I started my new job last week, as most of you know. Though I’ve been teaching for 3 years now, it feels to me like this is year one all over again. I know I am more equipped now than I was 3 years ago, but for some reason I am fighting a mental battle about my abilities and talents.
My mentor has been a key member of my much needed support system. She is someone who helps me see what is happening in my life on a spiritual level; she helps me to make sense of my mess. My current mess is this: I have been praying for, fasting for, battling for a teaching job in Georgia since January of 2009. Even while I was still employed in Florida, I made an effort to find employment in Atlanta, knowing (to the best of my knowledge) that God was sending me here at the end of the school year. I felt overwhelmed with this battle and often wondered if I had made the wrong decision in moving: much like the Isrealites who questioned leaving their bondage in Egypt. Then, at the very last (and I mean LAST) minute, God came in and blessed me with my “plan A” job (24 hours before I was set to start my “plan B” job). I felt like I had won; I felt victorious and I felt like I was entering into an easier, more relaxing season.
I was WAY off.
A new battle started last week, as I entered into a lion’s den. My 150+ students have had a long term sub for the past 2 months; basically a vacation for them. Now, I have to step in a “break” them into my routines and rules and the enemy is trying to convince me that I’m not able, I’m not capable, and I’m certainly not equipped. I know these to be lies though, because God put me in this situation, knowing I was fully capable of being successful: why am I doubting myself? Better yet, why am I doubting God? I was seriously on the verge of quitting last Tuesday (seriously) after one day. That is not like me at all, to the point where I called my mother and she said, “what happened to you? Where did all of your confidence go?” Indeed, where did it go? Why am I polluted with self-doubt on the brink of a break through? My mentor tells me this is normal, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about it.
She told me a story about people who travel to Hawaii to surf each year. A group of people save up all year to surf on 6 foot high waves. These waves are an adventure for this group of people and they are dedicated to being successful on the 6 foot waves. A different group of people go to Hawaii during a different season, when the waves reach up to 30 feet. This group of people is equally dedicated to being successful on their 30 foot waves. My mentor tells me that God has graduated me to a 30 foot wave. The same tactics I used on the 6 foot waves aren’t going to fly. I am going to swallow some water, feel like I am drowning, and at some points completely feel way over my head. But, God knows I am capable of surfing a 30 foot wave, so therefore, I am.
I have leaved a little about the changes in my wave class over the past week and half. The students I am teaching now are different than the students I taught in Florida. I have had to change the way I say and do some things in my classroom. I have already been called out on something that I DID NOT DO, but am being blamed for. I have had fear of losing a job I didn’t even know I wanted. I have been verbally attacked, cussed at, lied about, and so much more. Did I mention I have only been here 2 weeks?
The point of telling you all of this isn’t to complain, but to remind you (and myself) that even when a blessing happens, we still have work to do. Unfortunately, this life was never meant to be easy; but our flesh was created to SEEK what is easy. Doesn’t that confuse you? God made us to crave comfort and familiarity, yet He continually calls us to live a life of change and earthly uncertainty. The only comfort and familiarity He promises is that which He can provide. This is tough to remember on a daily basis, but it’s true. Each day I want to stay under the covers and ignore my responsibilities, even though this is what I prayed for for almost a year. Each day my flesh seeks an escape, and my mind fantasizes about being somewhere else, doing something else, with other people. These fantasies aren’t real, but My God IS.
Bottom line, this season in my life is about learning, adapting, and growing. It hurts more than I could ever imagine. I have questioned my purpose, position, and priorities more times in the past year than ever before in my life. My heart physically hurts some days when I think about all that God has brought me through, and how much more I have to endure before I see His face. Life is rough. Don’t ever let anyone fool you into thinking it isn’t. What’s easy? Death.
I hope to blog regularly about what is going on in my life. I pray what I say can bless and help someone else who is going through their own season of growth and change. The only thing that is getting me through the days is the reminder that God has me in the palm of His hand, and that “This too, shall pass.”