"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
Martin Luther King Jr
Last week I released my blog entitled Hiding Place on my website Little Lessons Learned by Dana. Much to my surprise it has been two years since I have written a new blog. Yikes! I was embarrassed and shocked that it has been that long. I knew it had been a while, but I truly underestimated the "short break" I had taken from the blogging world. Well sometimes it takes a big life change to slow you down and get you back to the things of value. A recent foot surgery has been the ticket for me. It forced me to put my feet up and let my fingers do the talking on my keyboard once again. Needless to say I am very happy to be back.
Starting new things or getting back to old things can be complicated. When I was in my 30's I took a very big step, quitting a job I loved and went back to school to become an elementary school teacher. So far at that point I had worked as a social worker doing substance abuse and crisis counselling, enjoyed being a stay at home mom for a beautiful season and treasured sharing my love of books as a local librarian in my home town. I was now ready to add the title of elementary teacher to my resume. Excited, scared, nervous, happy, all went into the pot of my very mixed emotions. I was seriously afraid in my 30's that I would be viewed as Granny Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies in the classroom. That literally crossed my mind. I felt so old! What was I thinking? Funny now when I reflect on this is if I was "old" back then, what am I now? Hmmm... Anyways moving right along! I was relieved to find my 30 year old self was more the "norm" than the "exception" in that adult learning environment. Many young men and women around my age had had the same epiphany. They decided that going back to school, changing careers and becoming a professional who devoted his or her life to the care and education of young children felt like the perfect career move for them.
A genuine concern at that time was that teacher's college was packed, but teaching jobs were very scarce. Even getting on the supply list was very difficult where I lived. I met many naysayers along the way who told me how foolish I was for quitting a good job to take a chance on an overpopulated profession. My faith however was in a higher power and I pressed on. I believed. I prayed. I concentrated on the fact that if it had been placed in my heart to go to teacher's college, that a job would await me at the end. God would make a way where there seemed to be no way. When I got the call to interview for our local school board I was elated! I landed a spot on the supply list and for three years took daily call-out calls and various long term assignments and then eventually got a full-time contract in 2008. My teaching career was off and running and my hard work had truly paid off!
I often think of where I might be if I had not had the courage to make that change. Life is a series of choices both good and bad. Many things in life we learn from trial and error and many lessons in life we learn the hard way. Many of us have higher callings, gifts, talents and skills that are just waiting to come out. At times we can be our own worst enemy. My husband had been my best advocate and had been encouraging me to go back to school for quite some time. I was the issue. I had to get out of my own way and believe in my own potential and recognise that we would be o.k. if I stepped away from a steady paycheque for awhile. The Bible says faith without works is dead and sometimes we have to put our faith in action to experience the fullness of God's blessings. I am so glad I made a career change. It has its own set of unique challenges like any career, but I do know that I am truly where I am meant to be.
I am affectionately known as Mrs. R. to my students at my school. I have been off due to my foot surgery for several weeks. Recently my supply teacher who is doing an incredible in my absence, delivered a huge stack of homemade get well cards from the kids to my home. It was so sweet to see their words of encouragement and "I love you," and "I miss you" in their cute, childish penmanship. What a precious gesture that was. Feeling you are valued in this life is so incredibly important. It truly made my day and reminded me why it is I do what I do. Having an opportunity to love, mentor and educate kids each day is an honour and privilege and I always want to be mindful of that.
Maybe something has been stirring within you. Maybe you need to start something, walk away, or get back to something. Change can be scary, but can also be very exciting. We were made for a life that is full of joy and fulfillment. We were never made to just exist from day to day. If that is where you find yourself today, some serious self reflection needs to happen as soon as possible. We need to find our passions and pursue them with abandon. It starts with one step. What are you considering? What do you dream about? What is holding you back? Don't be your own worst enemy, but instead be your own BFF. You were meant for more and you will never know how different things could be if you are not willing to take the first step. If opportunity or exciting change is knocking at your door, please don't be afraid to answer.
Until next time,
James 1:5 ~ If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Little Lesson Learned: Indecision can be a real "joy stealer." Go after what you want to lead a more joy filled, fulfilling life!
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