I might even argue there's a reason to His plan, and as Romans 8:28 goes, ALL things work to the good of those who are called according to Christ! So, perhaps we're not roaming so much as God trying to build up our character to be more like His son, Jesus.
The best way to share the testimony God's given me is by pasting a journal entry I wrote back on March 5, 2012. Quick background check though: I graduated from University June 2008 with a teaching credential. My goal since summer 2002 (when I was a freshman in college) was to one day become a full time elementary school teacher. That goal was finally reached 10 years later, June 26, 2012, four years after I graduated from the program. That's a general snap shot, but there's so much more to this story...
OK, quick timeline check
- June 2008 ---> Graduated teaching program. Earned a part-time job a week later. Decided to take "the year off" in order to slowly gain more experience through subbing and my part-time after school teaching position (which I'm still at to this day)
- 2009 ---> Became heavily involved within my church community (actually, this is the year I became Christian after being agnostic for 25 years). Didn't yet fill out the teaching credential paperwork to officially get my credential. I also didn't fill out the necessary forms to become a sub. I told myself 2010 will be the year
- 2010 ---> Ditto 2009 except I said 2011 will be the year
- Sept. 2011 ---> FINALLY filled out papers to be a substitute teacher. Called 10 districts. None were hiring, but it was a huge step for me to finally step out of my comfort zone
- Nov. 2011 ---> Reconnected with a dear old friend named Becky. I first met Becky on Halloween night 1994, when I was 11, she 41. Had lunch with Becky for the first time ever, not having seen her in several years. I was now 28, and she was now 58. In our reconnecting, I found out she has been teaching 35 years now, and been teaching 25 years at the same public school!I told her about my long teaching journey, with all the stops and goes (mainly stops) in the last four years. She encouraged me and told me it's all about timing, and that God knows best (she herself is Christian). It really blessed me. She also told me to go speak with her district's sub coordinator, and that she'll put in a good word for me
- Dec. 2011 ---> I came in the office to apply as a sub. I was treated like royalty the minute I stepped in. Was hired as a sub on the spot. Because of Becky putting in a good word for me.
- Dec. 16, 2011 ---> Missed my first would-be sub assignment b/c I slept through my phone vibrating! I thought vibrating on my desk would be loud enough to wake me up, but nope, I was sleeping like a baby. I learned to leave my phone on max. volume. Lesson learned!
- Jan. 2012 ---> No sub calls, but I remained true and faithful. I also finally applied for my official credential by filling out the necessary forms and turning them in. Gee, what took me four hours to do I should have done four years ago! That's how gripping fear can be, and how dangerous telling yourself "I can wait until _____" can be... lesson learned!
- Valentines 2012 ---> My phone woke me up, ringing on maximum volume. It was 7:35 AM and they needed an 8th grade PE teacher. I jumped out of bed and outta the house! I was so excited. Today was my first day EVER substituting. EVER. Shoot. I should have had my first sub day FIVE years ago (if I handled the paper work at a more appropriate time), but I was encouraged because I know it's not TOO late to start/continue my teaching dreams.
Also, believe it or not, driving on the freeway I heard this message on the radio. I was listening to a sermon, and the preacher said this: "Turn to your neighbor and say... NEIGHBOR... TODAY YOU GET STARTED!"
I literally got goosebumps. I felt as though God was speaking directly to me, encouraging me. He was
- A couple days later ---> Got an email from the Teaching Commission... they approved of my paperwork and I was officially licensed my teaching credential!
- Last Monday (February 27, 2012) ---> Came in to observe my dear old friend Becky teach Kindergarten. She was as poised and experienced (35 years in the biz and counting!) as they come. It was a joy to watch her and help her with some of the lessons. In the 2nd half of the day I went to 5th grade to observe another teacher... which brings me to....
- TODAY (March 5, 2012) ---> That 5th grade teacher I observed exactly one week ago? She was out and so they called me in to sub for her. This was my first classroom subbing assignment EVER. Today was a huge step for me. What should have happened five years ago has finally happened. I can't dwell on what I didn't do in the past. All we can focus on (if we want to act in a healthy manner) are the good things we CAN DO/CHANGE/IMPACT TODAY.
Now let's flash forward to more recent events. Overall, I had 15 subbing assignments from Valentines 2012 to May 29, 2012. Including an 8-day span where I subbed 6 times. Finally, in June 2012 I started submitting my application online to different schools for full time employment. I sent my app to 2 public schools on June 6. Neither called me in for an interview. On June 20 I saw one for a private Christian school, and I submitted my app within 5 minutes of the deadline! I received an email the very next morning from the superintendent who stated "We want to start up a conversation with you ASAP! Our curriculum director will call you later today!" I received a voice message later that day asking when she and I could talk. So I emailed her and our phone interview was scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2012.
June 22, after my summer class concluded, I spoke with the director for 70 minutes! At the end she said "I really like you!" We scheduled for me to come in Tuesday, June 26, for a lesson demo and in-person interview. So I prepped a lesson over that weekend and came in Tuesday, June 26. There I met the superintendent, the director and a board member. I had two kids pulled in so I could have a "mock audience" to teach to. After 15 minutes they thanked me and told me I did a wonderful job. Another one hour interview ensued. At the end I asked what the next step is, and they said the position is mine if I want it. I agreed!
Thursday June 28, 2012 I came in once more to meet another board member and had one final interview. This one was much more brief and they told me my contract will be mailed on Monday!
So wow. It happened so fast. After four years of (purposely) wandering in the wilderness, once I was mentally and spiritually ready to climb out of my boat (i.e. comfort zone) and meet Jesus out on the water, I saw how incredibly swift and fast He can work! My family is overwhelmed and it's such a long day coming. For whatever reason, for four years I had the biggest mental block that I could not jump over. God has been extremely patient with me. All glory and praise to Him! Then, when I was ready to step out in faith, He provided, gave me favor and opened door after door. My faith has increased so much in the last week! Honestly, I did not see myself teaching full time come August 2012. I thought I would take the whole year to sub and build up more experience, but the Lord has other plans!
So, in closing, I would like to encourage you all with this final thought: It's never TOO late to start, continue or finish. For me, I feel like I am, after all these years, finally doing all three It's taken 10 long years, but most of it is my own doing. Above all else, I've found God faithful to provide and bless those who are willing to step out of their boats (i.e. comfort zone) to meet Him out on the water