In my first career, I was a computer programmer. I started at age 20 and worked in that field for several large St. Louis-based companies for almost 15 years. The stress of the deadlines and responsibilities, plus being 60 to 75 minutes away from home, and parenting three daughters was too much. Thankfully, I was able to leave my job and stay home. Since I had never had the ability to stay at home with my girls when they were little, I truly appreciated the time to spend with them as pre-teens and teens. Six years later, as the girls were starting college (and one was getting close to marriage, although I didn’t know that yet!), I decided it was time to pursue a part-time or full-time job to provide income.
I applied for any and all kinds of local jobs: hospital, business offices, Dairy King. I couldn’t get an interview anywhere! Except Dairy King, but they told me I was overqualified. It was causing me self- esteem issues, of which I already had plenty. My pastor’s wife was an amazing encourager and friend. She was a high school teacher at a nearby school district and had been telling me for years, that when I was ready to get another job, I should get a paraprofessional certificate and work at a school; she thought I would love it. So, I applied for the certificate, got the background check, and received approval. I was interviewed and offered a part-time job at an elementary school. I was so excited and yet so nervous! I fell in love with the school setting in that semester, as only a part-time aide. I felt at home with the students and enjoyed the relationship I had with them.
When summer break came, I was released, as is the custom for non-seniority aides. Since there was no promise I would be rehired for the fall, that summer I started job searching again. I had everyone in my church praying and all my friends giving me possibilities. I did not receive a SINGLE PHONE CALL, much less an interview. It was getting stressful. Internally, I was really struggling, because I realized how much I loved working at a school, having an influence on children. I really had no idea what God wanted me to do, but I just kept praying and assuming He would make it clear.
On a Thursday in early August, I received a phone call from a principal at a different elementary school in the same district that I had worked in the prior spring semester. I had never met him; only knew his name. He offered me a job ON THE PHONE. He offered me a FULL-TIME job on the phone and told me to come to staff orientation the next day and start school the following day! I don’t even know if I made any sense in that conversation, but as soon as I hung up, I literally fell to the floor crying with astonishment and joy. My daughters that were home came running because they thought I was ill or hurt. “Mom! What’s wrong? What happened?” I said that God did not just answer my prayer for a job. He gave me a job that I enjoyed, with more hours and more pay! And He waited to reveal it until the day before orientation! He is good and He is in control!
Actually, God did much more than that. He gave me a position with the best boss, who is approachable, compassionate, and a great leader. God has brought friendships at the district that have blessed my life! God has brought challenges and opportunities to talk about Him, and to be a servant of prayer for students’ and their families. Recently, my mom was hospitalized and critically ill. My boss and two amazing women in the district, made it possible for me to spend all 26 days at the hospital with my mom. They took care of all my responsibilities and freed me to literally spend every day with my mom until she passed away.
God had a plan all along; His plan turned out to be SO much better than mine. He cares about the details in our lives – trust Him with your story.
“And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Luke 12:7