This week has been a good one for me. I was sick most of the time, but generally had good days at my teaching assistant position at GCU. I am a little down about the classes, and the way they are being conducted and that sent me into a slight depression yesterday. I met with two students who were confused, and then during class realized that there were at least half dozen more who didn't come see me during office hours, but were still confused.
It bothers met to see students struggle needlessly. It is OK to struggle when you are learning new material because that is a sign that your brain is processing new information and you are crunching on it. However, students who cannot follow the instructions or when the instructions are not clear -- well -- those are the ones that get my heart. I see things that I would do differently, and I know that I would approach the subject differently. Oh well...thoughts for another day.
Today is Saturday and I am really glad to be home. I am still getting over my sickness (allergies/cold), so my head is a little stuffy. My son and I are planning to go car shopping today. We are looking for a good used car for him to drive back/forth to school. I want something clean, with good miles, so he can drive it a while. My budget is low, so I cannot afford anything fancy. I am worried that I will not be able to find a good car in my price range.
I found one at a dealer down in Chandler - about 25 miles from me. It looked good on the photo, but the dealer has told me the paint is faded and said "not the prettiest" which scares me. It runs well, and is priced fairly. I am waffling on buying a car - I have the money set aside - but I don't want to buy a lemon and be stuck with something that needs work!
My family says to buy off Craigs List. I have looked and all the cars near me are really beaten to death or have a restored title (here in AZ, you can restore a title, but I don't want to get into salvaged cars).
I also am not sure I want to pay full out for a car. I can put some on a credit card, and then make a couple payments. It would ease my fears about spending so much on a car.
Back to trust issues. Clearly, I am struggling to trust the Lord on this matter. Well, both matters (school and car). I have stop trusting Him since I took the position at GCU. I have been doubting Him, His provision, His plans, and His will since the day I said "OK." Even though at that time I felt certainty that this was a God-thing. How else could it be? I mean, I went for an interview to teach, and was hired as a TA - all within 15 minutes. I know GCU is desperate, but still, they hired me and signed me up for classes within 15 minutes of my interview. It was a weird experience, and something I had never seen before (and I have done A LOT of interviews). I took the job knowing the pay was low, knowing that there would be no benefits, knowing that this was contract work with NO GUARANTEES.
I wanted out of CVS Caremark because that ship (MCO) was sinking fast. I took the life preserve floating close to me, and it was marked "GCU." At the same time, I was asked to interview for a position at NCU to be an academic counselor. I was on this path, I had even applied to get a second MA degree in Human Services Counseling so that I could work in this field. How did I end up at GCU and not follow through on NCU? I mean that was a salaried position with benefits - a good company - good location - good job?
I wanted to be an Academic Counselor for so long, and I just let that one go. I let it go. I took the GCU position because it was "TEACHING" and I have been told "Carol, you would be a fantastic teacher." I wanted a career position that aligned with my education. Not that a Counselor doesn't have advanced education, because they usually do (a MA at the least). But look at it this way:
Academic Counselor - BA, MA, PhD (Communication)
Professor - BA, MA, PhD (Communication)
Most people would question why I would have a PhD and be a Counselor at a University. This position requires a BA only. I am over qualified for the work, but I would do it because I like helping students.
Becoming a teacher aligns with my schooling. It fits. It looks right. You get your PhD to teach or to do research. You don't get your PhD unless you need it for promotion. If you want to move into higher education administration roles, and then you get an ED and not a PhD. A PhD goes hand-in-hand with teaching or research. Everyone in education knows this so when they interview a candidate with a PhD or one who is working towards it, they think twice. Will she stay in this job? Will she leave once she finds a teaching position?
So here I am second-guessing what the Lord has done for me. Here I am thinking I chose the wrong path. I feel OK where I am, I mean, I don't sense a lack of peace about it. I am just struggling with fear and the thoughts about what I have given up to pursue this teaching role.
I am concerned that my doubt has gotten the best of me. My faith has been shaken, and I cannot recover. I pray for help, for His empowering to overcome, but I cannot shake these thoughts, these feelings of doubt. I look up, to Him, and I confess (oh, I confess) His Name and I seek the Power of His Great Name. But all I get in return is nothing. I am so low, so down, and I constantly battle these feelings that I have made a bad choice, that I have made this way, and it has and will continue to affect my family (my parents and my son).
- I am not a good provider
- I am being selfish for choosing this role over one that was "safe"
- I am not qualified to teach (nor good at it)
- I don't want to teach and I am just wasting time
- I am not hearing God's voice correctly
- I am leaning on my own understanding
- I am not trusting Him
- I am not leaning on Him
- I am not resting in Him
I am beaten down with these thoughts, and while most are true, some are not. I know I am not being faithful and leaning upon Him with full confidence and faith. I am cowering in the corner, praying for Faith, but not exercising it. I am letting the enemy have his way with me, and taunting me to the point where I am a big blob of jello.
The Word of God says this (1 Cor. 16:13 NLT):
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.
And again in chapter 15, verse 58:
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Lastly, in Psalm 18:32-35 (NIV), we read:
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.
Thank you for your Word today. Thank you for your constant help in times of trouble. Thank you for your gracious provision of truth so that I can remember to look to You and not to my self. I am flawed human flesh, and I struggle whenever I look to my own hands or my own understanding. I see all the mistakes, all the errors, and all that is "not good enough." Yet, you never ask me to look to my own way, but instead you tell me to Look Up, and to TRUST you. I am sorry for looking down and letting the enemy best me again. I am tired of being beat up, and I want to overcome these doubts. I know that the only way to do that is to stand up, and lift up my SHIELD OF FAITH, which is YOU. The enemy cannot stand, and he will flee. I am fully clothed in your ARMOR and I am victorious, not because of anything I can or will do, but because of who you ARE. You are God, and I am not. You know best, and I know nothing. Therefore, I let this go -- all of it -- and I rest in your sufficiency and great NAME. Thank you, Lord, for loving me and standing beside me. You are my God and my King, and I love you and I give you praise this day. Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah!