just stop

What happens if I just stop?

This summer has been really hard.  People often comment about how awesome being a teacher must be, since you get a couple of long breaks during the school year and a solid two months off in the summer.  And don’t you get me wrong; it IS great.  I won’t pretend for a second that it’s great enough on its own to make teaching worthwhile if you’re not passionate about it.  Three years of teaching have taught me that, if I were not passionate about teaching and kids, no number of days off during the school year could keep me from running, screaming and tearing my hair out, out of that classroom.  But, because I am passionate about those things, I love teaching.  And the days and summers off are definitely a perk.

However.

There is one major non-perk to teaching.  [Actually, there are several, but I refuse to dwell on multiple negatives today.]  It is called The Summer Between Teaching Jobs During a Recession, or more commonly known to me as This Summer.

Sometimes I’m envious of lawyers and insurance agents and doctors and door-to-door salesmen.  All of the people who can hunt for jobs at any point in the year, with essentially no deadline staring at them, saying, “You have fourteen days left to get a job.  Two weeks before you’re going to need to brighten up your customer service smile and practice saying, “My name is Audra, I’ll be your server today.  Can I start you out with a drink?”

Y’all, August is breathing down my neck right now.  I have spent this entire summer filling out applications.  I’m not kidding.  If I were getting paid for every hour I’ve spent telling a district website what my educational philosophy is and how I plan to deal with multiple learning styles in the classroom, I’m fairly certain I could afford to take this next year off.

Then one day, you’re sitting in a coffee shop filling out the umpteenth district application of the summer, and you find yourself staring into your reflection in a cup of black coffee, four seconds from attempting to beat yourself into a coma with the shiny  ceramic mug.

What happens if I just stop?

Poppycock.  My better sense kicks in, and I fill in the phone number of my previous administrator, which I have memorized by now, along with his full name and both physical and email addresses.

What happens if I just stop?

Gah.  No.  Don’t lose focus now.  Discipline, Audra.  Discipline.  And I finish filling out the application, silencing the voice in my head with a remarkable sense of duty.

Fast forward two hours to a chat with a friend.

Amber: I thought about you with the sermon at church yesterday.
Audra: Yeah? How come?
Amber:  Well it was about the stewardship of life….he made a comment that we don’t often test God’s ability to extend our treasure.  And I think that’s where you are.  I think your step out on faith was just that, and I think your treasure will be extended because of it.

I think it’s true.  I think we often tie God’s hands and refuse to see miracles.  Because in order to need a miracle, we have to be in a desperate situation.  But we spend so much of our lives trying to avoid desperate situations, trying to stay in a safe place.  Which may lead to comfort, but it certainly doesn’t produce moments in which God can blow our minds with His goodness and faithfulness and provision.

I feel like I’ve spent so much of this summer trying to avoid a desperate situation.  Trying to manipulate every possible factor of every possible situation, to make sure that I don’t end up unemployed in August.  Which is great, right? I mean, it’s what we’ve been taught to do.  It’s the responsible way to do things.

But where does it end? Seriously.  When is it enough? Where is the point where I let go and say, “This is where I trust that God is not going to leave me stranded, even if there were four hundred other jobs I could have applied for in the DFW metroplex.  This is where I trust that if I don’t get a teaching job in the next month, it’s not because I didn’t work hard enough–it’s because there is SOMETHING OTHER.  There is something else that needs to be done, some other place I belong right now.  This is where I trust that the same God who KNEW how much I needed to go to work in the ghetto three years ago knows me just as well today, and knows exactly where I need to be, and is more than capable of getting me there.”

What happens if I just stop?

I think I might be on the verge of finding out.  Maybe the situation will get desperate enough to warrant a miracle.  Today, my prayer is for contentment with “come what may.”  More faith in a miracle than fear of the unknown.

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One thought on “just stop

  1. I love your heart Aud. And I am excited to see what exactly God has in store for this seemingly giant step of faith. I have no doubt, it’s going to be big and going to be more than you could have believed possible to ask for. We serve a big God. 🙂 It’s about time we let Him show us just how big He is.

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