June 19, 2017

Monday Morning

It is a good Monday here in sunny and hot, Phoenix. Yes, the weatherman has said we are to hit 118 today (down from 120 earlier in the weekend). I am so NOT ready for triple digits above 115, but the entire week is set to be in the mid-high 110s. Sigh! June is always the most unpleasant month — unless of course — you happen to have a pool. Then June is bearable, know what I mean? It is living without one that really turns things sour. Still, I am thankful for the AC that keeps our home comfortable, and for the fact that I am at home this summer, which simply means that I don’t have to be out in the heat unless I absolutely need to do so.

I am also thankful for the good nights rest I had last night. I think I am finally starting to decompress from my week away. I slept until about 6:30 this morning, but after a quick trip to the bathroom, I returned to bed and didn’t wake up again until nearly 8:30. I slept soundly, and I woke up feeling refreshed. I feel more like myself again, and I am thankful that I am able to be at home, not worry about “work” and simply enjoy the blessed rest. Yes, I am thankful for the life the Lord has provided to me, for the long rest during the summer, and for the blessed routine that enables me to teach during the year, but have periods of rest — holidays, spring/fall breaks, and summers — where I can relax and decompress.

My Work

This past week, I have thought more and more about my life’s work, and I realized that God has provided the best possible work for me to do. I can remember how I balked at the idea of teaching English Composition. I recall a conversation with the Lord a number of years ago when He said that “if I chose to follow the path of teaching,” I would mostly teach freshman composition. I was particularly interested in teaching literature more so than composition, so I didn’t really think that teaching students how to write would be that interesting to me. I mean, not longterm, as in semester after semester and year after year. But, here I am. I am an English Composition teacher. In fact, I teach composition more than any other subject. I enjoy teaching literature, and I get to teach literature at GCU and Regent fairly often. Mostly, though, I teach writing classes. More so, I teach freshman almost exclusively. I know most of my friends, peers, and colleagues at the schools where I teach prefer upper division undergrads and grads, but I happen to enjoy freshmen. I really like teaching first and second year students. Go figure.

This morning, I received a contract to continue as adjunct at Ohio Christian University. I pretty much crossed them off my list simply because I taught one class last summer, and then I never heard from them again. The contract was not for work, rather it was for me to continue in their adjunct pool. The likelihood I will hear from them is probably pretty nil, but it was nice to be asked to stay in their system.

Today, I am thinking more about that full-time position. I wonder where the Lord will place me full-time. Right now, I have three schools in play. I have my contracts for campus at GCU, and I have my online contracts for Regent. I am expecting a contract from ASU as well, so at the minimum, I will have 6-7 classes for fall 2017. I am content. I am happy with this assortment, and praise be to God, I am provided for with enough money to cover me. Still, I know that a full-time position would be a blessing, and soon, very soon, the Lord will show me the job, and I will apply for it. Until that time, I have to be patient. I have to wait. I have to sit still and wait for the Lord to move me. I cannot run ahead of Him. I must wait for His “go” and then I must watch for His provision. He will tell me when it is time, and until He does, I have to simply rest in His sufficiency. I have to believe He has me well covered, and He knows what is best for me. He knows what is best.

The funny thing in all of this waiting and watching business is the fact that I am living out the fulfillment of the Lord’s word to me. Yes, I am actually doing the very thing He said I would do way back in 2012. I remember how I thought I would never teach college, even though I had just finished my Masters degree and I was hopeful that a teaching position would come to pass. My life was complicated back then. I mean, I was working full-time at UOPX, and then at CVS, and for all intents and purposes, I really thought teaching was a missed career opportunity. I was in my late 40s, and even though I had my degree, I simply didn’t have any experience. I remember praying and asking the Lord how I could teach without any experience. I mean, who would give me a chance? Who would hire me?

I had a chance to teach the summer of 2012, but I was so afraid to take it that I simply let it pass. I took the job at CVS thinking it was the answer to my prayers, when in reality it was just forestalling His plans for me. I ended up leaving that job the next year for a contract position at GCU, and well, the rest is history as they say. I ended up teaching — despite the hiccups — and I ended up doing exactly what the Lord said was possible for me to do to boot.

In hindsight, I see now how the Lord provided a way for me to gain experience. It took time, but over the past four-half years, I have gained the experience I needed to be a full-time teacher. I started as a teaching assistant before moving to adjunct. Now, I am waiting to be promoted to Assistant Professor. The Lord said I would have to start small and work my way up because no one would hire me as full-time faculty without 5 years of experience. What is more, I would need my PhD (which I now have), and I would have to wait until I had both parts before I could be taken seriously for a professorship. More so, I would need a publication or presentation on my CV (I have one), and I would need to show a record of scholarly achievement. I am still working on the latter, but I am in better shape to be selected as a candidate. Lastly, the Lord said that I would not teach communications, but I would be an English teacher, and just as He said it, so it has become a reality. I do teach communications, once in a blue moon, but mostly I am offered English contracts. I am an English teacher. I teach English and not communications.

My life has turned out exactly as the Lord said it would, if I trusted Him, if I let Him lead me. I did what He said, and here I am today, doing the very thing He said I would do. Now, He is telling me to be patient, to wait, to let Him open the right door, and I am anxious to move forward. I want to go now, even though the Lord has said “not yet.” I must wait. I must be patient. I must let Him do what He does best and that is to make the impossible happen. God is a God of all possibility. He is able to bring life from the dirt, He is able to make doors open and close. He is able to do all things, and in my hurry and worry and fear, I want it all now. I want to be rescued, to be given His best before He is ready to give it to me. I must be patient. I must wait. He will be faithful. He will deliver on His promises to me. Selah!

In Closing

As I wait today, I wonder about His best. What is His best for me? Where will I go? Where will I teach? How will I get there? When will I go? Who will go with me? I have so many questions that are yet to be answered, but I know that the Lord already has the answers for me. He has this figured out. He knows what He intends to do, so while I want to know now, I also understand that sometimes it is best to not know until He is ready for the big reveal. You know, like on the HGTV shows — the BIG REVEAL — when the slide is moved and the changes are shown to the world. Yes, I am waiting for His big reveal for my life. I know it will be good, so good. It is worth the wait. It is so worth the wait!

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