Over two years ago I set foot on my journey to become a teacher, something that little Jordan always dreamed of becoming.
Obviously, my journey was much different than others. I was a “nontraditional” student (I don’t really like using that term, because everyone is on their own path, but that’s a discussion for another day.) Basically my everyday life was like a revolving door- beginning early in the morning with the kids, working during the day, classes at night, and then repeat the next day. Exhausting, yes, but I had this weird sense of accomplishment because I was able to juggle so much.
You see, I have always lived a life that felt like I needed to accomplish big things in order to feel validated. To feel like I was actually doing something with my life. I needed good grades to be a good student. I needed a clean house to feel like I have my life together. I needed to feel like I was somebody. I needed praise. I needed acknowledgment. All of these things made me who I was. So, when I set out to become a teacher, part of it was because I wanted to make a difference in a child’s life, but I think deep down another part of me needed that title, that degree, that accomplishment, to feel like I was somebody.
I don’t think this path was necessarily the wrong one- again, I truly want to be able to teach young kids and shape them into who they are to become. But I think God has used this time to show me that I don’t need a title to be somebody. That I don’t need accomplishments to be somebody. Because I am who He says I am.
As I’m finishing up student teaching and graduate in a short two weeks, I have been applying for jobs. A lot of jobs. Jobs in multiple cities. Multiple parts of Iowa. Jobs that I don’t necessarily even want, but, again, feel like I need. Because if I don’t have a job, what was this even for? I did not just waste two years of my life, two years I could have spent with my family, two years that we sacrificed so much to be able to get me here.
So as I’ve applied to probably over 30 jobs, I have also gotten over 30 no’s. 30 doors shut. 30 rejection emails or phone calls. For someone who needs this sense of validation and accomplishment, you could see how these no’s could knock a girl down so hard, she doesn’t know if she can get back up.
Literally- I wasn’t sure I could physically get back up the other night. On my bathroom floor, having a mental breakdown after yet another rejection email. I sat there and sobbed for I don’t even know how long, and then when the bathroom floor got uncomfortable, I sobbed even more in my bed until I fell asleep.
The next day, I got a text from my sweet friend Victoria. Victoria is one of those friends who I don’t get to talk to or see often, but when I do, I cling onto every word she says. Because Victoria speaks truth. She speaks Jesus. She speaks love. And she listens. Not only to me, but she listens to what God says. She prays for me even when I don’t ask her to. Even this time, she had been praying for our family without me even having to say anything, without even knowing what was going on. Moral of the story, get you a Victoria.
After Victoria texted me, asking how I was ACTUALLY doing, I was able to open up about how much I had been struggling. We FaceTimed on my drive back home, and she spoke truth over me, truth over our life, truth over what God said.
I told her that I had gotten so many no’s and doors closed, that I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know where to go or what our life even looks like in the next few months. I felt stuck. I felt like I had just wasted my time doing this and nothing was to come of it. She then said “First of all, this was not just a waste of time. God used you during this time for a reason, and don’t let this rejection take that away from you. He has something for you- whether it’s what you were planning in your head or not. There’s a specific door that will be opened that’s meant just for you.” And then she went on to say, “I can see you standing in a hallway. There are doors shut, and those are shut because those are not your doors. Maybe you need to take a break and stop knocking. Talk to God and He will open the door that is meant for you. Don’t be afraid of what that may look like, because He has it all planned out.”
I think this entire time I felt like God’s calling over me was to be a teacher. But now I realize that my greatest calling in this life is to be a lover of Jesus. To show the love of Jesus wherever I go and whatever I do. It’s to show Jesus in my marriage, with my kids, and with those around me. And if that includes being a classroom teacher, then great. But if not, then that’s okay, too. Because whether I find a job as a teacher tomorrow or in five years, I am still who He says I am.
I am chosen.
I am made for a purpose.
I am victorious.
I am set free.
I am a child of God.
I am loved forever