Faith Portfolio

Kali Brasseur's Faith Portfolio

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At the beginning of a new semester I end up praying more than usual.  Exams are just finished, and I’m still praying for students who are waiting for departmental results, but most of the pressure is off.  This semester is different, since I’m continuing to teach my two grade nine classes from last semester, and my new class is made up of students that I had all last year for Math 9 and 10C.  Knowing all the students makes a new semester much less stressful for me.  However, there are still many things that I pray to God for.

I pray for patience
I pray for strength
I pray for empathy
I pray for compassion
I pray for efficiency
I pray for clarity
I pray for kindness
I pray for preparedness
I pray for motivation
I pray for love


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My friend Walter committed suicide earlier this week.  My sister was very close to him.

I pray that I can help my friends see that I’m here for them.
I pray that I have the strength to support my friends.
I pray that I have the patience to be there for people who may need more than I can give.
I pray that I will never downplay or ignore someone’s feelings.
I pray that I will be thoughtful and compassionate.
I pray for those who feel so lost and lonely, those who feel depressed or anxious or confused, those who don’t know what to do anymore, those who feel they have no other choice, those who feel like there’s nothing left for them, those who feel like it won’t get better.
I pray that they find what they need.  

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A close friend of mine who I lived with for two years while I was at university tried to kill herself.  She has struggled with depression and anxiety for a long time, but somehow it still came as a shock.  Worse still, is the feeling of helplessness that overwhelms me now.  I am so far away, and I can’t help but feel like I didn’t do enough.  I knew that she had these struggles, and I didn’t do enough to remind her that I was there for her–worse, I wasn’t able to be there for her.  I’m two thousand kilometres away.  She was in a coma for days, and they weren’t even sure if she’d wake up or if she’d have brain damage, and I wasn’t there to be by her side.

It’s at times like these that I pray to God and plead with him to help.  Where I put my whole heart into it, and feel him working within me.  It sounds far-fetched, but I found out about her attempt Saturday morning.  I went to mass that evening, and prayed during the entire mass that she would be okay, that she would wake up, that I could speak with her again.  I felt that God heard me, as I sometimes do in moments of real reflection and prayerfulness.

When I left church, I checked my phone.  She had woken up.  She still couldn’t talk, and was in and out of sleep, but she was out of the coma.  Sometimes the power of prayer is absolutely unbelievable.

I pray that I can be there for my friends.
I pray that my friend will be able to find the health she needs.
I pray that I will be able to provide support to my friend.
I pray that she will be able to ask if she needs help.
I pray that her family will be there for her.
I pray that she has the strength to seek help.
I pray that she makes a full recovery.
I pray that I can be strong for her.

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As summer is ending, I have been praying a lot about the upcoming school year.  As a new teacher, I am still nervous about what I might face in my new classes.  I am to be teaching a lot of grade nines, and I do worry that I might have trouble maintaining the level of patience that I like to have in my classroom.  I am starting to worry about the amount of planning I’ve done, worrying that it might not be enough.  I’ve tried my best to be prepared, and I pray that God gives me the strength to do what needs to be done.

I pray for patience
I pray for dedication
I pray for organization
I pray for understanding
I pray for compassion

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As the school year is ending, I find myself praying for my students during their exams.  The anxiety that many of them is face is nearly overwhelming, particularly those students who are taking departmental courses.  I remember the feeling that these tests, these exams, would decide my future and that one bad day could somehow affect my career or my happiness.  Now I know that things aren’t so straight forward, and that students can easily come back from one bad exam; however, that doesn’t make their pain any less real.

I pray that my students study their hardest
I pray that they see the value in their hard work
I pray that their exams are representative of what they’ve learned
I pray that they are successful
I pray that they achieve the grades that they need
I pray that they stay motivated
I pray that they don’t become too anxious
I pray that they remember that one bad grade isn’t the end of the world
I pray that I can give them what they need