September is here, and my life seemed to have skipped through this last season up here in Minnesota rather than leisurely amble the way it used to during Colorado summers.
After Ben graduated in May, we drove down to our “home” for the first two weeks of June, for some real rest and some real celebration of finishing our Bethel chapter. When we moved into our house in mid June, I had little idea what action the upcoming chapter might contain. Ben jumped into a full time job as a worship pastor, which could not be a better fit for the gifts and passions God has graciously blessed him with.
And I found out in July that I was hired to teach 7th grade summer school for Columbia Heights. Gosh that phone call was thrilling. Teaching jobs are quite tricky to come by up here. Perhaps it was the reality of “work” in summer that sped up the day’s clock and limited the afternoons of summer-nothings and lack of responsibility I previously relished in.
But I had a blast building relationships with my 2 classes of only ten students, working on reading strategies and reading The Giver by Lois Lowry. Such a great story for discussion. The five week session went by pretty quickly, and it was the perfect boost of confidence for my teaching to launch my spirit into fall.
On the day before summer school finished, I interviewed at St. Louis Park High School for a 0.3 job. For those of you who don’t know, 1.0 is full time, so this job would mean teaching two classes first semester and then only one class during second semester. I would have to plan on subbing quite a bit still to make the journey worth it.
But I woke up early the next Saturday and spent time praying seriously about where God wanted me to serve His people. I love meeting new people, but subbing was exhausting at some points. I really craved co-workers and people who I could be on mission with in the field of education. I prayed earnestly and willingly that God would give me patience and the capacity to trust him whole heartedly. I asked for reminders that my worth and validation did not come from rejection or selection for a job, but rather my identity could rest strongly and boldly in its place as a daughter of God.
I was offered the 0.3 job on August 12. I was almost too nervous to call the principal back. St. Louis Park was my ninth interview since February, of which the only “yes” I had heard was for my summer school job. I nervously called from my car in the library parking lot and upon ending the call, all I could feel were tears coming forth without reservation. Here I was crying out of joy for a 0.3 job. But I was so grateful for the opportunity to join a team.
Long story short, I firmly trust that God was leading me to where I am. Seven rejections is a lot for a newbie like me who usually is pretty confident in my speaking and passion. Each “We have chosen another candidate” communication felt so much like a personal attack to me, when really it was God’s way of closing doors to paths that were not what I had been praying for: a school with supportive co-workers, diversity, and joy.
I interviewed at schools in and all around the Twin Cities and this job by far makes the most sense for transportation, experience, support, everything. I already feel welcomed, and I think back to other jobs that truly would have been isolating.
On the 2nd day of New Teacher Training, I got bumped up to 0.5, and I was again so grateful. And then the last day of Teacher Workshop week, I got asked to be 0.9. That’s full time this semester and 0.8 next semester. What the heck?! God is good.
God deserves all the glory for his constant provision and his consistent grace for my stumbles in trusting his timing.
As today marks September 1, and this new school year begins on Tuesday, I am really walking into a new school: a space for studying literature, building meaningful relationships, and learning about God’s character and his revelations about mine.
I ask for prayer for wisdom to know when to rest and abide in God’s presence and when to be fruitful and work with my students and my new job. I also ask for prayer for the Holy Spirit to be continually present with me, convicting me of the right words to speak to students and teachers and when to be quiet and listen. I also ask for meaningful ways to connect with my 11th and 10th graders! Ah- I can’t believe I am Mrs. Noble.