Monday, August 27, 2012

Set Free

Today is the first day of school at our church school.  The first day of school anywhere used to leave me feeling empty and discouraged.  As a long-term substitute for three years, the first day of school always reminded me that my dream of being a classroom teacher wasn't being realized.

All my life, I wanted to be a teacher.  When I was in first grade, I would round up the neighborhood kids as soon as school was over, sit down with them at my little plastic picnic table, and teach them what I had learned that day.  I give myself half the credit as to why my siblings are so intelligent :)

My favorite fictional characters were Anne Shirley and Christy Huddleson.  I wanted to be just like them: inspiring young minds everywhere through love and encouragement.  I pictured myself with classrooms full of grubby hands and jelly-smeared faces, little children lisping words and doing their best to reenact a scene from our history book.

I went to college and loved every minute of my education classes.  The dream of becoming a teacher was so close at that point.  So tangible.

The year that I graduated from college, 2 of my classmates out of the 25 of us who had worked toward our credentials together got teaching jobs that fall.  We graduated on a high of dreams and ideals into a world swirling with pink slips and tenure.  There was no place for us.

I blogged a lot in the next two years about the heartache and emptiness of waiting for a teaching job.  God didn't see fit to answer my prayers in the way that I was hoping--expecting--Him to.

After 3 years of praying for a teaching position, 3 years of being a "nobody" as a substitute, I gave up and returned to the life of being a preschool teacher.  What a year that was!  The day that I was hired was the day that I found out that I was pregnant.  God works in funny ways, doesn't He?  I worked up until 2 weeks before my due date, and then I came home indefinitely.

And now I have a job that I'm happy to get up for at any hour.

I love being a mom.  Taking care of Kayleigh makes every feeling of emptiness and inadequacy melt away.  I'm doing what I was called to do.  I thought God created me to be a teacher (and someday, I still hope to be one) but now I know.  God created me to be Kayleigh's mom.  Jesse's wife.  The homemaker of our family.

I don't need to feel like less of a person because I never got to put my credential to use.  I have it, and someday I'll look forward to being in a classroom full of little ones again.  But I can honestly say that this is the first "First Day of School" where I'm not wondering why God hasn't put me to use in a classroom.  I'm not arguing with my Creator and trying to convince Him of what a great teacher I would be if He would just give me the chance.  I'm thankful for where I am and what He has given me.

I've been set free.  Free of guilt, free of wondering why, free of feeling inconsequential.

God hasn't given me a classroom full of little ones, but He has given me this little one.

And she's just about all I need to know that God has given me purpose.


  1. This post brought tears to my eyes. I appreciate you sharing your faith and your happiness in this post!

  2. Ahh awesome! Thank you God for blessing Bethany so!

  3. Aww...I love this! Amen - thank you, Lord, for filling Bethany's heart, for granting her peace and joy and fulfillment!

  4. Adorable picture. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. You have such a positive attitude, and I know you would make a wonderful teacher. Kayleigh is so blessed to have you as a mom. Just think how much richer her life is because she has a mom that was trained in teaching! Other kids have to settle for the homeschool moms that just try to wing it, but your precious babe gets a pro all to herself ;)

  5. Oh and I love the new design - so beautiful!

  6. What an adorable picture! I'm so glad you've found peace--being a mom/teacher is wonderful!

  7. Beautiful Bethany! This was so sweet, I have felt that same way before - but God is always good and He always has a plan even when we don't understand it! Thanks for sharing your heart with us :)

  8. Roomie, you are a wonderful teacher and you will always be. You have taught me so much. You've taught me English: remember how much time you spent correcting my essays, explaining new words to me (My hump!!! hahahha)
    Without a shade of doubt, you are one of my favorite teachers, who not only taught me many things but also inspired me throughout our Concordia time. Love you lots!


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