A path and a purpose

I didn’t want to go to the interview. Actually, I was looking forward to the other interview with the other private school I interviewed with last Thursday.

When they called, they told me the position was elementary. Elementary?! I’m middle school-material! But they keep their 6th graders in elementary, so if I wanted to teach 6th graders there, I would have to be elementary. Ugh. The position was also still being determined, but at that point was multiple subjects– and I’m English. But the cheerful voice on the other end told me to come on in for the interview and we could talk about it more there.

When I showed up the next morning, I met some of the funniest women. I was enjoying conversation, standing around gabbing, when they told me that the position is now just English. 5th and 6th grade English. They asked me if this was okay with me.

It was about this time that I realized God was doing something incredible.

I’ve never had an interview like this– the women were hilarious! Parts of it felt like a comedy act, except that they were also so sincere. For every question they asked, I had an actual real-life story and answer. They would squeal, or say they just got chills, or reach over and touch the other one when I would answer. I knew they were excited, but I couldn’t believe it was over me! My experiences over the past couple years lined up in such an exact way that I had the perfect answers to their questions. At this point I was no longer thinking that God was doing something. I was beginning to see that He has had me on a path for quite some time.

I was falling in love with these women, and apparently the feelings were mutual. Then, I had to give a mini-lesson. They brought in third graders.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I panicked. I don’t do elementary. They’re little. And they need things. And they’re scary. But the little, needy, scary things walked in and well… they didn’t look so bad. Cute, actually.

The lesson went well. They loved the cartoon and pictures I had on the iPad, and they seemed really engaged. My interviewers, however, were engaged in something else. They were sitting back behind the students going page by page through my application and exhibiting the same exuberance from the question and answer time even though all my information was in writing. This was insane.

The kids left and the interview continued. It turned out I would actually be teaching both of these ladies’ children, so they were personally invested in my responses. And my responses were still everything they wanted to hear.

As I followed one of them around the campus for a tour, the other interviewer went to speak to the headmaster. My tour was cut short when I was called into his office. The women sat on either side of me as the headmaster asked me about my experience, my faith, and if I wanted to work there. Wait– what?

Yup. He offered me the job on the spot. I told him I would have to speak to my husband and get back to him, even though inside I wanted to hug the man. I did get a group hug from my interviewers before I left. We made plans for me to be there the following morning. I mean, if I decided to take the position…

Before the headmaster offered me the job, he told me that he thought I was sent there by God. This is an incredible thing for a person to say. Thoughts raced through my head: They want me. Me? Me. And they think God sent me. Like I’m an answer to prayer. But I’m nothing. This is crazy. This is crazy.

But that’s how God works. He waited until the last possible second this summer to change my teaching position. He knows I’m good under pressure– He designed me that way. And He revealed how he had been preparing me through every experience I had at my last school and on the mission field and in my walk with Him. We don’t always get to see that part– we just have to trust that He is sovereign and sees a bigger picture. But this time, I got to see it. I got to see His hands move.

My life is not an accident. God didn’t say poof! one day and then step back to see what would happen. He is intentional. He is sovereign. And He is loving.

I looked at Brian in the doctor’s office where we met up afterward and shook my head. “Why do we doubt?” I asked him. “Why do we doubt?”

***

Post Script: Never say “never” to God.

The first time I said never to God, I told Him I was leaving my hometown and never coming back. He gave my my first teaching job there.

In college, when people would assume that my English major was a path to teaching, I would grimace and gasp, “Never!”

And as a teacher, when asked if I would consider teaching elementary, I again grimaced and swore, “Never!”

Yesterday, I began my new job as an elementary teacher.

Some may say He has a sense of humor. And while that may be true, I think it’s also true that our Creator knows us a little better than we know ourselves.

Dreams

We woke up early for the marriage conference. I had had disturbing dreams and told Brian as we were both leaning over the bathroom counter surveying ourselves in the mirror. I dreamt last night that someone was trying to sabotage my marriage. It isn’t the first time I’ve dreamt this.

Brian was glad I told him. He is hoping that in talking about them and debunking their lies, that the dreams will go away. Me, too.

After the conference, we picked up lunch on the way home, ate, and fell into a shared afternoon nap. As I snoozed in the arms of my husband, I awoke with a start. My dark dream had ended with a man shooting Brian. I screamed out his name. He was alive and well and beside me.

Again, I spoke with Brian about this.

I have very realistic dreams. Always have. When I was a child, I would run into my parents’ room screaming “buggies! buggies!” As an older child, I was finally able to articulate the terrifying dream where so many giant bugs would fill the outside of my window that it would begin to pulsate. And I remember my childhood nightly prayer that God would 1. keep my house from burning down, and 2. that I wouldn’t dream of the Jabberwocky. Thanks, Lewis Carroll.

When I told Brian this morning about my dream, he asked me if I’d been praying about it. No. Since I woke up, I’d been fretting about it. Praying would have made much more sense, but it hadn’t occurred to me. Stupid, sinful brain.

I can’t do anything about my subconscious. It’s not a limb I can tie down or a mouth I can duct tape over. The only way to get any help help with it is to ask Him. So, this afternoon when I dreamt Brian had been shot, after waking up and screaming for him, I talked to God.

I don’t think that consciously I’m walking around afraid that Brian will suddenly be taken from me. But I guess subconsciously, I do have fears. Now that God has given him to me, I’m afraid that he’ll be taken away.

When asked a couple weeks ago about what God has been teaching me, the phrase “His Sovereignty” quickly flew from my lips. I am learning that everything happens according to His plan, His timing, according to His Will and for His Glory. It’s difficult to wrap my brain around sometimes, but if I don’t accept it, I limit my God.

So… I can’t let these fears take over. I will have Brian for as long as God has decided I’ll have Brian. It’s difficult to wrap my brain around, but I’m trying and I’m asking God to give me peace.

A simple observation

Because I talk a lot (I mean a whole lot), most of what I say is not memorable and does not stick around long. However, once in a while I say something that causes me to really think, and dwell on it a bit. Tonight, before our community group gathering this happened to me and I have been thinking about it all night.

I said to a friend, “I’d tell any person that was single, don’t rush it. Finding the right person is more important that just not being lonely.”

It might seem simple when I say it now, but it stuck with me all night. And the more I think about this the more I see the truth in it. But she is not the right one for me because of some magical twist, or fated meeting. She was not some sort of magical soulmate who I was destined to be with, rather she is the one for me because I chose her, and she chose me.

We have to make decisions in life. Everyday we get up, go to work, interact with people we love and then do it again the next day. All of this is a choice. You have to choose to live. You choose how to live. No matter what your view of Providence, the sovereignty of God, fate or free will in the end you still act. The reason Lindsey is the right one for me is because we chose each other. That’s it. No magic, no fairy dust, no funny romantic comedy plot line.

So like I said, finding the right person is important. Once that commitment is made they are “the one” for you. So don’t rush it. Choose wisely. Then for the rest of your days, love them as God loves you.