This September I returned to teaching (because college and braces for four sons is expensive!) After eight years in high school, I decided to change things up and try out elementary school. Each day I spend time with 4th and 5th graders working on language arts, science, and math. Yesterday was an early release day, so as you might imagine, the kids were very excited. I did my best to make the day fun by doing some different types of activities.
In our language arts class, I asked my 5th graders to write a letter to one person who they were thankful for. Many chose their parents, a friend, or relative. I could tell that they were proud of their work and excited to give it to the recipient. One student asked me who I would write my letter to and I smiled. Here is my Thanksgiving letter:
Thank you for the many blessings that you have given me in my life. Thank you for having your hand on me when I was a young girl; scared, confused and unsure of my future. Thank you for putting people in my life to look to when my situation at home was so hard. I am thankful that you never gave up on me and pursued me until I finally realized that it was you that I was searching for. Thank you for blessing me with my husband and our four amazing sons. Finally, thank you for sacrificing your only son for our sins so that I (and many others) are reminded of what it means to be given grace. I can’t imagine my life without you, on Thanksgiving and every day.
I have been writing for almost a year. I feel that I have been called to share the story of my past and how I came to know Jesus. My desire is to help others who may be struggling with self-worth. Throughout this process I have had some struggles and setbacks. First, it’s not easy to put the pain from your past on paper. It forces the part of your brain, that has tried to forget, to relive the dark, unhappy times. Second, the writing process is difficult. Having a professional editor look over your work is very important, BUT, it leads to more work. My third and biggest struggle has been time. I work a full-time job and have a large family and can’t find the large chunks of time that I need to work on my writing.
There have been moments where I have said to myself, “Give it up. No one will read it. You’re not a writer.” Each time I have had these thoughts, something or someone has come along and steered me back onto the writing path. I have prayed and asked God for guidance….. Am I really supposed to do this?
During this time I have become more and more unhappy with my job as a special education social studies teacher. After eight years, I feel unsatisfied, underappreciated, and bored and have sought out different opportunities. Most recently I interviewed for a different position within my current school (still teaching social studies, just not special education students). Honestly, I felt like I had a great chance. My husband and I talked at length about it and I prayed a lot. I asked God to make it clear to me what I should do. After the interview, I made the decision that if I didn’t get the job, I would no longer teach and I would devote my time to writing the book that I’ve been dreaming about.
I found out yesterday, that not only did I not get the job, but they hired a brand new teacher. BOOM, like a punch to the gut, it hurts. So now I’m wrestling with more doubt. Is this part of God’s plan for me?
When I started this journey of sharing my past and writing about it I called it a leap of faith. Why do I suddenly feel like I’m standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon?