully woven in delightful rhythm and rhyme. Great choice for the FW front page!
Betty Castleberry11/23/07
Congratulations on getting the front page. I *still* love this.
Shirley Carr11/24/07
I love the poem. My heart was racing while I read it. While reading it I remembered times when I had the same feeling. Awesome!
Laury Hubrich 11/24/07
Very funny but true-to-life poem. Anyone that's never experienced a classroom in these time are certainly missing something -- maybe a headache or two or three! Congratulations on being highlighted. Great writing!