The whole comparison thing is the bane of my existence. That’s the part I have to get past. It’s not fear that the Lord won’t provide. He promised He will, and I take that promise to heart. It’s just the conversations with all my teacher friends who have all these interviews, and the looks that resemble pity when they ask who I’ve heard from and I say no one. It’s my pride that’s taking a hit, not my faith. Which I know is a good thing…I need faith more than pride anyway.
So this one’s coming from a deeply vulnerable place in my heart.
I’ve never been one for the highway. I typically believe the scenic route, the winding backroads, are far superior. Especially if they’re gravel. The shortest distance between two points may be a straight line–but straight lines have never really been for me. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, only a few years into teaching, I find myself thinking that teaching isn’t the destination for me, but a stop on the journey. This is an idea I’ve been tossing around for a good long time now–for well over a year of my whopping three-year teaching career.
For these and many other reasons, I don’t really feel afraid of not teaching. I’m not one of those people who has wanted to be a teacher for the bulk of my life, who can’t imagine being anything else. Frankly? I can imagine being EVERYTHING else.
So why is it that I feel so out of sorts right now? I walked away from a job on principle, because my moral and ethical code would not allow me to stay. And I’m perfectly okay with that. And I may not end up teaching in August. And I’m perfectly okay with that.
So if I’m okay with all that, why am I just so not okay right now?
In the above snippet from a conversation with one of my best girls tonight, I think I accidentally stumbled on the answer to this question that’s been nagging at the frayed edges of my consciousness for the past several days.
The idea of not returning to teaching in August doesn’t really hit me all that hard. The idea of not returning to teaching in August because I wasn’t given the opportunity? That. That begs a whole host of other questions. Questions that have everything to do with my pride and nothing to do with my faith. Those unanswered questions are the reason I’m not quite okay.
What if the reason I’m really good at teaching in the inner city is because I’m really just not that good at teaching? Because I couldn’t hack it anywhere else? What if I would prefer to deal with students who have a drug addiction than helicopter parents because I’m just not competent enough to deal with people who actually expect me to be competent? What if the suburbs scare me more than the ghetto because…? What if…? What if…? What…?
Such are the lies of the Enemy.
So this is the real issue. Pride, not faith. I have all the faith in the world that all is not going to fall apart if I don’t end up with a teaching job in August. But I’m not operating on faith right now. I’m operating on pride, which means I’m operating on fear. Fear that I’ll be exposed as a fraud. Fear that I’ll look incompetent in a society that values competency above–let’s be honest–basically everything else. Fear that people will pity me. Fear that people will think I’m just not good enough, or maybe just not enough at all. Fear, fear, fear.
See, I believe that at the root of pride is fear. And fear isn’t something I’ve ever been okay with living out of. So why am I okay with living out of pride?
It’s my pride that’s taking a hit, not my faith. Which I know is a good thing…I need faith more than pride anyway.