As a child, I loved tagging along to my mom’s classroom during the summer. The privilege of making my chalk marks on her pristine slate was something I looked forward to every time we went. Little did I know that later in my life I would be writing on a chalkboard of my own.
It was the spring of 2009 and I found myself searching for the ideal teaching job, having just completed my English education degree the previous fall. The market for language arts positions was limited but even more so were the upper level junior high and high school openings – precisely where I felt called to teach.
With an unwavering will and high expectations, I began my job hunt despite the circumstances. Between searches, I was substituting for various school districts. In one district in particular, I was put on the primary subbing list to call. This district was small, ideal in location, and just so happened to be where my husband taught.
Each time I subbed, I made connections within the district and was elated when I heard that one of the two high school language arts teachers was retiring and a position would be available starting in the fall. Encouraged by my husband, I applied and expected that with my education and experience, the position would not be difficult for me to acquire. My only lacking qualification was a speech endorsement I could easily obtain in a short amount of time.
Within a few weeks after applying, I received a phone call -- my interview time was set. A dream come true, right? I expected to feel the adrenaline of anticipation coursing through my veins, yet I could only feel a subtle, nagging pull from within -- this “dream” job did not belong to me. However, as quick as the feeling came, I shook it off and began to prepare for the interview.
I expected the interview to be a success because everything seemed to be in my favor: the preparation, the connections, the location, and the bonus of working with my husband. I thought to myself God really does have good plans for me. But as soon as the positives came so returned that same underlying feeling.
The interview time passed quickly as the pleasant smiles around the table thanked me for coming and stated that they would make a decision soon. As I stepped out the door, I realized I already knew their answer in my heart. Yet, still my mind persisted with glowing thoughts of how well the interview went.
As I left the parking lot and pulled away, I turned on the radio. As the music blared louder, I turned down those heart feelings – those checks in my spirit. Surely my logical mind could make sense of this situation. God wants good things for his people, and this job is a GOOD THING! God wanted me to have the job, so the feeling couldn’t be from Him, right?
I spent most of the weekend agenizing over the outcome of the interview. Finally, the following Monday morning, the confirming phone call came. A simple statement from the other end of the line concurred with my heart’s long-standing cry. I hung up the phone and sat seemingly alone with my answer, and tears began to flow like a leaky faucet, uncontrollable and adding to my devastation.
Somehow, despite the nudgings I had felt all along, I had managed to “think” myself into believing that God had this specific job for me in mind. I questioned what went wrong. What did I not do or say? And then it hit me. I had gone about this job opportunity the wrong way. I found the job, led only by my desires and wishes, instead of seeking His perfect will. At that moment, I told God that I wanted Him to find a job for me -- one that was ordained, not just ideal.
Two months later, another position came up in the very same district when the other high school language arts teacher resigned. Not only was I the ideal candidate for this position, but I was the only one. With God at the head of every interaction and peace enveloping every part of the process, I accepted. This, in combination with my earlier “rejection,” was my good thing; it was His perfect plan all along.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights...” James 1:17
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