I've had a bit of a heavy heart lately. After two job interviews for elementary teacher positions in less than a month, I've still not been hired. There have been a lot of budget issues this year here in Amarillo (actually the entire state of Texas) and not as many new teachers are being hired. I've heard that there are over 400 elementary teachers alone here vying for a handful of jobs. I'm finding that experienced teachers are getting shuffled around and new teachers are being passed up. It's really frustrating because everyone has to start somewhere. How do you get experience without actually having a teaching job?
I'm really trying to count my blessings. I know MANY potential teachers that haven't even had an interview, so I feel that I must be on the right track if I'm getting called in at all. I talked with one principal at length and was reassured that I answered the questions correctly and will be a great teacher, but they just needed to go with a candidate with more experience. It's been tough. I KNOW that I am a good teacher. I just need someone to give me a chance.
I've been fortunate to have some very supportive friends who have given me a lot of encouragement, but it's still a hard pill to swallow. I've done a lot of soul searching lately and know I need to just completely turn this over to God. It's too big for me to deal with alone. I know that Satan delights in my pain and anxiety, so I must turn to the Lord to comfort me and give me the strength I need. We sang "The Battle Belongs to the Lord" in services this morning and it really hit home.
I have an arsenal of verses that I keep close by for strength and instant peace. Here are a few of my favorites.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
your unfailing love, LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:18-19
This one has been particularly helpful. I've felt self doubt and anxiety this past month like never before. I must remember that God created me to be just that...ME. He loves me and has a plan for me.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
This verse helps me to remember that God is in control. He sees what I can't. I must simply have faith and trust in Him.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
This verse reminds me that I need to talk to God in prayer frequently and with gratitude, asking for what I need.
I had a friend gently point out to me recently something that I've struggled with throughout my entire student teaching and job search....that maybe God wants me to be home with my children for a while longer. She reminded me of all that I would (and did) miss and that I will never be able to get this time back. I am fortunate that my husband has a good job and I am currently in the position of being able to stay home. Maybe this is His plan. I just don't know, so I have to pray for guidance and understanding.
God is faithful and I need to be too. Even, make that especially, in uncertain times.