Tuesday, September 3, 2013

guest post: seeking God

A new school year has begun for all the children and teachers in our area.  With a new school year many changes occur for everyone including the teachers.  Some students experience their first time in a classroom and must go through many changes in routine and learning.  I begin my story here to share with you who I am and how I have come to this season in my life.  I have been a teacher since 1994 and most of those years for me have been spent teaching preschool.  For those of you who do not know who is writing for Michael today, I would like to introduce you to his other half which is me, his wife Julie.  He asked me to share a journey with you that has brought me to an unexpected place in my life. 

As many of my fellow teachers know so well the first week of school can be a very stressful time especially with the age group I teach.  The first week of school for me is the hardest part of my job.  Separation anxiety can be just as difficult for the parents as it is for the students.  Many times the first day of preschool involves tears on both sides.  In addition to the tears preschoolers must be taught everything about school like walking in a line from place to place, learning how to play and get along with other children, holding a pencil, staying in their seats, and the list goes on and on.  It takes a lot of practice and patience for them to be successful in a school setting.  At the end of the first week progress begins to take place and all the children get settled in a good routine. 

This year in particular was supposed to be different for me or so I thought.  My plan was to make a career change that I thought I deserved after completing my Masters degree, but God had other plans for me.

Jeremiah 29:11
'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

I had made plans to quit my job teaching preschool and to look for a full-time teaching job with the intent of making more money.  Several interviews came my way this summer so I was certain I would land one of those jobs.  My greatest fear occurred, and I was not chosen for any of the positions I felt I deserved.  As disappointment after disappointment came my way reluctantly I decided to stay at the preschool where I taught over the last 7 years.  I was ready for a change so I was a little resentful about having to return to my previous post.  I felt inadequate as an educator and on top of that a failure.  This negative feeling overtook me after the first day and hardest day of school, I was not happy in my present situation.  Not being able to cope with my disappointment I felt a need to turn to God and seek His guidance and wisdom. 

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

When I sought God, I could feel His presence engulf my life, and I was finally able to understand the reasons God needed me to stay.  I looked at my co-workers who always support me and give me advice far above and beyond their job description.  And another reason I needed to stay was for those precious preschool students whom I have to privilege to share this important part of their lives.  As a result I learned to find contentment in this situation because I choose to depend on God for my happiness not a career nor a person but God.  I may not know what the future holds for my career or me but as the old saying goes I know who holds my future.

Proverbs 16: 1-9  
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.  All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives.  Commit your works to the LORD and your plans will be established.  The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil.  Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; assuredly, he will not be unpunished.  By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.  When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.  Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.  The mind of man plans his way; But the LORD directs his steps.

FROM MICHAEL …. Special thanks to Julie for writing today’s devotion.  Please pray for her as she will have her gall bladder removed this coming Thursday.  Not just because she wrote this or will be reading what I write, she is an incredible lady and a gift from God.  I do hope that what she shared had blessed you!  Also, tomorrow, September 4th, is our 20th wedding anniversary.

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