“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
My husband called me from work one day. He said there is an opening at his school (the same school as our child) and it was a possible long term position. This job is to watch the students while they were at recess and at lunch. I can work while our child is in school, see her while I work and I don’t have to handle money. (I hate handling money!)
I called the office manager at the school and asked her about the position and how soon it was available. She asked, “Can you start tomorrow?” World turned upside down. I was going from 10 hours part time a week with another job to now add 20 more.
As a substitute, you are thrown in without any training, you learn as you go. The first recess included my child’s grade. All the kids in her grade were so excited to see me. Staff members and students were saying “hello” and asking me if I was there permanently. I felt like a rock star. Each grade section came out. Everything was going well. Then it was time for their lunch breaks. The second lunch break was for the 6-8th grade. This is where everything began to unravel.
I grew up with a mother from Asia. They do not mess around. If you show an attitude or disrespect, they let you know, you are making the wrong choice. So when I saw some of these students, blatantly ignoring the rules or me, I felt defeated, angry and frustrated. I wanted to say on the walkie-talkie, “peace out” for all to hear and go run for the hills.
It was the weekend after that horrid day. I was so tired and emotionally drained, I wanted to withdraw my application for the job. I hoped that somehow the school district would lose my application. I tried to take my mind off of it and read some emails. I had requested video series from writer, Lysa TerKurst. It was her guide to becoming a better writer. She talked about the process of writing and how difficult it was. I laughed out loud and said “nothing is like dealing with middle school children!” In her video, she made a statement that convicted me of my complaining. She said, “Give up or Press though.” She may have been referring to the writing process but this applies to life. It is so easy to give up and not care, than to continue to care and invest more time into something. I prayed asking the Lord to show me if this is a job that I should pursue. I didn’t hear an exact answer, but I heard pray for all the students, the good and especially the not so good. A lot of the children with bad attitudes and issues don’t have the best home life. Maybe no one is praying for them to change for the better, just praying for them to become someone else’s problem.
So I went in after the weekend, looking at this time here as a Godly assignment. I pray over the school for protection and for every student to find this school as a refuge and for deep secrets of pain to come to light. Whether my stay is short or long, I can contribute in some way.
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for any opportunity you allow for me. I release the negative and unrealistic expectations over any situation I may be in. Give me discernment when something is challenging and show me how to give people grace and when to hold firm on boundaries. Let me see others as you see them. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN!”