Most days it feels like so much is up in the air. And it really is. If I am accepted into the JM program, that will mean leaving my family, friends, and home for two years. Packing. Getting rid of things. Selling my car. Leaving my job. If I'm not accepted into the program, or I don't go, I used to think I would just stay where I'm at. After all, I have what would be considered by most as a "great" job! And I do love being with all my kids every day. I have great support from my mentor, colleagues, and fine arts coordinator. I have supplies this year, just wrote and received a grant for drums, and have levels one and two of Orff-Schulwerk training finished. It makes the most sense, and since this is the job and place God has provided for me, it must be that He wants me to stay here, right? But...I'm not happy. And happiness vs. contentment could be a whole separate post, but for now, I need to work through the feelings I've had for awhile. Blessed, yes. Provided for, with a stable (well for now, I think!) job, an excellent income, and the ability to make all the payments I need to. I recognize all these things and thank God for them. I know it would be "impractical" to leave something out of unhappiness. (And explaining how leaving for the JM program is not an excuse to escape unhappiness could also be another post...I am fully confident that my decision to apply was prompted by God and He will lead me in His will through this time.)
So where am I going with all this? Well, I used to think because I had a wonderful job, close to home, with an excellent salary, etc...it must be where God wanted me to be. I would say, "When God leads me, I'll go somewhere else..." or "In God's timing, He'll show me what to do..." And He will. But - recently I was reminded that we also have a free will to make choices. Sometimes God calls us to step out in faith and give ourself options. If it is my heart's desire to go overseas, I should apply for that opportunity and pray wholeheartedly, seeking God's direction. I will know I've made the effort to apply and sought God's will and timing, and if it does not work out, I will know it was not where I was mean to be at this time in my life. And if I am unhappy in my job (and I just can't pinpoint why, but I continuously struggle with and fight the battle of going through those feelings each day), maybe I should apply for another job. Or pursue the masters degree in Speech Pathology I have wanted to work toward since college. I guess my point is, it is ok to give myself choices. It is ok to pray to God and ask Him to open and close doors, leading me as I seek out where I am supposed to be. And while He has called me to be here now, and I should continue to work each day as if for Him and not for man, and be an example of Christ to my students and co-workers, it doesn't mean this is the "only plan" He can have for my life. It is starting to make more sense to me now.
I am so thankful for where I am at now - for the chance to start off my teaching career in a familiar place with wonderful supports and the chance to be close to home, and now living at home for a bit. And I feel confident that God has called me to teach or work with children and has given me a passion for loving and caring for them. But I am seeing now He has given me many desires. As long as I give those desires to Him fully and trust that He is the very one who created me to be the person I am, He will be with me, no matter what choices I pursue...because I will have my heart and mind set on Him. He will open and close doors, and He will give my heart the strength and peace to face those doors.
I can hardly wait to see what He has in store for me as time goes on...I'm so glad He is a God who is living and is constantly at work!