Friday, March 27, 2015

He Makes All Things Beautiful

I felt a nudge to blog this morning. This story has been on my heart and I love to share things on this blog. The good, the bad, the sad and the happy. All of it.
I woke up today realizing how much my life has changed in the past 6 months. Its truly God showing me that He had a plan. And His whispers to me throughout the day telling me- 'see, it all worked out'.

As Christians, we are always told to Trust. Trusting in God's timing is easier said than done. It's not easy- I can attest to that.
My career as a teacher was not a quick one where you graduate college, and have your dream job. This did not happen. Actually, during that time I thought it would NEVER happen...but I trusted.

I started teaching when I was 20. I was in college, and working part time at First Baptist Church Orlando's Moms Day Out program. This is where I met Julie, the director of the program. I learned so much from her during my time there, and when she went to direct Delaney Street Baptist's Early Learning Center, I quickly followed. I was there for five years, teaching prekindergarten. Oh how i loved that little school. I became friends with a lot of the moms, and we were all so close. I still keep in touch with them to this day.
This school was wonderful to be in, but it was not a place I could survive financially. Actually, I wasn't surviving- I still lived at home and everything was paid for. I prayed that once I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in education, I would get a job at Lake Highland Preparatory School. That was my dream.

I prayed and prayed that I would find a teaching position in a private school. In 2011, I got a voicemail from The First Academy's special needs division, First Hope. I had experience with special needs children and took some classes, but I did not have a degree in this field. I am not sure how I got this job, but knew it was God. 
I cried when I got the offer call, mostly because I didn't want to leave the comfort of my little school. But I knew it was necessary. I met so many great people at this school. People who I didn't realize at the time would be in my life now in a very important way. That was God working.

I stayed at First Hope for only two years. I was also working on my masters degree at this time. It was tough, and I hung in there the best way I knew how. I knew that again I had to trust. It became so hard on me that I needed a way out.
I called a former coworker who was working at a small Christian school and I immediately got a job as a prekindergarten teacher. I was thankful for this, but in a way I felt like I was going backwards. I didn't want to be a pre-k teacher, I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher in a school where I have great benefits and made enough salary to survive. Again, God said no. This was His plan at this time. 
I took the job with a happy heart. It felt nice to teach pre-k again in a typical classroom environment. I then taught Kindergarten the following year at the same school. It was ok, but I knew deep down this was not where I was supposed to be. I also graduated with my masters degree during this time.

I talked to one of my co-workers from First Hope about my plans. She was our occupational therapist who worked with our students one on one. She and I became close while working at the school- mostly because we needed someone to lean on. It was tough. She told me that I should look into getting my certification through the state to become a pediatric developmental specialist. I looked into it, and was overwhelmed with the to-do list. I started this list in spring of 2013. I knew something was going to come of this, I just didn't know when. There was too much to do to prepare for certification. 

I prayed- I prayed all the time, even in the middle of the day on the playground while my kindergarten students were running around playing. 'God, send me a sign. Tell me what to do'.
He answered. He answered with- you need to tell the school you might not be coming back. 
I didn't even have a job lined up! You are telling me to tell them I am not coming back, and I have no place to go?! Well, I told them. I may not be coming back. The last day of school, I was told that my contract was not going to be continued. They knew I wasn't coming back and did not want to wait on an answer. I was sad, and scared. What was I going to do? I was terrified. 
I went to Amelia Island June of last year right after this happened. It was a week long vacation that I needed for sure. I felt a sense of peace. God was speaking to me. I had no job, no income. But felt peace. I had 2 months of working at my mom's summer camp at her school for not even half of what I made at my teaching job. I was not surviving. And I kept praying. 
I planned on getting my certification for therapy approved by late summer, and I called daily to check the status. This was my only hope. Therapists do very well. And I was excited at the possibilities. 

I kept calling all summer. Setbacks after setbacks with the paperwork. I was getting so discouraged. In late July, I got a call. It was from The Christ School. After I listened to the voicemail, I sat in my car and cried. I was overwhelmed with God's perfect timing. I called back. After many interviews, I got the job 2 weeks later. 
Full time benefits, vacation time, and a wonderful school. It was all I have been praying for. God answered, but He wasn't finished. 

My paperwork with the state finally was approved. It was approved after I settled into my new school environment. God knew exactly what He was doing. He knew what was best for me. 

As I sit here and type this, I am joyful. I am in awe of how all this worked out. I have a wonderful kindergarten class in a school that I adore. I have seven therapy clients and the number is rising. I am able to support myself financially, I am able to help my grandmother with her needs, I am able to help children with their disabilities. I am able to teach in a Christian environment. 

Thank you God for all these things. Your timing is perfect.