A funny thing happened on the journey between who I used to be and who I’m becoming. Lemme back up for those of you new to the story.
This all started a little over a year ago. I was feeling antsy professionally…and in my experience that meant that significant changes were afoot. So, I decided to pursue my doctorate and give myself five years to figure it all out. That process necessitated some soul-searching.
The short version is that Tracy and I discovered a lot about ourselves (with the help of some professionals and some friends, and some professionals who have since become friends)…which mostly started with the ideas that neither of us were being who we were created to be or doing work that aligned with who we are and what we’re about. Translation: I needed to walk away from a job that I enjoyed (both the people and the work) and take a blind leap of faith into the next thing. I’d done that a couple of times before and things turned out well, so why not?
So, we sold the home and moved downtown to a loft to figure things out…as one does, right? No plan. Just trust God and do the next thing.
Which, in my mind, meant searching for a full-time job in a church amidst a smorgasbord of reading and classwork for the dissertation. I’d done that before, too. Web sites. Resumes/cover letters. An hour a day…ish. Reading: 2-4 hours a day…ish. Writing as needed. Hanging out on our cool roof watching cool sunsets and thinking deep thoughts: A half-hour to an hour a day…ish…
…which is as romantic as it sounds…
…for about two months.
Then you begin to doubt in the darkness what was told to you in the light. The rejections from churches were fast & furious and rarely explained (unless you were too old, then they thought they’d encourage you by saying, “you’re perfect for the job…just older than our committee wants.”–FYI: this is in no way encouraging). The bank account is dwindling no matter how responsible you’re being. You’re back at square one once or twice a week with no job, no prospects except the resumes you sent that day and a pile of reading to do and papers to write.
So, you now try to trust God, do the next thing, and try some new things.
So, to put a tourniquet on the bank account I started substitute teaching in addition the being a graduate teaching assistant at the seminary. I quickly got tired of “independent study” (read: give them laptops and they quietly surf) and started asking teachers for the lessons a day in advance and I’d teach. Word got around to the staff that you didn’t have to lose a day of instruction and I became a “preferred substitute,” meaning I worked every day at the same high school.
Flash back: When people used to ask me what I’d do if I weren’t working full-time for a church…I’d shrug and say, “I dunno. Probably teach high school English. Maybe coach baseball.”
Flash forward: The leadership and staff at the high school campus in Deep Ellum was encouraging me to get the necessary certification to work there. “You just fit our culture,” they said. “You have the part of teachers that we can’t teach,” they said.
And, last Friday I went through the final part of the interview process–a demonstration teaching session. I figured they’d watch/grade, communicate to the main office, and I’d know in a week or two if I’d made the cut.
Turns out, I waited 20 minutes, they offered me a job. 24 hours later the papers were signed, sealed and delivered.
Starting July 24, I’ll be teaching high school juniors at Uplift Luna High School. I couldn’t be more thrilled.
And, over the next few days, I’ll be blogging about all the lessons I learned in the process. But know that over the next few months, I’ll be hounding a lot of you to load my classroom up with all the Post-It notes and notepads and staplers and pens and pencils and paper your company uses for promotional purposes…
…because I intend to maximize the benefits of who I was for the person I’m becoming–which begins with getting my new students the tools they’ll need to become who they’re created to be. That’s what I’ve always done, when you think about it. That hasn’t changed. It won’t change, I don’t think. Nonetheless,
Here’s to new beginnings…