Wednesday, December 23, 2009

God is doin' it!

For the past 2 years, I taught in public school. I was making close to $40,000/year. I was the bread winner for the family. I held the insurance (which was really REALLY cheap and really good.) During that time, I put my trust in man. I trusted my boss when he promised time and time again that he was going to give me permanent positions at the school I was at. He used that false promise to take advantage of me- using me to do his "dirty work" that no other staff member would do because they weren't desperate for a permanent job like I was. I was working 60 hours a week. I missed out on Hannah's first year of life because of that job.

During those 2 years, I also felt like I was far from God. I felt like I was constantly unhappy and unsatisfied. My marriage was suffering as well as my family life in general. We were making ends meet and that was the only good outcome.

At the end of the 2008/2009 school year, the district I was working for laid off over 100 teachers. I was on a temporary contract which put me at the bottom of the totem pole to be hired if any positions were available. I interviewed for over 30 positions this past summer and sent out over 200 resumes. I was always told "sorry, but I had to hire someone with more experience." It was about that time, that God started preparing my heart for something else.

I fought with the idea that maybe God didn't want me teaching. I hated that thought because it's what I love, and it's what I'm good at- but it was also a source of pride and boastfulness. God and I fought for a long time and He slowly chipped away that part of me that clung to teaching. I felt His call to do more with my life. That call lead me to my church who then offered me 2 positions. (Children's Ministy Coordinator and Director of Shepherd's Closet- our low cost thrift store/clothing ministry)

Since starting the 2 positions at church Shane and I have received confirmation after confirmation that we are exactly where we need to be. God has worked in BIG ways. He has provided in ways that we never expected Him to although He did not provide in the ways that we expected Him to. I distinctly remember in my interview for the church positions that I flat out told them that this was going to be a financial stretch for us and that we would just trust that God would provide for those needs. I never knew that providing for those needs would include going to the food pantry for food, asking for assistance with our utilities, asking my parents for help when they have already given us so much, and being humbled in every aspect of my life. I never expected this to be as hard as it has been, but God doesn't promise easy when you are within His will. He promises that He will provide for what we need. Nothing more, Nothing less.

In short, I went from making $40,000/year to making $13,000/year. We went from being able to buy what we wanted, when we wanted, to having to go to the food pantry for food and household toiletries. We went from spending 1 hour a day together as a family to being able to spend lots of great quality time together. And God has provided every little blessing in between all of those things.

All that being said, we are still struggling finanically. We are coming up short each month. My school loans can no longer be put on financial hardship forbearance or deferments. I have applied for every type of public assistance possible but we make about $400/month too much. We are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Shane and I have both agreed that we are where we need to be as a family. We agree that I am where I should be, and that he is where he should be. We have prayed together daily about our situation, and like I said, God has provided and confirmed that we are where He wants us.

God has also placed a burden on my heart to share my story. Share how He has taken our insignificant lives and turned them into something significant. He has broken us in ways that we never wanted to be broken, yet He has offered Hope. He offers us a future through Christ. He offers us a love that endures forever. This blog is the story of my life, my struggles, my attitude, and my God. Come take this ride with me!

1 comment:

Carla Sue said...

Jill,

First off, I hope this is a new blog because I had no idea you had it. lol.

Second, you are strong and amazing and a person that I truely admire. Through different elements of life this past year, I have thought of you and your strength in God and the faith you have and that's something I wish to have. You are doing amazing things with your life and although sometimes this world puts so much focus on income, God truely will provide what is needed when its needed and he will never leave you without help. Things come in funny packages or weird ways, but if you let Him control your life, He will. That's one lesson I have had to learn the HARD way this year and it's a lesson I would never ask to have taken away.

I love you dearheart.

 
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