01 May 2017

Changes of plans and other stories

Once upon a time, there was a teacher who really wanted an adventure. She didn't have a lot of opportunity for adventure in Idaho, and felt like she was missing out on, well, life. Everything she did was done for others, and she was just plain exhausted. She decided to do something about it, so she started researching options in different states. Finally, she had her location. She was all set to leave Rexburg and head for the vastly different metropolis of Las Vegas. She prayed a lot and felt very strongly that this was the right thing to do, and that there were people who needed her down in Vegas. She made the arrangements with her current school, got certified in Nevada, and started applying for teaching jobs. It was kind of scary at first, because no one was calling her for interviews, and she was getting lots and lots of 'this position has been filled' emails. She started thinking that maybe it wasn't the right thing to do. Maybe she had misinterpreted answers to prayers. Maybe she just wanted this for herself. She started feeling like maybe she was being selfish, and that was a scary thought.

Finally, she made a few phone calls and sent out a few emails. She found out that HR had deactivated her application, and hadn't reactivated it when they said they would. The problem got fixed, and calls started pouring in. She headed down to St. George (Utah) for spring break, and decided that she'd just worry about everything when she got back to Idaho. Well, things changed. Three days and four job interviews later, she had four job offers on the table to choose from. Suddenly, things were hard again! How could she choose between all of these schools and grades? She was able to decline one without much thought, just because of the area the school was in. She wanted to make sure she was safe, and this area wasn't a good one. Then came the hard part: choosing between the remaining three schools. There was a second grade job and two third grade jobs that she could choose from. All of them sounded good! 

She was pretty sure that she was going to accept one of the third grade jobs, when she started thinking she'd better contact HR again to make sure the salary listed on the website was accurate. If it was, she'd be able to be in a really good financial position finally. She was hopeful. When she talked to HR though, the offered salary was $15,000 less than what had been posted. What a letdown! It just didn't seem right, so she asked again. Same answer. Turned out that for a teacher coming in from another district, they did a 'comparable' salary to what the teacher was already making. Well, that put her at the bottom of the ladder, and in a really bad position. She couldn't figure out how to make it all work, unless she chose to live in a really unsafe area with cheaper rents. That just wouldn't do.

After lots of prayer and counseling with her parents, she chose to remain at her Idaho school and stay in fourth grade. Immediately, it was as if a huge weight had been lifted. She still felt like the process she'd gone through was a valid one, and the right one, but it led somewhere completely different than she'd anticipated. Along the way, however, she really learned to listen to Heavenly Father, and to trust Him. She learned how He spoke to her and how to act on His plan for her. She learned that His plan really is better, and that He would take care of her. She felt at peace, with no regrets for having gone through the process. It was flattering to know that so many schools wanted her and felt she had something great to offer. It was also great for her to realize just how much her current school and community wanted her and felt like she had great things to offer. She wondered if maybe that was part of the lesson she needed to learn. She was grateful for the things she'd learned, and realized that all things have a purpose. She was going to make the best of the things to come.

So. That's my story from the last 6 months. It's been quite the ride, and I don't think the end is quite in sight. I can't say that I'm entirely happy with the results, but I also can't say that I'm super disappointed. Maybe the right word is a slight feeling of being letdown. Because it is something of a letdown. I was really looking forward to the adventures I was going to have, and to making a difference for a different demographic. I was looking forward to better financial security without having to take on a second job. I was looking forward to amazing concerts and cheaper airfare. I was looking forward to having people come to Vegas to visit ME, instead of being an afterthought on another trip.

I'm still not sure entirely what God's plan for me is, but I'm going to trust Him and realize that He has a great plan for me. I'm going to believe Him when He says that His plan for me is better than my plan. I just hope it includes some adventure...I'm ready for it!