Posted by: Mrs. Jennifer Miller | November 7, 2010

And so it ends… and so it begins…

It’s been a while. 

For those of you who don’t know, I lost my job last spring due to the recession and teacher cuts and wandered around in my own spiritual desert for a while.  Though the Lord provided a new job a few months later, which filled me with renewed purpose and joy, the reality of what God was bringing into my life hit me like a wall of bricks, and I realized I was walking deeper into the desert instead of out.

But here I am.  I just returned from the Extraordinary Women Conference in Rockford, where I think I began to hear a few things from the Lord. The God I have felt was sitting aloft in the clouds, just watching all this happen, is  beginning to reveal His nearness to me…

One:  “You give and take away.  You give and take away.'”  I have never had God give something that He later took away as powerfully as He did my first teaching job.  It was obvious to me when He provided me with that job that it was His will.  But I was NOT expecting Him to take it back.  I yelled at God, “How could you do this to me?  I’ve had to move and change so many times in life, I don’t deserve to have to do it again.  This is not the right timing.  Didn’t you just finish putting me through the fire of a one-year Master’s degree?  Didn’t you want to use it?  You must not love me Lord.  You must not care.”  The moment I walked into the conference on Friday, however, God reminded me of something.  His heart inside me, the one from long ago and burried deep for music and ministry, began to beat again.  And I think maybe God told me that although this teaching dream is dead, it is dying to make room for a new one… the one that has been planned all along.

Two:  “This year is more about your heart than your teaching.”  Oh yes, my new job… I have so many students that even now, in 2nd quarter, I still don’t know all of their names.  My dreams of individualizing education are seemingly smashed, and the circumstances under which I teach place roadblocks in front of so many teaching strategies that I know would benefit these students, if only…   I am drowning in paperwork and unrealistic expectations.  I yelled at him, “This is how you wanted to use my training, Lord?  This is the dream?”  Well, if God is putting my public teaching career to rest, then I must believe there is purpose in this year for his glory.  I am battling depression at my circumstances, anxiety at what I will face each day I return to school, and I am having to rely heavily on the God I have not spent much face-to-face time with in the last few years.  Perhaps this year is His way of bringing me back to Him in a way I’ve never experienced before. 

Three years of learning to teach, including one year of an intensive Master’s program has molded into who I am as a teacher, and I thought He was refining me for the classroom.  Now, though, I think He was refining me for something else… and this year, is meant to refine my heart.

God certainly works in His way and in His timing.  But in the midst of my heart breaking and my mind battling daily for peace, I will choose to praise my God.  He hasn’t left me.  And I trust that as He lays one dream to rest in this desert, as I lay this dream to rest, He is leading me through… He will lead me through to the real dream that was His from eternity and is now mine.

– Jen

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