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Friday, July 18, 2014

A Calling on My Life

I was going to resort to putting this post in a Facebook status, but knew that a simple two sentence blurb wouldn't do it justice.  So, I turned to my long-lost, forgotten blog to document the latest happening in my life.

About three weeks ago, I submitted my resume to Jones County Schools for an EC (Exceptional Children) position at the high school. Yes, I said "THE high school".  As in, the only one in the whole county!  A huge change from my urban beginnings in Wake County!  After not hearing anything for a week, I called Central Office to make sure that my application/resume hadn't fallen between the cracks.  As I had suspected, they had accidentally misplaced my resume and the position had been filled.  Of course, I was disappointed.  The secretary proceeded to tell me, though, that an elementary EC position had opened up in the meantime. Still, disappointment crowded in on me because my plan had gone awry.

Thankfully, God's plan always surpasses my own.

I very reluctantly took an interview for Monday, July 14 at 9:00 am.  Fast-forward to Monday and I had made no preparations for my interview.  I woke up early, got dressed, and decided that I, at the very least, needed to do a little research on the school.  So, I turned to my best friend- NC School Report Cards and my new favorite tool- the NC Teaching Conditions Survey (which I discovered has all survey results for every public school in NC posted online). After familiarizing myself with the community and school, I headed out to Comfort Elementary School- Home of the Bears.  With a REAL taxidermied bear in the front hallway. Only in the country, my friends!

I had a great interview, but was still so unsure of everything.  After all, it wasn't my beloved Bridgeton Elementary and it definitely wasn't the high school position that I had my sights set on. Around 4:30 that afternoon, I received a phone call from the assistant superintendent (yes, you read that correctly) offering me the job.   I was literally dumb-struck and asked for a few days to think things over.  Well, needless to say....he wanted an answer by the next day.

I cried.  I prayed.  I cried some more.  I called family and friends for advice.  I prayed.  I cried.

Tuesday morning I came to the decision that the job just wasn't for me.  I mean, if I was that undecided and had shed that many tears why in the world was I even contemplating it.  After all, if it was God's will for my life, it definitely wouldn't be hard.....or uncomfortable. Right?!  So at 10:00, my decision was made. I was going to go personally visit the assistant superintendent and principal to gracefully decline the offer and thank them for the opportunity. "I'm not taking the job.", I told my friends.  "I've made my decision!  I'm not taking the job!", I told my family.  But, I procrastinated. Praise the Lord for His Holy Spirit who works on people like me!

After much encouragement from Jacob, I decided to go back to the school for a tour as I hadn't seen anything except the front office.  I knew that the purpose of the tour was not only to see the building, but more importantly, to gain more [much needed] insight and information from the {newly hired} principal. On my way to the school I prayed. I sang. I offered thanks to God for his provision.  I mean, how many people struggle with the choice between TWO jobs? I prayed that God would make it abundantly clear to me when I stepped foot in the school.

After spending 2.5 hours with my future principal and school secretary, I knew.  Though it didn't make it any easier, I knew that God was calling me to a new chapter in my life.  And so that is why I accepted the offer to teach in Jones County Schools at Comfort Elementary, as the Exceptional Children's teacher.  I am sad to leave 5 years at Bridgeton Elementary.  I am sad to leave my friends. I am sad to leave all of the children that I have grown to love. I am sad.

But, I am full of joy.  I am {finally} starting to get excited and God has provided for me once again! As the old saying goes, "Hindsight is 20/20", and the blessings that I am able to now see are unimaginable.

  • Since high school, I have wanted to work in Special Education. Fast forward 11 years....
  • 20 minutes to work versus 45 minutes to work.
  • Applied for a high school position, but ended up in my "comfort zone" of elementary. And, it just so happened that the elementary EC position opened up after the high school position had been closed.  
  • Small community with TONS of support.
  • 13 student caseload-- yes, you read that correctly!  I will be the envy of every EC teacher in the state of NC.
And the list goes on....

I struggle still, thinking about leaving my "work home".  The place that took me in, gave me friends, and loved me after moving from Raleigh. The people that supported me through highs and lows. The children who have laughed with me, learned from me, played with my hair, and greeted me with a hug every morning.  I am so blessed to have taught alongside of my friends for 5 years.

So, after 7 years of teaching-- 1 in ESL (English as a Second Language) and 6 in 3rd grade, I am
beginning a new chapter. I will officially be an Exceptional Children's teacher for students Pre-K through 6th grade!  I can't wait to soak it all in, to make a new set of friends, to get further involved in the community that I live in, and to immerse myself in God's plan for my life.  I am thankful that he works with and in hardheaded people like me, showing patience, and not letting me go too far astray.

My Dad sent me an article from Relevant Magazine, where Chandler Vannoy stated,"If God has given us a new heart that desires what He desires, our decisions are going to line up with His plan.......We are often so intent on looking for some hidden plan God has laid out for us that we forget to consult the passions and desires He's given us."  So, I am now pursuing my passion and, in turn, following the calling that God placed on my life so many years ago. I have faith and trust that God is not finished with me yet!

Some fun facts about Comfort Elementary:

  1. It is a Pre-K to 6th grade school.
  2. There are 140 students in the entire school.
  3. There is only 1 class per grade level except for 2nd grade where there are 2.
  4. The building is absolutely precious and I'm sure the people will be too!
  5. It is surrounded by farmland on all sides (currently planted in corn).  Need I say more?!