A Word in Season by Georgie Tennant

As a teacher, every so often I have the joy of being contacted by an ex-student on social media – a lovely way of finding out how their lives have turned out, some years on. With almost twenty years of teaching behind me, please don’t judge me when I say I don’t remember every student that has crossed my classroom threshold! Recently an ex-student (who I am friends with on Facebook), from my earliest years in teaching, got in touch to say she had been discussing me with a friend. He remembered me fondly and credited me with pushing him to achieve a good English GCSE, which enabled him to go on to get a good job. At first, I hardly remembered him but, after a little piecing together with the help of the other student, his face swam before my eyes. It gave me such pleasure to read her message, as she wrote of how she was going to buy her daughter the phonics books I had written and was encouraging her friend to do the same. What a gift to receive such feedback and encouragement, all these years later. It made me think: the impact we have on those around doesn’t always come from the memorable, note-worthy moments. I could have named other students that HAD stuck in my memory – those I like to think I had an impact on. But what an encouragement to glimpse the hope that I might have inspired other students too, long since forgotten, in unmemorable, daily acts that ultimately made a difference. I like to think our writing is like this too. I’m sure, you, like me, fall victim to the overwhelming desire to track blog views, sales, website hits, Twitter or Instagram likes, or the number of people on your mailing list. But we must encourage ourselves by remembering that we cannot always track or measure the reach and impact of our writing. We may never know who reads it in secret without comment and is encouraged, or who stumbles upon it, fifteen years since it was penned and finds a companion in a difficult season. Proverbs 15v23 says “it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time,” (NLT) and we hope that we do, through our writing, but it is in God’s hands to transport it to the right time and place, for our readers to READ it at the right time.  What a privilege to unknowingly be a part of someone else’s story – let’s keep trusting that, views, likes, follows and sales aside, our words could, even now, be changing someone’s life and echoing into eternity. Georgie Tennant is a secondary school English teacher in a Norfolk Comprehensive.  She is married, with two sons, aged 13 and 10 who keep her exceptionally busy. She writes for the ACW ‘Christian Writer’ magazine occasionally, and is a contributor to the ACW-Published ‘New Life: Reflections for Lent,’ and ‘Merry Christmas, Everyone.'  More recently, she has written 5 books in a phonics series, published by BookLife and has just written 3 more. She writes the ‘Thought for the Week’ for the local newspaper from time to time and also muses about life and loss on her blog: www.somepoemsbygeorgie.blogspot.co.uk
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