This post is of a much more personal nature.
I’m trying to stay up to date with my thoughts on this world we live in, and how we as Christians are called to live in it and what that looks like, exactly. I’m seven years into my walk with Christ, and some days it still feels overwhelmingly new and like I don’t know what I’m doing.
I am a teacher. I love teaching. It feeds me in ways I never imagined it would. Seeing my students light up when they understand a concept doesn’t just gratify me, it energizes me. And I’m an introvert, which by very definition means that when I spend time with other people, they tend to suck the energy and life out of me, and students happen to be particularly needy with my energy. But when they light up with learning, I light up. Without going into all of the unnecessary details, I am dying a slow and painful death at my current position. For the record, I’d like to state my administrators are quite simply fabulous and wonderful. They are the only things at work holding me up presently. But policy, the combination of students we have this year, certain colleagues (whose identity I will honor and protect for their innocence as well as guilt), and my need to teach a different grade level are all working together to create a perfect storm of job dissatisfaction. I became a teacher to change the world, and I was once told that’s the only real reason to become a teacher. But all I end up doing most days is disciplining students and accommodating colleagues, at best. I thought I’d stick around for another year, but I have no peace about that idea. I hate change, but the only thing more impossible than leaving is staying.
Whatcha gonna do about it?
Today I had pre-screening interview with an English-immersion American style college prep school in China. If I got the job, I would live on campus in an apartment they have for their faculty. There are other things involved, which are wonderful, and I do not yet feel at liberty to describe the potential situation further than this, but my heart I fear is already very tender toward the idea of living there and teaching. It’s a job I’d be perfect for, and I think it may be perfect for me.
I’ve also applied to an ESL recruiting company in South Korea, hoping for a placement there. I’m growing in frequency with my prayers about it.
Sometimes a broad just wants to go abroad
More than three years ago now, I asked my boyfriend at the time how he would feel if I went overseas to teach English in Korea for a year. He said he supported it, but didn’t know if our relationship would survive the year. He was an oil company man, and he would be staying here in Texas. I stayed, and got a teaching job in a nearby district, and we broke up not long after that. I spent the next year and a half getting over him, and when I emerged from my heartbreak, I was not the same meek, insecure girl I was before. The funny thing is, he always found me to be strong and bold when we fell in love, but somehow along the way, he broke me of that, and then longed to have that part of me return. He broke it, but he couldn’t mend it. Only God could. If only he could see me now. A part of me, the part that knows we always hold a little bit of love for our old flames, knows he would be so proud of me. But another part of me, the part that has healed or grown from that heartache, knows his thoughts and opinions no longer matter.
I suppose he doesn’t have any thoughts or opinions of me anymore, however. He’s getting married next week. I truly do wish them both all the love and happiness in the world.
But this isn’t about them or my broken heart.
After my first year of teaching, I opted to stay for a second, and then a third, having recently gone through too much life upheaval between a breakup, four moves, a death of a parent, a reuniting with family, a death of a grandparent. It was too much. I spent most of 2015 recovering. I applied to grad school, convinced it would heal me or somehow prove I was moving on with my life. It did neither, and only left me even more exhausted than I had been before. Then I met someone and fell very deeply in love with him in a very short time.
For the record, I am not the kind that goes falling head over heels in love very quickly. I enjoy infatuation, very much, but real love is a rarity for me. But this man and I, this sweet, foodie, banker and middle school worship band leader and piano lessons teacher, half Asian man and I worked so well together. Early on one afternoon, I finished a sentence of his and we were both in total agreement regarding the topic of something deeply important which shall remain unmentioned, and he just looked me in the eye in complete agreement and amazement and said, “Where did you come from?” It was like we’d known each other all our lives. I know that’s the stupidest, most cliché line in every damn Hollywood fairytale, but seriously, it happened. It was true, and I didn’t believe it ever would be. As time went on, I only fell even more in love with him. I will spare you the details of how wonderful he was, and how I was wonderful to him (at least, I hope I was), but trust me when I say I loved him.
So what happened?
He’d been divorced, you see. And the closer we got, the more it stirred up stuff from his marriage. Or divorce, whatever. It doesn’t matter what was stirred up exactly. The only thing that matters is, it was enough for him to justify calling it off with us.
I was sick with sadness.
I am better now, and am coping better. Sometimes, I still miss him, but I no longer pine for him. I’m old enough by now to know I don’t want to be with someone who isn’t ready to be with me. Or doesn’t want to be with me. Or considers me an option. Not all of these apply here, but you get the idea: I know what I’m worth.
It’s been several weeks now, and since our relationship was short, several weeks is a good amount of time.
He and I used to talk about packing up our things and just picking a place on the map and going. We never did, though. But who’s to say I have to wait on him? Or anyone? Being with the sweet Whasian Banker Man did reveal this truth to me: As much as I love Fort Worth, it’s time for a new adventure. It’s true, I do wish he was coming along, but that’s a choice he’s made. I’m going to continue to move forward.
A few weeks ago, I was praying to God, asking him for the next steps in life to be revealed to me. I wrote down a question to him, “God, do you want me to stay in Fort Worth or leave?”
And He said to me in a voice so loudly in my spirit that had it been an audible voice, I’m sure it would have broken windows due to its’ decibel, “My Child, you are not meant to stay put.”
I’m beginning to think He’s taken my wanderer’s heart, sanctified it enough to the point where I trust him wholeheartedly, and is now sending me out again in the world, to represent Him.
So what’s next?
I’m going to Switzerland. In approximately 36 hours, I will board a plane bound for JFK, then Zurich, and spend the week in the Alps in Luzern with my cousin and her wonderful husband, enjoying life.
She also is a teacher, but at an International School. I’m going to learn a bit about life abroad. I need new adventure. I need time to see the world with fresh eyes. I’m praying for opportunities to live and work abroad. I am praying for a miracle while I’m there. I’m praying for a voice from God. He is there, and He is not silent.