Monday, August 25, 2008
Give Your Dreams a New Beginning
"I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart." (Jeremiah 24:7) Are we stretching to the next level? Sometimes disappointments can set us back. I've probably written on this blog before about the layoff I experienced in 2002. I was teaching young adult literature and communications at Southwest Junior High School in Lawrence, Kansas, at the time. We had just moved to town and this job was an answer to prayer. I loved it. My principal gave me an excellent evaluation so I thought that I would have the job as long as I wanted it. That spring, though, the administration and school board made a decision to cut the budget by laying off educators (RIF-Reduction in Force). In 2002-2003, Lawrence Public Schools laid off 131 first year educators. Even though I had taught 20 years, it was my first year in this district so I was RIFed. I was so upset at first that I didn't know what I wanted to do. In the fall I started subbing. I had a job every day. The pay wasn't great, but it was so much fun to teach every day without bringing home papers to grade, lessons to plan, or a list of parents to contact. I felt so free. It was God's plan to take the pressure off me and free my spirit. It was a new beginning! I stretched to a new level, and I have never been happier. "I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth. Do you perceive it?" (Isaiah 43:19) I never looked back. I get up in the morning and ask God for guidance and wisdom. At night I thank God for a perfect day. I'm so thankful every day for my new beginning. I did love my job at Southwest, but at the time of the layoff I didn't realize that God had more in store. He worked out our finances so I didn't need that job. Mom gave us an early inheritance so I can testify that "all things work together for good". (Romans 8:28) Joel Osteen says, "God is saying this is a time for new beginnings. Get your fire back. Get your passion back......this is the time to break free." Amen!