Guts Over Fear

July 8, 2019

Lately I’ve been struggling…

Having a crisis of faith of sorts…

This isn’t anything new – periodically when I get stuck in my own head about what I should be doing or analyzing why God has placed certain people or circumstances in my life I wonder, “why“? This is what happened when we moved to San Diego last year in September. At that time, it felt as though all of the puzzle pieces were finally together; that those spinning plates we had been dancing with somehow ceased for a moment. It was easy to cast aside the feelings of knowing that I had my “perfect job” but that it didn’t challenge me or push me professionally. Instead it made me comfortable and complacent. And nevermind that my husband had a job that made him want to quit most days due to the toxic work culture that existed there. Somehow we made these allowances because we were living life and when you live at the beach next to the water it does something to you; it all of a sudden makes the really shitty things seem bearable.

That all changed when my husband received a job offer that would relocate us to San Diego. We talked and prayed about this life moment and how it could be a fresh start for us as a family. There’s always something so exciting about moving to a new city and we were eager to change things up a bit – especially for Greyson. We considered every pro and con and although we were deeply saddened to leave friends and friends-who-became-family behind, we were confident that God was telling us, go.

A new home…

Upon arriving to our new home in downtown San Diego we were unsure of what to expect. It didn’t help that we received the wrong apartment floorplan and our custom built sectional sofa didn’t fit. This would mean that in our 1-bedroom apartment we would have our mattress on our living room floor while Grey took the main bedroom (do what you have to, right?). Although the first few months weren’t ideal, we made it work and continue to roll with it.

After taking the time to get settled, the next big item to check off was to find a job. Back when we were preparing to move I had to give up my comfortable teaching job knowing that I’d be, once again, forging into the abyss of the employment unknown. (For those who don’t know already, moving in September for teachers is extremely difficult as most schools are fully staffed by the start of the school year). Nonetheless, I scoured the internet for job openings and found a couple to apply for.

A significant prayer

I distinctly remember the prayer I prayed. I remember coming to God and asking for His guidance and help in regards to these next steps I’d be taking. I saw how He was working through my husband and this job – providing him rest for all that he had endured in the years prior. I was excited to see the light begin to shine again in him as he found success in his new role at work. However, I couldn’t help but wonder, while once again a stay-at-home-mom (until we could find daycare for Grey) standing alone in our new downtown apartment, if the same would be provided for me.

I prayed and asked whether or not I should be focusing on the classroom. At that time I had my lettering shop, which was experiencing some meaningful growth, and thought that perhaps this move would be a sign for me to focus my energy on that. However, within moments of asking this I received a phone call where I had been invited to interview with a local school district. To have such an answer so blatant was unbelievable and serves as an undeniable validation of God’s will.

On the path

After a slew of different interviews and a demo lesson later, I accepted a position as a pre-k teacher and fulfilling a void I had been feeling since our move. This job would be temporary, just a position starting in January and ending in June. I figured it would be a great time to get back into the classroom, gain some experience, and use it towards finding a more secure full-time position somewhere else. What I didn’t expect was what I, and my team, would experience in those forthcoming six months.

Blood, sweat, and tears (oh, the tears!) filled those six months. It was one of the most challenging teaching positions I’ve ever had. It often felt as though I were on an uphill battle with very little support. But regardless of how tiresome the battle was I gained unbelievable friendships in the women I worked with. We were in the trenches together and having that level of friendship was like was a lifeline of sorts for me. It was the thing that kept me waking up and going to work – even if I knew something awful was waiting on the other side of my day – because I knew I had that support system.

When June came along and we all began packing up our classrooms we soon realized that our time together was also coming to a close. We each began interviewing and taking on new positions at other schools scattered across the district. I, on the other hand, didn’t have a district to go to and was once more put in a position of questioning what my next steps were going to be. And once more I turned to God and asked, “why?

Why was I placed in such a toxic work environment?

Why was I not receiving the validation I knew I needed?

An answer.

I felt like I had applied everywhere and was hearing little to nothing. I’d already received a couple of rejection letters and my heart was beginning to sink once more. Then, a conversation with my husband changed everything.

We had been discussing the idea of pulling our son from his current school for a few reasons. With that, I began researching and looking around at different options for him for preschool come the fall and happened upon an amazing looking school that I knew would be a challenge to get him into. Most places have extremely long wait lists, making it difficult to provide the education we want so badly for Grey. But nevertheless I decided to inquire about a school tour. Within a few days I received a phone call from their admissions director and made an appointment to tour later that week. OMG.

I remember my husband and I being so excited that a spot would be available for him. You see, this is a French-American independent school which means he’ll be taught in a dual-language environment with 90% being in French. As a family we adore the French culture, have visited a couple of times (and even got to take Grey this last time), and are confident that their curriculum will challenge yet enhance his abilities. Knowing this, and that it was also an elementary-middle school I began to look into teaching positions that may be available. Again, approaching it very skeptically.

I was pleased to find that there was one kindergarten teaching position open for their curriculum that is to be taught in English. I felt the stars align a bit and decided to apply. It was my, “What the hell? Why not?” moment. Since I already had my appointment set for Greyson’s preschool tour, I decided to follow up with the headmaster about the job and again within moments he asked me if I were available to interview that same day I’d be there for Greyson’s tour.

After an amazing tour and an even better interview, I accepted their position for the English kindergarten position. I am extremely excited and nervous for this new opportunity because it’ll stretch me as an educator. In so many ways I was weary of God’s plan and although I never knew what would be on the other side of my troubles, I remained faithful that there indeed was a plan. When I had a moment to process my journey from the time we moved here up until now, I am in awe of how God prepared me and my heart for this very moment. There are too many instances to count that just matched up completely and although this last year has been one of the most challenging, gut-wrenching, and exhausting, I’d do it all again just to sit in this moment.

This is what He was preparing me for.

I couldn’t have achieved this without the experiences that were laid out in front of me prior. And I understand this now.

“just remember that He never intends to hurt, but to prepare us. And sometimes the way in which He prepares us, hurts – it’s important to not confuse the two.”

I leave you this testimony and with this:

Whenever the path doesn’t seem clear or you feel as though unfair circumstances are facing you without an understanding of why, just remember that He never intends to hurt, but to prepare us. And sometimes the way in which He prepares us, hurts – it’s important to not confuse the two. God is doing good works in all of us, but it takes a strength to endure that kind of will. I learned a valuable lesson this year about God’s will and I know He isn’t finished yet.

Be courageous, stay strong, and be open to how God wants to move and shake your life for the better!

Has God been working something fierce in you lately? What circumstances have you seen His fingerprints on? Do you or did you ever struggle with the ‘why‘ in your life? Let’s connect in the comments!
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